Something Dale Would Like You to Know

Hi, my name is Dale.  I’m from Washington State, and I live with my dad, mom, and four sisters.  I get good grades in school and just got in my church’s youth group.  I like playing basketball, building stuff with Legos, and annoying my sisters.  I guess you could say I’m living a pretty normal life.  Just like you, I’m making plans for the future, trying to figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up, what I’m going to do, and where I’m going to live.  People say that I’ve got my whole life ahead of me – that I should make it count for something.  What I didn’t know was how much life I really have.

I was playing at the ocean with my friends one day, when I and two of my friends were pulled into the undertow.  People say I was in the water for 15-20 minutes before anyone could reach me.   When they got me to the beach I wasn’t breathing, and they had to perform CPR.  I was rushed to the local hospital, and then airlifted to another hospital in Portland, Oregon.  Doctors didn’t give me much of a chance to come out OK or even come out alive.  It’s incredible how drastically your life can change from one day to another.  Fortunately, no matter what happens to me in my life, I know exactly what will happen to me afterwards.  Do you?
Ever since I can remember, my parents have taken me to church every week…actually three times every week.  My parents teach me about God, the Bible, and living a good life; however, the most important thing they ever taught me was how to be sure I was going to Heaven when I die.  Let me explain:
The Bible teaches us that nobody is perfect or even good in God’s eyes.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Romans 3:10-12)

The reason is because we are all sinners.  Sin is anything we do that breaks God’s laws.  No matter who you are or how good you try to be, God says everyone has sinned and come short of His glory.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)

God tells us how He feels about our sin, and the news is not very good.
For the wages of sin is death... (Romans 6:23)
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Revelation 20:14)

You see, God hates sin so much that He punishes those who sin with Hell.  This is not good news, because God says we’ve all sinned. 
Fortunately, even more than God hates sin, God loves me and you.  Because God knew that we would never see Him again if we had to pay for our own sin, He paid for us.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

When Jesus came to Earth over 2,000 years ago, He came so that He could die for us.   Jesus lived a perfect life, which is something that nobody could ever do.  He was beaten, mocked, whipped, and nailed to a cross.  Jesus died to pay for our sin.  Three days after they put Jesus’ body in the tomb, He arose and went back to Heaven.  Now Jesus lives again and wants us to live with Him in Heaven one day.
That’s the gift of God – eternal life in Heaven with Jesus and all those who trust in Him.  Even better news is that this gift is available to everyone!  All you have to do is ask!
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

That’s it!  You don’t have to do anything.  Going to church won’t help.  Giving money won’t help.  Not even trying to change your ways and live a good life will help.  Jesus said that the only way you can get to Heaven is through Him.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

This is what I’ve done.  Some time back, I realized my own good deeds and Christian upbringing could not save me.  I realized Jesus paid for everything, and all I had to do was ask for His free gift.  That’s all you have to do as well.
Your life is just as uncertain as mine.  Just like I had no idea how a trip to the beach would change my life, you never know which day could be your last.  The only thing you can be sure about is what will happen to you after you die.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1John 5:13)

If you want to know that you’re on your way to Heaven, like I know it, all you need to do is pray and ask God to save you.  Here’s a little prayer similar to the one I said.  It’s not a specific prayer, but one that shows God I’m being honest with myself and with Him.
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner.  I understand that I deserve to go to Hell because of my sin.  But I know that Jesus died for me so that I could be saved.  I want to accept Your gift of eternal life.  I want to go to Heaven when I die, and I am trusting You to take me there.  Thank you for saving me. Amen.

I was taught that I need to make my life count for something.  Maybe God can use what happened in my life to get other people thinking about their own future.  If you prayed and asked God to save you, I would love to know about it.  It would be great to know that God is using my story to help other people.  Just leave a comment on my blog or contact my church at 253.537.2504.  I’d love to hear from you.

(Written by Tim Minge from Dale's perspective, with permission from Dale's dad.)