I want you in Heaven.

Whoever you are.  Wherever you are.  Whatever you’ve done.

I want you in Heaven.

But there’s even better news.

God wants you in Heaven.

He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. (2 Peter 3:9c, NLT)

I want you in Heaven, but there’s not a thing I can do about it.  I can’t even save myself.

But God wants you in Heaven, and He did everything about it.  He made a way for you–whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you’ve done.  Really.

He even made a way for me.

But it’s not just a prayer.  It’s not 3 simple steps.  It’s giving your whole life over.  It’s believing in Jesus kinda like the way you believe in someone you really love.  You don’t just walk away and never talk to them or think about them again.  You invest in them.

Believing in Jesus is breaking all the rules of the world.  It’s putting all your eggs in one basket, because you’re so sure that basket won’t break.

It doesn’t always happen right away.  If you try to do it by yourself, you’ll never get there.

It starts with surrender.  Confession.  Begging God to take you in.  Everything we’re told not to do.  Everything we’re told will make a look like a stupid fool.

But God doesn’t make stupid fools.  He makes new creations.  He’ll give you everything you need.  Maybe not everything you want–probably not–okay, I’m sure of it.  He won’t give you everything you want, because you’ll still have a sin nature (like me–that’s how I know).

But what you want will start to change.  For some people it’s fast.  For me, it was more slow-like.

But you’ll change.

Your heart will start beating after Him.

And when you mess up, you’ll hate it.

You’ll almost want to despair, you’ll feel so bad about showing God the really ugly sin in your life.  You’ll want God to take it away quick.  (I know.)

And then, there will be the love.  You’ll have thought your whole life you knew what love was.  Maybe you’ll have thought it was something like hearts and your mother’s love and presents and hugs.  And then you’ll meet God.  And you’ll realize His love is too much to take in all at once.  And His love will be so big, and so real, and so wonderful, you’ll feel like you’re gonna go nuts if you just don’t start yelling for everybody to come running for it.

But they won’t.

You’ll want everybody in Heaven.

But everybody won’t be there.

It’s not because God doesn’t want everybody in Heaven.

It’s because not everybody wants to be in Heaven with God.

It’s not just a prayer.  It’s not 3 simple steps.  It’s giving your whole life over.  It’s serving a King.  It’s having a Father.  It’s bowing down before a Master.

People will think you’re crazy.  They’ll think you’re a groveler.  They probably don’t even know the backlog of love that causes you to love back.  They don’t see the King who “steps down from His throne” (Downhere) or the Father who “gives His only Son to make a wretch His treasure” (Stuart Townend) or the Master who feeds His servants with his own body and blood (see Mark 14:12-26).

God wants you in Heaven.  Whoever you are.  Wherever you are.  Whatever you’ve done.

But He’s not just going to let you in.  It’s not that easy.

God is a Judge, and He is a good Judge.  He has to punish sin.

So you can pay for your own sin, or you can give your sin to Christ, who, in the miracle of God’s all-knowing power, will already have paid for it on the cross.

People will tell you that you can get to Heaven on your own.  Or kind of on your own.  But it’s a lie.

You’ll never make it.  (Me either.)

You can’t be good enough, because you can’t be good at all.  Once you sin, it’s game over.  Goodbye, Heaven.  Hello, Hell.  There are no second chances, no making it up with overtime, no excuses accepted.

God is righteous.  He can’t live with sin.  He can’t ignore your sin forever.  He can’t write your sin off because you have a parent or a psychologist or a friend or bartender who tells you they’re sure you have a really good excuse.

Just like a serial killer can’t be forgiven because he bought Girl Scout cookies one time, we can’t be forgiven for turning our backs on God just because we tried to do something halfway nice.

We’re doomed.

It’s bad news.  Really bad news.

But then, when you hold your arms out for the love of Christ, you don’t have to be afraid anymore.  Christ picks you up and carries you to Heaven.  Because He loves you.  He’s always been wanting to do that, like a parent carries a lost child back home.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  (1 John 4:18a, ESV)

So God wants you in Heaven.  Whoever you are.  Wherever you are.  Whatever you’ve done.  The Bible is an all-world all-call.

Some people will try to trick you, and make you think salvation is not for you.  That it’s too hard for you, or too easy.  That you’re not good enough, or you’re too good.  That you’re not smart enough, or you’re too smart.  That you’re not experienced enough, or you’re too experienced.  That you’re not helpless enough, or you’re too helpless.  But they’re all wrong.  You need Jesus, just like everybody else.  And if you die without Him, you’ll go to Hell, just like everybody else who dies without Him.  And if you die with Him owning you and adopting you, you’ll go to Heaven.

And there’s no-in between.

God wants you in Heaven.  If you don’t go, you, and you alone, are at fault.  (The same for me.)

I know what I want.  I want to be with Jesus.  And I want you to be with Jesus, too.  It’s not about clouds and gold.  Heaven is Heaven because of God.

I want you to be with God.

God wants you to be with Him.

But the choice . . is up to you.

God has done everything to make Heaven possible for you, and He’s given you the will, the decision, and the opportunity to take it.

All of Heaven waits.

And all of Hell.

God wants you in Heaven.

What do you want?

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9, NLT)

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