Just imagine. Something happens in your routine and you are now heading to eternity. You ascend up into the heavens and arrive at heavens gates. The first thing you notice are angels at the gate with glistening robes of light. They have wings sparkling with all different colors, hair that looks like spun gold, gleaming faces, and having swords in the hands. Light and power cover them. You are completely speechless by their beauty. Then you see the gates of heaven made of solid pearl stand before you, closed to gaurd the perfect city. You can hear the music that fills the atmosphere and envelops the landscape. You can see glimpses of colorful flowers and the greenest vegetation you’ve ever seen. Through the gates, in the distance the beautiful buildings can be seen. There is no crumbling, no cracks, no decay, no mold, no death of any sort. You see families together and children running and playing with the animals. You even notice one of your family members who have passed on before you. You see them walking the streets of gold passing by the mansions built with jewels and diamonds. You can feel the joy, peace, happiness, and the glory of God flowing through the city and it causes your every fear, frustration, and sorrow to fade into the distant past. As you are taking in the awe and splender of heaven, you realize it’s your turn to enter the gates. You watch in awe as one of the angels enters in and returns with a book that has a golden cover and your name is stamped in gold on the cover. This book is the book of your life. All you have ever done is written in this book. The angel opens and begins to read with approval. The angel sees where you were born into sin but repented and gave your life to God. Then to your surprise, Jesus comes to the gate to greet you. Oh the love and glory that you could feel surround you in His presence! He takes the book from the angel and begins to read it. He looks at the book and then looks at you, closes the book, and says “I never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Next thing you know you are descending down a tunnel that continues to get darker and darker. With the growing darkness, comes a dirty, thick, pollutted atmosphere filled with a stench of sulfur and death. The air is enough to make you sick. Screams and piercing cries came up the tunnel to meet you and filled the tunnel. Fear and anguish come upon you and grow stronger and stronger as you become farther and farther from the presence of God. Never on earth have you ever felt such evil or despair. On earth, hope always surrounded you but now it was gone for good. You reach the bottom of the tunnel and an evil spirit is there to meet you. He grabs you and takes you to a pit of fire that has your name on it. He throws you in and then the flames go up and surround you. The pain you feel is unbearable. The sorrow you feel is too much. You cry out to God but there is no hope. You no longer have access to God’s presence or His hope for the rest of eternity.
God loves you. But requires more from you than just a repentance prayer. He desires a deep intimate relationship with you. He desires a holy lifestyle sperated from the world and on fire for Him. He desires us to take up our cross and follow Him. We cannot choose to lay it down for anything! It’s not a religion. It is a relationship.