Eternal Life

Can a Simply Misunderstanding Keep Your From Heaven? This devotion shares a true story that involves this question.
An Angry Daughter
“My mother is free from sin!” the woman said angrily. She wanted these strangers to leave the hospital room so her eighty-two year old mother could die in peace.

Two of my friends and I were the unwanted strangers. We were in the hospital that day praying for people, and this woman had invited us to pray for her sick mother.

After praying, we visited with the old woman for a while and I had an opportunity to share the Gospel. When I told her that all of us are sinners in need of Christ’s salvation, she acknowledged her sin and said she’d like to pray to receive Christ.

That’s when her daughter interrupted me, insisting her mother was free from sin.

Can a Simply Misunderstanding Keep Your From Heaven? This devotion shares a true story that involves this question.
I was surprised by the daughter’s outburst, and I wondered what her mother would do. Would she change her mind? Would she ask us to leave her room? The next few seconds ticked by painfully slow.

In a culture that so often blames parents for more than their share of problems, this daughter’s view of her mother was unique. But the Bible tells us that no one is free from sin “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). 

Was Her Mother Good Enough for Heaven?
Maybe what the daughter was trying to say was that her mother had lived an unselfish life, serving and helping others. Perhaps she thought her mother’s goodness cancelled her sins. But the Bible says that “salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it” (Ephesians 2:9). A lifetime of unselfish acts can’t cancel a single sin.

Can a Simply Misunderstanding Keep Your From Heaven? This devotion shares a true story that involves this question.
Was Her Mother Religious Enough for Heaven?
Perhaps this old woman’s daughter thought her mother was sinless because she had always been “religious.” The Pharisees were some of the most religious people who ever lived. They carefully tithed, fasted, gave to the poor, prayed, and participated in every religious activity. Yet, Christ said “unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

Religion doesn’t cancel any of our sins, and neither does knowledge. This old woman might have heard the Gospel many times. She may have known that whoever believes in Christ and His redemption has eternal life. But that wouldn’t have saved her. The Bible says that salvation comes through believing with our hearts (Romans 10:10), not simply knowing about Christ. 

My Own Misunderstandings
As I stood at this woman’s bedside, I remembered my own past misunderstandings about the Gospel. I had grown up hearing the Gospel and trying to be “good.” I even made a public profession of my faith in Christ and was baptized. But I wasn’t a genuine believer.

Can a Simply Misunderstanding Keep Your From Heaven? This devotion shares a true story that involves this question.
We use so many religious phrases to describe becoming a Christian—“committing our lives to Christ,” “asking Christ into our hearts,” “receiving Christ.” But we still may not understand that becoming a Christian means trusting Christ not only with our salvation, but trusting Him with our life. Becoming a Christian is life-changing and mind-altering, and it’s the beginning of an eternal journey.

When I finally committed my life to Christ, everything began to change. I had a hunger for God’s Word and the Holy Spirit began to convict me of sin.

Sometimes my relationship with Christ has led me to do things that make me uncomfortable. For example, I was nervous and fearful about sharing Christ with this complete stranger in her hospital room. When the woman’s daughter became annoyed, I was even more uncomfortable. I would have liked to be anywhere else at that moment.

Can a Simply Misunderstanding Keep Your From Heaven? This devotion shares a true story that involves this question.
Heaven or Hell--Her Decision
But I knew what we were doing was important. This woman was very likely dying and she would go to hell if she didn’t trust Christ. I’m sure God had designed this final divine appointment for her.

What would she decide? My companions and I prayed silently as the seconds ticked by. Then the daughter spoke again. “I’m not going to pray that prayer!” she said in one last attempt to dissuade her mother.

I’m sure the old woman was feeling weak and vulnerable, and her daughter’s objections were strong.

But belief had permeated her heart, and it gave her the strength to overcome these hindrances. She knew she was making the most important decision of her 82 years of life. When we left her bedside, there were choirs of angels rejoicing in heaven over the soul who was, for the first time, “sinless” through the work of Christ.

Would you like to make the same life-saving decision as this woman?
If you wish to be saved, you need to understand these truths:

1. No one is good enough to go to heaven.  
Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  
2. We deserve death.  
Romans 6:23: the wages of sin is death…  

3. But God loved us and He sent Jesus to pay for our sins on the cross.  
Romans 5:8: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  

4. We receive this great gift of salvation by making a genuine, heart-felt profession of faith.   
Romans 10:9-10: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

5. This offer is available to everyone. 
Romans 10:13: "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 

If you believe this, Christ tells you to "count the the cost" (Luke 14:25-34).
Good works don't save us. We are saved by the grace of God. But once we are saved, we dedicate ourselves to renewing our mind in God's Word, turning from our sins, denying ourselves, and following Christ. It's a heart commitment.
If you understand these things and wish to follow Christ, all you need to do is repent of your sins and ask Christ to be your Lord and Savior.

For another explanation of salvation read "Are There Many Ways to God?"

This true story is a good place to start for those of you who aren't sure what it means to follow Jesus. I encourage you to study God's Word starting in the Book of John and let God unfold His wonderful plan.


  1. There is nothing like seeing the one ready to cross over make it, because of your obedience to the calling that day. You knew the enemy was in that room. You did not let 'him' intimidate you. Jesus was Victorious through your love and obedience. God bless you. I pray the daughter never forgot what transpired so she too can be with her Mother someday.

  2. Well said... I have a devout Catholic friend. I would like to see becone a christian. Cath.