Conversion

Conversion

Scripture: Psalms 119:105, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:3
Space travel interests many people, but the practical limitations make it seem impossible. There is one way through Jesus to know we can go to heaven and beyond. We are saved through faith in Him.
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The moon is the nearest body in the heavens to this earth, and man has taken the giant step of mastering the lunar space travel problems. But then we realize that the other heavenly bodies are much farther away, and tremendous new problems appear as we contemplate traveling to the planets. How can there be any hope of ever reaching the more distant planets or worlds much farther away than the moon? Voyage II did it, but is there any hope for manned space ships to reach those distant planets?

Our present satellites travel in orbits at speeds of around 18,000 miles an hour. To reach Venus, the nearest planet, which is some 27 million miles away when nearest to us , would take 1,500 hours, or about two months. This poses the problems of providing food, oxygen, and man's other needs over that period, and then doubling the supplies in order to allow for the return journey. Mars is nearly twice as far away as Venus. But if we were to think of going to the next major planet, Jupiter, we should, depending on where it was in its orbit, have perhaps 391 million miles to go, a journey of two and one-half years. By now the problems would seem to have increased beyond any conceivable possibility of solution.

Suppose we step up the speed of our space ship to 100,000 miles an hour. Such speeds are said to be in the range of possibility, since once a ship has cleared the earth's atmosphere it can keep on increasing its speed as long as it can keep on burning fuel. However, upon reaching our destination, supposedly a world the size of ours, it would require the same amount of fuel to slow us down that it took to speed us up. Furthermore, to get off the ground on our way home, and to decelerate again upon reaching the earth, would double that amount. In other words, a journey to Mars could be made in about three weeks with a ship traveling at 100,000 miles an hour, but think of the fuel necessary to operate it! A trip to Jupiter would take more than five months, and landing there would be a much greater problem because of the tremendous gravitational pull of that planet, which has more than ten times the diameter of the earth. This means that if the average density were the same as our earth's, the gravitational pull would be a thousand times as great. Landing there would indeed be a problem.

But let's go on. Suppose we succeed in arriving at Pluto, the farthest out of all the planets, an average of 3,577 million miles from us. That would take about four years. And then, when we reach the outer limits of our solar system, where would we be? The gap between Pluto and Alpha Centauri, the nearest fixed star, takes light traveling at 186,000 miles a second four and one-half years to bridge the gap. Our ship, even at 100,000 miles an hour, would take 680 years! Is there any need to say more, friends?

It is evident that space travel, if ever achieved, will be extremely limited in terms of celestial distances. Furthermore, would God allow sinful man to introduce himself and his inventions among the inhabitants of other worlds who have never known sin? For one, I am content to wait until the Creator Himself comes to take me on the great space journey He has promised. I trust His power, but have little confidence in man's attempts to conquer space. So we cannot get out of this world by our own power, but only by the power of God. Therefore we want to consider these three easy steps by which we can reach heaven, that heaven which is far out beyond the earth's own satellite system.

Throughout all the ages men have been seeking for some sure way into a blissful hereafter, but the Holy Scriptures alone really show us the way.

We can find the way only in the Word of God. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105. In this dark world we need the Word of God. It brightens the pathway before us. Somehow the world must be drawn back to the Bible. Almost every home has one, but it is not read or studied. Often people say, "I can't understand the Bible, it doesn't seem to make sense."

Have you ever been in a dark woods at night and had your light go out, and as you tried to find your way in the dark, you stumbled over logs and over stones? If that has ever happened to you, you can realize what the Bible means when it says that the Word of God is a light unto our feet.

We are in a dark world, a world that is lost, that is troubled. We want to know the way to heaven. We want to live in that better land. Most of us are getting homesick for heaven. I want to live in that land of peace some day, don't you? There is only one way whereby we can be saved, and that is by faith in Jesus Christ.

