Archive for October, 2012

REFLECTION: Would it be arrogant for me to say that I know I’ll get to Heaven?

Friday, October 19th, 2012

On Monday evening, we had our 3rd Alpha Session at our Parish.  “Is it arrogant to say that you know you’ll definitely get to Heaven?” was a question among the few on the discussion list.  My answer was a definite “NO” and yet a majority at my table seemed to disagree.  The next morning, I asked my daughter what she thought and she gave me an answer filled with wisdom.  “By itself, the statement could sound self-righteous, but it depends on your reason.”

What about you? Do you know whether you’ll definitely get to Heaven when you die?  With all my heart, I pray your answer is “yes”.

On our own merits and on the merits of any other human being, it would be impossible for us to even consider Heaven.  However, because of the great sacrifice of one Man without sin who took on the sins of the past, present and the future of the ENTIRE human race while He was nailed on the Cross, we all have a chance to be reunited with God in Heaven.  Had the power of the Holy Spirit not raised Him from the dead, would we have hope?  I don’t believe so.  Had Jesus not been raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christianity would have no basis.  However, the truth is Jesus, the Son of God, the one without sin, who chose to take the sins of the world upon Himself on the cross so that the barrier (sin), which keeps humanity away from God, would be bridged by Himself, has been and is alive and well today!

For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”  John 3:16-17

In truth, we all are not worthy of Heaven “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 However, God created us to be with Him and He continues to look at each one of us with loving eyes and He yearns to develop an intimate and meaningful, personal relationship with each one.  That was the very reason He sent His Son, Jesus, to bring us back to Him.

“So what is the problem?” one may ask?  “…the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.John 3:19-21

Many feel that to embrace Christianity, they have to give up their old ways.  There is much truth in that if the way one lived involved gossiping, stealing, slandering, bullying and hurting another (a.k.a. “killing” another internally), and viewing pornography, among many others, where each action or lack of action brings harm to oneself or another.  However, if the lifestyle we live already brings out the very best of ourselves and others, nothing needs to change. Instead, we are given the many graces and supernatural power to live our lives victoriously (through the good times and bad / we find meaning to our trials so we can endure and learn from them) so that we can live our lives on planet earth to the full.  Not just surviving, but living life to the fullest!

Are you living your life to the full?  More often than not, I am beginning to realize that I am.  Is it of my own doing?  I don’t think so.  From my heart, I can truly say that “it is but for the grace of God”.  It is “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.Zech 4:6 and that is my truth.  Through my many trials through depression, I’ve learned that I cannot rely on myself nor another because we all lack the super natural power of God.  Although we can reassure each other that things will be fine, do we actually have the power to make things fine?  We all know the answer to that.  Even doctors are limited to what they can cure.

During our discussion at Alpha, it was mentioned that we all have free will and God knows that because He created it.  God does not coerce us or manipulate us to accept Him or His ways.  Instead, He gives us the free will to choose to accept what Jesus has done on the cross.  Although other humans may try to coerce us, the choice is ours alone and no one else can make that choice for us.

As I reflect on my life and on the lives of my many friends who walk intimately with God, I recognize that each of us hunger to live according to His will and beckoning and as a result, we each experience a deep joy and peace which the world cannot give.  With the grace given, we each seek to walk according to God’s will.  We all fall periodically because we are still merely humans, but God has given us the Sacrament of Confession so that we can repent from our wrongful ways, get up once again and continue on our journey towards Him back home to Heaven…our true HOME.

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” God has revealed to us through the Spirit.  For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.  For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him?  So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.  And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.”…”The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned…but we have the mind of Christ.1 Cor:2-9-16

Perhaps, as one of my friends counselled, I speak in a “foreign language” to some.  My prayer is that there are a few who understand and that at the end of our times, we all will understand this truth.

Father, may we all eventually know, without a doubt, that you will bring us back home to Your heart in Heaven.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

God bless,

Melissa – October 19, 2012

p.s. – additional scripture verses:

1)  4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1Cor 1:4-9

2) Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 3: 1-11