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There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
(Proverbs 16:25)
A stockbroker who writes a large check to his favorite charity, a Buddhist priest who with shaven head goes on a long journey, and a young woman who takes a vow of chastity and goes into a convent don't have much in common, but there is one thing which they do share. Each in his own way is seeking some assurance that if he or she died, God would not forget what they had done.

"All roads lead to Rome!" Right? Do the best you can and surely at the end of the trip, God will take notice; and if you've done more good things than bad things, then surely He will let you in! Agree or disagree? The issue boils down to something very fundamental. Who decides? By what rules do we play the game? Who referees the final play and decides who passes the Final Exam in life? How can you really be sure? Do you ever wonder?

A minister was acquainted with a woman who occasionally attended his services, who believed that nobody could really be sure about life after death. One day the pastor asked her rather bluntly, "Do you have the assurance that if you died today, you would go to heaven?" Somewhat taken aback, she replied, "I hope so..." and then quickly added, "I do not believe that it is possible for anyone to know that in this life." "Oh," said the minister, "then you do not believe the Word of God?" "Most certainly I do," she snapped back, "...every word of it."

"May I show you just one verse in the Bible?" he asked. "There is nothing you can show me that I don't already know," she said, trying to end the conversation. "Just one little verse," he persisted. Taking her Bible he turned to 1 John 5:13 and read to her slowly; "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." "Do you believe that?" he asked. "Certainly," she replied. "Do you believe in the name of the Son of God?" "Yes." "Do you trust in Him, alone, as your Savoir?" he asked. "Yes, I do," she again answered.

The pastor then said, "Well, then you are saved. Have you been born again?" She thought for a minute and said, "Well, I hope so..." "I know your problem," said the pastor. "When you went to school, they used to spell differently!" "What do you mean?" she said. "When you went to school," he continued, "they spelled KNOW, HOPE." He turned to 1 John 5:13 again and read the verse, and the light finally dawned.

The Bible says very plainly that all roads do not lead to Rome. It says, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me" (John 14:6).

The Good News is that you can know that you have eternal life right now. You don't have to wait until you are staring death in the face. And this life is a gift. You don't earn it, you can't buy it. You can only receive it. When Jesus Christ was crucified, God accepted His death in your place. And in so doing, God made it possible for you to be adopted into the family of God. John says, "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:12).

Resource reading: Romans 3:21-31

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Author Biography

Harold J. Sala
Web site: Guidelines International Ministries
Speaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963 and has served at its helm since its inception. Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is broadcast in 49 of the 50 states and is heard the world over in a variety of languages. Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 55 books published in 19 languages. He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren.

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