Cartoons . . . Cartoons were a staple of my generation’s childhood. Twenty-five years ago, when a boy would wake up on a Saturday morning, he was enticed to go into the kitchen, pour a bowl of his favorite cereal and then sit down in solitude while everyone else was still asleep in front of the family television set in the living room, where his favorite Saturday morning cartoons were on. Characters frantically chased each other with weapons, a rabbit-crazed hunter chasing an obnoxious bunny with his hunting rifle, and my favorite was one that starred a particularly blue cat named Tom, and a brown mouse named Jerry.
One particular episode is especially memorable. Tom (the cat) was chasing Jerry (the mouse) and something happened where they were both killed. Jerry, who was always assumed to be the innocent and “good” one of the duo, went to heaven on an exceedingly long escalator, where he appeared before the “pearly gates” and entered heaven with angel’s wings and a harp, where he enjoyed everlasting bliss by floating on a cloud and playing his given instrument. Tom on the other hand, who was the mischievous and deviant one, yet usually the sucker, was sent to a flame-infested hell, where he was tortured and tormented by red-bodied demons with pitchforks, horns and nasty teeth. Tom experienced pain and fear while being dunked in a cauldron of hot fire.
Quite an image, isn’t it? The portrayal of both places, although not entirely accurate on either side, is striking. Cartoons aside, Heaven and Hell are very real places, where which a person, when they die, will enter either of the two. The question quickly becomes, “since there’s a heaven and a hell, and I’m going to die one day and go to one of them, how can I get to heaven and not hell?”
The most important thing in this life is what or whom you choose to believe in. The only way to get to heaven is by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way to get there. He said it Himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (gets to heaven) except through me” (John 14:6). The truth about Him is that He is God, came down from heaven as a baby, lived a sinless and perfect life, and then died on a cross for our sins and rose to life from the dead three days later. What allows a person to go to heaven is by believing (putting their faith and trust) in Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for our sins and rose again. That’s it! He paid the punishment due to us from our sins! Being a good person or doing good deeds has nothing to do with us getting to heaven, it is by faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Tom and Jerry, once they died, were right back in full health during the next episode, as if nothing had ever happened to them. That kind of life is great for a cartoon, but is totally unrealistic for a human being. Once you die, friend, that’s it. There are no more episodes, no more re-runs. Suppose once you finish reading this, you decide to go home. Once you enter your car, turn the ignition on and enter the freeway. A large Semi-truck didn’t see you merging and runs into your vehicle from behind, snapping your neck. You die instantly. My friend, if this happens to you, would you know for sure that you would go to heaven? And how would you know?
As much as we would like to think that life is a cartoon… unfortunately, it is not. What we need is real life, and Jesus Christ gives us just that, eternal Life. What will you do with Him today?