When my family and I were about to head to Florida for our family vacation a couple of weeks ago, we stopped by a restaurant for lunch. As we waited for our table, we noticed the various signs and wall decorations that hang all around us, and my husband noticed a sign in particular and took a picture of it, thinking this quote provides a good idea for a lesson. As you can see from the picture, the sign says, " No matter how far you've gone down the wrong road, turn around!" This sign is true in many ways, especially when it comes to our own spirituality.
God, through His Infinite Grace and Mercy, allows us to have free will in this life, where we either choose to follow Him, or follow the world. "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps." (Proverbs 16:9). If we follow God, then He will reward us with Heaven, however, if we choose to follow the world instead of God, we sin against Him and cannot enter into Heaven. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21).
What if a Christian falls away from God, and follows Satan down the "wrong road" of sin? Can a Christian ever turn back, and be saved again? The answer to this question can be found in various places in the Bible. For example, the apostle Peter, who loved Jesus and was a faithful follower of Christ, ended up denying Jesus three times before the rooster crowed, just as Jesus said he would do in Luke Chapter 22. Once the rooster crowed, however, Peter realized what he had done and "wept bitterly" (v. 62). Peter would go onto become an elder in the church of Christ ( I Peter 5:1) , and outside sources state that Peter died for the cause of Christ by being crucified upside down. In fact, in John 21:15-19, as Peter re-affirmed his love for the Savior, Christ makes it clear that Peter would suffer a death of giving his life for the Most Holy Cause of Christ. Earlier, the apostle Peter went down the wrong road of sinning against Christ, but "turned around" again by repenting of the wrong he had done. Instead of allowing the sin to bring him down permanently, Peter flourished as a Christian and defender of the faith until his death.
Like the sign at the restaurant we visited states, no matter how long we have been in sin, we can always turn back to God. God will receive us with open arms, and forgive us of our sins, IF we repent. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ( I John 1:9).
The key to a happy life, however, is to not waste time living your life for yourself, but living it for God. Only true and faithful Christians can know what it means to have the best lives here on the Earth (John 10:10). However, if you are a Christian, and you have drifted from the Way into an unholy life of sin and have fallen away from God, you can turn around and get back on the right path to eternal salvation through repentance of your sins and showing the fruits meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8). In order to show the fruits meet for repentance, you must show that you have changed, and have turned completely away from the sins you have committed.
In order for Christians to know if we are on the right road to Heaven, we must know God's Word through daily Bible study (Psalm 1, II Timothy 2:15), regular worship service attendance (Hebrews 10:25), a healthy prayer life (I Thessalonians 5:17), and being in the habit of self-examination to make sure that there is nothing amiss in our lives (II Corinthians 13:5). Everything that we can do here on the earth to make sure that we are not going down the "wrong road" is worth it when it comes to the wonderful bliss we will experience in Heaven! Do not ever feel that you have gone too far from the Lord to turn back! You CAN turn back!