The following is an excerpt from a tract I published a few years after my son’s death. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor, our youngest son fought hard and lived bravely for nine months, and was just shy of fourteen when God healed him. Not in the way we planned for, prayed for or expected but by taking our sweet Tyler home to Heaven. Although I could not imagine it, God has given me much more than simply a reason to get out of bed (which I had thought would be enough) but He has given me laughter and happiness, days filled with joy and nights of sweet rest. He has proven Himself faithful and restored my hope. I wrote these thoughts to be an encouragement to anyone grieving or going through a time when it appears that hope is lost.
Since my son’s death, there have been many times that I thought my days could not be any worse – the hurt in my heart could not be greater nor could the grief that surrounded me be any stronger. But, in truth, my pain could be much worse. The reason that grief does not destroy me and the reason my days can actually be joy-filled is that I have an absolute assurance of seeing my son again and spending eternity together with him in Heaven. Without this hope, my days would be much worse – and, no doubt, not worth the living.
Where do I get this hope? And how do I have this assurance? Because God’s word is true and God’s word is filled with great and mighty promises. Just a year before my son was diagnosed with the inoperable brain tumor, he had asked Jesus Christ to be his savior. God’s word says in Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is a promise and because of it, I know my son was saved.
God’s word also promises all those who have trusted Christ that “to be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). As soon as he took his last breath here, my son awoke in Heaven. I can be certain that he has not only seen saints like Moses and Elijah or Peter and Paul, but he has also seen his grandparents and, most of all, he has seen Jesus. And one day I will be reunited with him in Heaven – for eternity!
How can you know, for sure, that you can spend eternity in Heaven? The Bible makes it so simple that even a child, just like my son, can be saved.
First, admit you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Everyone has sinned and our sin separates us from God. Romans 6:23 tells us plainly that “the wages of sin is death….” That death is permanent separation from God – for eternity – unless the penalty of sin is paid.
The wonderful news is that God, Himself, paid the penalty of every man’s sin. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God commendeth [or proved] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The very reason that Christ died on the cross was to be punished for our sins. He did this simply because He loved every one of us. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
In order to know for sure you are going to Heaven and that you can spend eternity with Christ, you simply need to accept His gift of salvation. Confess that you are a sinner and acknowledge that you are trusting His death for your forgiveness and salvation. You might pray something as simple as this:
Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I believe that You died on the cross and rose again to pay the penalty for my sin. I am placing my full trust in You alone and I accept your gift of eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Knowing that you are saved – no matter what your days may be like – and knowing that you have a home in Heaven – no matter what the future may hold … truly there is nothing better!!