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STUDY SERIES:    Going Home                                                                            SESSION No. 5

WHO’S GOING?

INTRODUCTION:

So far we have explored a number of aspects about “going home to heaven”. We have not talked about arriving or what we will do when we get there!! In other words, we are not looking at what “home” (heaven) is like; rather it is the preparation and the beginning of the journey that has occupied our minds.

Which brings us to some key questions, “Who will make this journey?” “Is everybody welcome?” “What will it cost the traveller?” “What about those who refuse to prepare and make the journey?”

The answer to the question, “Who’s Going Home?” is fairly easy to answer. In a word, FAMILY. That’s who usually goes to a destination called “home”, isn’t it?

The real question is “Who makes up this family? The Bible refers to family members as those who have been adopted by God into His family. i.e. those who legitimately call God “Father” because His life is within them by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

INTERACTION:  Talk together about belonging to God’s family. Are you part of the God’s “Forever” Family? These three verses below can give you an insight in this regard.

“At that time Moses was born—a beautiful child in God’s eyes. His parents cared for him at home for three months.
When they had to abandon him, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and raised him as her own son. Acts 7:20-21 (NLT)

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NLT)

And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. Romans 8:23 (NLT)

So think again about the question, how does one get to be adopted into God’s family?

 The issue for many people today so far as going to heaven is concerned is the matter of being good enough. It’s fair enough to say that those who hope to go to heaven after they die base their hope on living “a good life” by which they usually mean that the good they have done will outweigh the bad. The problem with that approach is that the pass mark is 100% - not 51%!! In other words, none of us are good enough.

INTERACTION:  What are you depending upon to be assured you will go to heaven when you die?

I’ve heard this statement many times at funeral services: “If ever anyone deserves to go to heaven, good old ‘Harold’ does!” This is usually followed by a list of the many good things Harold did; the community service he performed, the charities he helped, the family he raised…the list goes on. However, if Harold does go to heaven, it won’t be because he deserved to do so. It will be because he was adopted into God’s family by trusting himself to Jesus and he was “going home”.

The key to being adopted into God’s family depends entirely upon the one person who was and is good enough - the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s the only one who has passed the 100% test. How does that help us?

What if God made a way for us to be adopted into his family based on the 100% test? Because that is what happened. Christ’s righteousness credited to our account, so to speak. Our acceptance into God’s forever family is based solely on Christ’s victory, not our failure.

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT)

In other words, a substitution has taken place. The sinless Jesus Christ took my sin upon Himself and suffered my death in my place. In turn, He placed His righteousness on me so that I could stand in the presence of God as though I never sinned. He died as though He committed every sin.

Sometimes we hear people talk about having their “ticket to heaven” as though such a ticket was a reward for living a “decent” life. In the light of what we have shared in this session, we would do better if we talked about a “certificate of adoption”.

Our next session will the last in this series when we think about “breaking camp”.

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