As You Read This, I Am in Heaven
by Jan Hughes
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As you read this, I am in Heaven. I knew you would come to talk when the chaos around you began and you could not reach me by phone. Though we were not as close as we could have been, because we have had different priorities, I have always loved you and prayed for you and have tried to be a good friend, especially in your times of anguish. Like now. You know that, or you would not have come. I prayed about this letter and asked God to give me the exact words you need for Him to touch your heart.
Remember ... I told you that we in Christ would not be surprised when He called us up to meet Him in the clouds, and that I sensed it would be very soon. I know you believe in God, but just knowing about God does not get you into Heaven. You must ask Jesus to come into your heart. When I last saw you, I could see that you were close to doing just that. So close. God prompted me to say again what you would not receive then. Remember how my joy increased daily over the last few months. Remember my tears. It was more than I could explain, and you looked at me like I was crazy at the time. This is reality: Everything in Godís word is true. He finally came to take all of us who accepted Jesus out of the world, just as His word says would happen.
I spoke with you about being saved and you did not want to hear (even though my words were from God, through the Holy Spirit, to say to you). I could see you shut down even though I tried to be very gentle. I was not judging you, Anna. I was looking for, and did not see, evidence that you were saved by grace. You talked about God but you talked around Jesus. I never heard from your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. You did not express peace, joy and confidence in going to Heaven when you die. It was your hesitancy, your avoidance, and your jokes about my passion for Him (you called it my ďobsessionĒ) that gave me great concern for your soul. Most of all, Anna, it was Godís prompting in my heart to speak with you about Him, and to pray for you, because I trust the Holy Spirit completely, in all He urges me to do. What is impeding you?
Do you not believe you have sinned? You are not different from me or anyone else. We all have sinned. We all have fallen short of His glory. You have talked about the shame and guilt you felt about your past. You changed your ways, and I was so glad. But my heart still broke for you because you still did not get it. What you did not seem to see is that those acts were sins. Not just mistakes or bad choices. Sins. Any thought or word or act or desire that does not uphold GodĎs law is sin. Just because you did not plan your actions or think about how God sees them does not change the truth of His word. I donít think you even considered that then. Consider it now.
Could it be that you are afraid of what people might think if you confess that you have sinned? God already knows, Anna. Other believers know that you are no different from them. It matters not what those who deny Him think! Is your pride more important than your eternal life? Are people more important than God to you? By admitting your sins to Him, you are simply telling the truth. We all have inherited a sin nature. Only Jesus can clean us up. Only fools deny the truth.
Are you afraid to suffer? You witnessed my suffering. You also witnessed my joy. I often told you how the joy was so worth the suffering. The world became more and more evil before Jesus called us up into the clouds. You have a choice, Anna. It is God or Satan. Heaven or Hell. You will suffer much more than did I. If you survive the diseases, disasters and evil acts of those who refuse Him, you will have to face the choice of either physical death or denying Him. If you die because you will not deny Him, you will come to Heaven instantaneously. Never deny Him, Anna. You will suffer for a short time now and spend forever in paradise with Him or suffer much more, forever.
Did you not believe He would keep His promises? The Bible holds all of His promises and their fulfillments. In it is everything He wants us know about Him. One of His promises is to save everyone who seeks Him. You are in the throes of what the Bible says would happen (for the last time in Revelation). You are still there because you did not accept Jesus. He is giving you another opportunity. Right now. He will save you, Anna. Just confess. Believe the truth. Ask Him in. He turns away no one who seeks Him with a sincere heart.
Do you not want Jesus in your heart? God wants you to have the deep, unshakeable knowledge that He loves YOU. He does not want you to go through this life and eternity without His love, mercy and grace. He wants your heart, Anna. He wants you to praise Him, honor Him, love Him, and serve Him. He wants you to have the indescribably wonderful joy, purpose, contentment, and confidence in His glory and your significance to Him. He wants you to know you are totally, forever, unfailingly loved. He wants a heart-to-heart relationship with YOU.
Do you not trust God to be all He says He is? Do not let your experiences with people form your view of Him. He is infinitely more loving, kind and giving than are people. We cannot make Him into what we think He is or should be. He is much greater than we can conceive. He is the great I Am. He made you. You did not make Him. He designed you to need and depend on Him. Only He can provide all you need. Jesus has compassion despite our limitations. He experienced the same temptations that we face, and only He never sinned. He always obeyed God. That is why only He is worthy to bear our sins for us. He died for me, for you, for everyone, anyway, with the knowledge of all we would do against Him. He chose a horrible, tortuous death on the cross. He rose to Heaven, and is waiting for you to simply ask Him into your heart. Only God can do for us what people cannot. Jesus died so that YOU may live.
Have you thought that the good things you have done are enough to get you into Heaven? Obviously not. You are still in the world. Being good and good works at the human level - as helping and not hurting others - is not the same as doing and being good for Him. When we do in order to look good to people, or to feel good about ourselves, rather than to serve Him, we are acting for our own benefit. Works are for the purpose of bringing Him glory, and to express our faith and gratitude and obedience to God, not to bring glory to ourselves. Good works not done for Him will be burned up. Works in themselves do not get you into Heaven. They do not erase the record of sin. Real works, and His rewards to come, flow from real faith.
Have you thought that going to church is your ticket to Heaven? No church or person in it or anyone out of the church can save you. Only by faith in God through the saving power of Jesus Christ can you spend eternity in Heaven. God does not want your religion. He wants your faith. Jesus died so that YOU may live.
Do you think you are not worth what Jesus did for you? You are right. None of us are. Yet God chose to forgive when we ask Him into our hearts. He chose to remove the sins of all who admit, believe, and ask for forgiveness through Jesus Christ. God created all there is. He knew in advance what each of would think and do and desire and say, and He sent Jesus to bear our sins anyway. Itís not about what we have done or not done for Him, Anna - itís about what He did for us. You cannot deserve His love, mercy and grace. He knows that. I pray that you do. His understanding of you is perfect. He chose YOU anyway. Believe the truth.
Do you not realize that you need Jesus as your Savior? Look around you. It is all unfolding exactly as God said it would. There is much more terror to come. What more could you have as evidence of the truth? Turn to Him. If you deny Him before men, Jesus will deny you before our Father in Heaven. Do not let the false teachers convince you that God does not love you because of the terror surrounding you. God is holy and just. He must punish those who deny Him. If it takes terror and horror to get through to your heart for Him, be grateful that you finally got it. The horror now is nothing compared to the horror of Hell. Only through accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior will you have protection from deceivers now and eternity in Heaven.
I am sure the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart right now. He is willing to forgive you of everything, completely, and forever. Let Him love you. God knew everything you would say and think and do even before you were born. He sent His son, Jesus, who chose to die for you and me and everyone else who has ever lived, when we did not care about Him, because He loves us. When you ask Jesus to come into your heart, He instantly sets you free of all of the shame and guilt and He gives you peace and joy that no person or circumstance or even the Evil One and his demons can take away. He is watching right now from Heaven and pleading before our Father on your behalf.
I beg you to get on your knees this very moment and ask Him to forgive you and acknowledge Him as your Lord and Savior. You may not have another minute to live. Surely, with what is going on around you, you know this is true. Once you die, itís too late. Itís Heaven or Hell - forever. Now, Anna - NOW - invite Him in. Only then will you be ready for the second envelope.
John 14:6, NLT: ďJesus told him, ďI am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.Ē
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