Forever is a long time.

Forever is a long time to enjoy the goodness and glory of God’s presence in heaven. Forever is also a long time to be cut off from that loving but just God in hell.

It is for this reason that the question of where you spend your forever should be settled with certainty.

Many people entrust their forever to their belief that they are a part of the right religion or church. Others entrust their forever to their own goodness—that they have obeyed the Golden Rule, been baptized, followed the Ten Commandments, been a good citizen, cared for their family or lived a good life. Forever is a long time, and it’s too serious to be left to doubt. Forever is a long time to be wrong.

The truth is that your and my forever is up to God, our Creator. Just as He is loving and kind, our Creator is just, holy and righteous. The Bible says that He will by no means clear the guilty. By our own measure we can seem to be pretty good people, but by God’s measure we are far from good. God tells us not to steal, yet we steal. God tells us not to lie, yet we lie and make light of it. God tells us not to blaspheme His name, yet we use His name as an obscenity too many times to count. God tells us not to lust and covet, yet we do both. God tells us to honor our parents, yet we have all back-talked and disobeyed them. God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, yet we use the wrong they have done to us as an excuse for malice, hatred and ill-will. God tells us to love Him with all of our hearts, yet our own self-love leaves little room for Him.

You see, God will hold us to our sin and evil and judge us by His word and His standard. To put it another way, the Lord says, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Many people use this very expression as an excuse, thinking that because we all sin, God will somehow overlook or pardon us. He will not. He says He has “appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained,” which is Jesus Christ. If your forever is left to justice for what you have done, your forever is dark.

However, because God is loving and kind, He wants us to escape and be free from the condemnation that we truly deserve because of our sins. This love and grace, as we call it, is the very reason the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world. He did not come into the world to just be a teacher-philosopher or start a new religion. Jesus Christ came into the world to put we erring and wayward people back right with God, when we could not and would not ourselves. The scripture puts it this way: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” That’s you and that’s me. Our forevers are on the line.

The Lord Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and received the justice that we rightfully deserved—the justice that was ours. He bore our sins on the cross and died in our place, that we could be free from sin. The Bible says, “For [God] hath made [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” He that had no sin became sin that we might be righteous. Yet today Jesus is very much alive, having overcome death by life when He rose from the dead. He is very well able to save all that come to Him, that they might have a forever with Him.

But how do you receive Him? Many voices say you need to join a church, change your life, stop sinning or get baptized. Yet the scripture speaks clearly and distinctly. We receive the Lord Jesus Christ by simple faith in Him. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” God says we receive Jesus Christ and the eternal life—the forever—He offers freely by simple faith and trust in Him.

So how sure are you of your forever? The Lord Jesus Christ wants to give you absolute and unwavering confidence that your forever is secure—that you will be with Him—forever.