I had the tremendous opportunity to speak on Good Friday at a Seven Last Words service at Open Door Christian Church. Host pastor, Rev. Dr. Toni Hawkins did an amazing job with the program, which included a lineup of eight preaching women. Each woman spoke uniquely on her saying of Jesus from the Cross. I spoke on second saying, and from the topic, "Heaven Is For Real."
The release of the new movie this week, "Heaven Is For Real" is stirring a lot of conversation about heaven. In it, a young boy says heaven is for real because he had an out-of-body experience during an emergency operation, and he went there. There was conversation, too, about heaven up on the Cross as Jesus died on Calvary between two criminals believed to be thieves. Suddenly, one of the thieves abruptly does an about-face and stops following the crowd who mocked, scorned, and humiliated Jesus. He asks Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom. Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
The Bible says, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matt. 7:13-14). If we want to go to heaven, we need to do what this criminal did. He made an U-turn, forsaking all, and in mustard seed- size, child-like humility began to say his A,B,Cs. He admitted his sin, believe in Jesus alone, and confessed him as Lord and Savior. What is faith? FAITH is Forsaking-All-I-Trust-Him. This repentant criminal placed faith in the person of Jesus, the power of Jesus, and the place of Jesus, His Kingdom.