The Last Chapter

Read:  John 3:16
           Matthew 7:13-14
           John 14:5-6
           Romans 3:23-24
           Acts 16:31
 
My granny loved to read.  I, also, love to read and can remember many enjoyable days I spent sprawled on her couch or on the floor reading while she did.  She had what I thought was a peculiar way of reading a book.  She would read the last chapter and then go back to chapter one and read the entire book through to the end.  I, on the other hand, did not read the last chapter until I had read all the chapters that came before.  Then I would read the final chapter in its proper place!
 
I’m not sure why she did this.  Maybe it was more enjoyable for her to know if the hero would get his lady love in a romance novel or if he would survive until the end of the book in a thrilling mystery.  But whatever the reason, that was how she enjoyed reading a book.
 
As I was thinking about this the other day, I thought about a phrase we hear in relation to the Bible, “We know how the story ends!”  How true that is, and it’s a comfort to those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus to know exactly how the story DOES end.  In His Book, God has made sure that we are aware of His plans and the eternity He is preparing for us.
 
How many people will tell you they know how it all ends and where they will spend eternity?  They are aware of a heaven but have no idea what is required to enter there.  They may think that an eternity in heaven is theirs because that’s where “good people” go, and they are “a good person”.  Unfortunately for those who believe that way, heaven is not entered by just being good.  There is a requirement to live there for eternity.
 
Jesus told his disciple Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me”.  One of the foundational verses in the Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  There is only one way to heaven and that is by placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your personal savior, accepting him as Lord of your life and his blood as atonement for your sin.  A debt none of us could ever pay without Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
 
The Bible makes it very clear what we must do to have eternal life in heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  There’s nothing wrong with reading the last chapter of a book to try and gauge how enjoyable the book will be and if it’s worth investing the time to read it.  But eternity is too important to base your decision on partial or even false information.  Don’t get to the last chapter of your life and find that you skipped over the most important chapters.  When eternity comes, you don’t get to go back through the chapters of your life and rewrite the ending.  Your eternal decision has already been made.