In Ephesians 2:8, 9 we read, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." We cannot buy our way into heaven, and we cannot build any kind of machine that will take us there. Only in Jesus Christ can we have salvation. We must have faith in God, if we hope to be saved from this old dark world of sin. Some people may think they can do some meritorious deeds of their own by which to get to heaven. If that were so, they would be buying their way into heaven, and nobody in heaven will have been able to do that. All our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We need a Saviour. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8. It is only in Jesus, only in the cross, that we can ever find salvation.

Step One: The first step toward heaven is to experience pardon and cleansing from sin.

"And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." Revelation 21:27.

In other words, there will be no sin in heaven. We cannot take any sin to heaven with us. We must confess our sins and have victory over our sins. We cannot take evil habits into the presence of God. We must have victory. By the help of God we must be cleansed of sin. There will be no evil, sinful thing in heaven. "There shall in no wise enter into heaven any thing that defileth." Those who enter into the city of God will be pure, holy, cleansed by Jesus Christ. That place will be a pure place. There will be no swearing there, no whiskey stores in heaven, no brothels there, no blasphemy there, no unclean habits; there will be no tobacco chewing in heaven, nor any snuff dipping. None of these evil habits will be there.

So the first step toward heaven is a work of cleansing, for the Bible says that there shall in no wise enter into heaven anything that defileth.

Step Two: In addition to obtaining pardon for all our sins through Christ's blood, we must also be born again.

Jesus said to the Pharisee who came to Him by night, inquiring of Him the way of life, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3. Jesus is talking about the spiritual birth, and He made that very clear to Nicodemus. He was not talking about a natural birth, but about a spiritual birth as He said to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again."

The first step in the way to heaven is that we must be cleansed of defilement, and the second step is, "Ye must be born again."

Step Three: After being pardoned and born again, we must be obedient to the Lord's commandments each day.

"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." Hebrews 5:9. "And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." 1 John 3:24.

We must be obedient to the Lord's commandments each day. Jesus is the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him. Jesus does not say that He became the Author of salvation to those who belong to the church. Some might think that, that is all that is necessary, to belong to the church in order to be saved. But the Bible does not say that if we give good gifts, or perform some outstanding deeds, we shall be saved, but "unto them that obey Him." And any man who says that he has been saved by grace and does not obey God has not really been saved by grace. That kind of man has not been born again. Those who are unwilling to obey God are in open rebellion against Him and are holding out against Him.

"He that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." 1 John 3:24. Some say Jesus is in them, that they have received Him by faith and been born again, and yet these individuals do not obey God. If a man or woman says, "I have been born again," and does not obey God, then they speak something that is not true. It cannot be true.

The only path is the path of obedience. And anyone who refuses to obey God is not a child of His. Some people say to us, "You teach that we have to obey God in order to be saved." No, I do not teach that, but I do teach that we must accept Jesus Christ as our only Saviour from sin and that when we really, truly fall in love with Jesus it will not be grievous to us to obey God. We will not obey God in order to be saved, but because we are saved. We will obey God because we love Him. We will not say, "I do not believe in obedience; I do not think it is necessary," for if we really love Jesus, it will be the greatest desire of our hearts to please Him and to do His will in all things. Jesus has made eternal salvation certain unto all them that obey Him.

Do you think we could get to heaven if we are not obeying Christ? Would we have any more desire to obey Him after we got there than before? No, we would do just like Satan. Satan rebelled against God. He did not like the restrictions of God, and he tried to overthrow God's government, and he is still in open opposition and rebellion against God's commandments. He is fighting them, and he uses many men in the world to help him in his warfare against the commandments which he hates, the commandments of God which he wants to get rid of.

There is nothing wrong with God's commandments. "The law of the Lord is perfect." Psalm 19:7. What would we do if we did not have the commandments, "Thou shalt not steal," "Thou shalt not worship other gods," "Thou shalt not bear false witness," "Thou shalt not kill"? Dear friends, is there anything wrong with these commandments? No. And anyone who loves God will be willing to obey Him.

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