Grandfather’s in Heaven
“Well, hi, Steve. How come you’re inside already? I thought you were playing with Travis.”
“I was, Mom, but I decided to come in and, ummm… get something to eat.”
“It’s a little early, but okay. I can stop cleaning out this cabinet and fix you a sandwich. How would that be?”
“Uh…, yeah, a sandwich would be fine. Thanks.” Steve sat on a stool at the snack bar which separated the kitchen and the family room.
As his mother began to gather the ingredients for the bologna sandwich, she noticed that her, normally, gregarious son was unusually quiet and looked troubled.
“Is something the matter, Stevie?” she asked tentatively.
“Nah. Not really.”
He spun around on the stool to look at his mother. Then, it seemed the floodgates pushed open and his words streamed out.
“Well, I mean, Travis was just talking to me about his grandfather. You know, the one that died last month. This past Sunday in Sunday School, Mr. Barber was talking about how important being baptized is and, now, Travis is afraid that his grandfather isn’t in Heaven ‘cause when one of the deacons visited him in the hospital, his grandfather accepted Jesus, but he never got baptized!” He grabbed a breath before asking, “Do you think he’s in Heaven, Mom?”
“Well, Stevie, I’m not a Bible scholar, but the way I understand it is that as long as we ask Jesus to come into our heart, He does. Now, I agree with Mr. Barber that being baptized is very important, but I don’t think it is a requirement for going to Heaven. You see, baptism is a symbol for the way we are no longer covered in our sins, because Jesus died to cover all those sins with His blood. He cleanses us and gives us a new start. Jesus was baptized, so He has given us the model, and if it is at all possible, we should follow His example. For one thing, it can show someone else how important accepting Jesus is. You remember when your dad got baptized, how all his family came to our church. Well, your uncle, Bob, doesn’t go to church anywhere, but that day your dad was able to talk with him quite a bit about God, and he hopes that, maybe, one of these days, Uncle Bob will accept Jesus. But, salvation comes through accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, not through baptism. Does this help any?”
“Yeah, mom. I’m just not sure that I’ll be able to get Travis to understand?”
“Well, what if you ask Mr. Barber a 'what if..' question this Sunday and let him explain it to the whole class? There may be other kids wondering the same thing.”
“Hey, yeah! Mr. Barber loves it when we ask questions about the lessons. That would be great. Thanks, mom. I’m going back outside with Travis. See you in a little while.”
Steve’s mother smiled as she wrapped the forgotten sandwich. She thanked God that her son was still willing to share his innermost concerns with her.
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