Grandpa’s Tomatoes

I wanted to make some vegetable soup, so I scoured my pantry for some tomatoes.  I knew that I had some of my Grandpa’s canned tomatoes still in there somewhere.  Out of the last few jars of his I had left, there was just one of what I was looking for! 

The man loved to can. He had what he called a garden and what I called a small farm of every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine.  And he would harvest it all.  He would can it, give it away, even trade with it.  When we went to visit them in South Carolina, my Pop would always take me out to Grandpa’s canning shed to dig through hundreds of jars of vegetables and jellies to find what I wanted to take home.  And as I opened that jar on Monday, I started to cry.  Grandpa passed away in 2016 and it made me miss him so much.

While I’m sad that he’s gone, I know he was believer.  When he left this earth, he was given a new body in heaven and is worshipping Jesus all day and night!  I can praise God that when my day comes and I take my last breath, I’ll see him and his smile again!

This made me think about the people I know that may not have that same assurance of their place in heaven.  I can be confident as a born-again Christian that when I die, I will be in heaven.  But I know that there are friends of mine who have told me they believe they hope they’ve been ‘good enough to get a pass’ into heaven.    

Please allow me just a brief moment to explain why this can’t be further from the truth.  The Bible is clear that there is no one on this earth who is good enough to get into heaven.  Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous, no not one.”  We can’t be kind of good.  We can’t be really good.  The Ten Commandments given by God has ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ and ‘Honor thy father and thy mother’ all in the same list.  In humanity’s eyes, one of those sins is much worse than the other.  In God’s eyes, ALL sin is abhorrent.  We will never be righteous enough.

Because of that sin, what we deserve is death and eternal separation from God.  We are told in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Because of the wicked nature of sin, our penalty is death.  But the second half of that verse can give us hope!  It says God has given us hope for eternal life in the form of a spotless Lamb.

Romans 5:8 shows just how much He loves us.  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  While God says the price that we must pay for sin is death, there is undeserved grace.  He loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to the earth.  He lived a sinless life with the sole purpose of becoming a substitution.  He was sent to be the sacrificial Lamb, covering our sins with His blood.

And because of that sacrifice, if we believe in Him, if we surrender our lives to Him and follow Him, we can and will go to heaven!

John 14:6 says, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Asking Jesus to come into your heart isn’t something that you do to put in your back pocket ‘just in case.’  When you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, there is change in you.  The Holy Spirit is residing in you!  We become a new creation in Jesus, and the earth becomes just a temporary home.

Romans 10:9 tells us how we can know for sure when we die that we will be in heaven.  “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus and you’ve haven’t surrendered your life to Him, I encourage and plead with you to call on the name of the Lord.  Tell God that you know you’re unworthy of His grace, but grateful that He’s given it.  Tell Him that you believe He sent His Son to die on the cross for your sins and that you believe He rose again and lives in heaven.  Confess your sin and surrender your life to Him, asking Him to live in your heart.

If you realized that you needed Jesus and prayed, giving your life to Christ, make sure you tell someone!  Share it in the comments, tell a friend, you can even message me or Emily.  But it’s too wonderful of news not to share!

If you still have questions about what it means to surrender your life to Him, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  We would love to talk with you and help you know that you have a home in heaven!

~Erin