Get Your Ticket to Heaven

God Gave His Son John 3:16 Here is what love is. It is not that we loved God. It is that He loved us and sent His Son to give His life to pay for our sins.
1 John 4:10 (NIRV)

I used to think my mistakes were too big, too many, and too deliberate for God to forgive. My shame told me God couldn’t love be because I’d turned my back on Him.

But I wanted God in my life so I tried to make up for my past by getting involved in church, attending regularly, taking Bible study. I tried to earn His love by following Jesus’ teaching. But I could never be sure I’d done enough to compensate for my mistakes. Did He love me yet? Am I in? Had I earned my ticket to heaven?

That’s where I stumbled. It’s never enough. Ever since Adam and Eve rebelled against God, we too have been trying to do things our own way instead of God’s way. As much as we try, we can’t ever do enough to get right with God. The crazy thing is that we’re already right with God because Jesus made us right by His death on the cross.  All we have to do is believe it and claim God’s love. The ticket to heaven is free. Even so, letting go of my shame and accepting God’s view of me took time.

I love God because He loved me first. He accepted me in spite of myself.

The ‘stumbling block’ is that we receive God’s love by faith. We can’t earn His love by good deeds. Following Jesus doesn’t make us right with God. Until we stop focusing on our own efforts to please God we miss the point. We’re only right with God by believing that Jesus died on the cross in order to remove our sins. We follow Jesus in response to His love for us.

If you have time, explore these related posts:
Demonstrating Salvation with Good Works
Exchange Guilt for Grace 
When I Loved Jesus for the Benefits

I’ve added links to supporting scripture. Click on the colored text to dig deeper.


  1. Marilyn Nutter on February 18, 2020 at 12:41 PM

    The love of God- and old hymn says if the ocean were ink it would be enough for me to express how much He loves us. Cathy, you give a clear distinction between faith and works. Nothing I do or don’t removes Gods love for me.

  2. Julie Lavender on February 18, 2020 at 4:22 PM

    Thank you for the reminders! Great message here.

    • CathyChung on February 18, 2020 at 8:48 PM

      Thanks Julie

  3. Jeanne Doyon on February 18, 2020 at 6:24 PM

    Truth to share and shout from the housetops. Let the whole world know!!

    • CathyChung on February 18, 2020 at 8:48 PM

      Amen! Let the whole world know.

  4. J.D. Wininger on February 18, 2020 at 8:40 PM

    Loved it Ms. Cathy. The gift of salvation; the requirement for entry into heaven, is indeed free, but I worry so many Christians fool themselves into believing their salvation is real. I see many who are fooled to believe they proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord gives them a free pass into heaven. I believe, in reality, true salvation changes us. I’ve seen many who proclaim their salvation, then go onto live out their sinful lives without any remorse or any visible signs of true salvation. If you are not changed, if you are transformed by being sealed by the Holy Spirit, then I fear you are not truly saved. As God’s word tells us, all those who cry out “Lord, Lord” are not known to Christ. I pray any who are fooled will realize this. If you can sin and not feel remorse, pain, or anguish, then you need to check yourself cause something ain’t right. 🙂 God’s blessings for proclaiming the truth ma’am.

    • CathyChung on February 18, 2020 at 8:47 PM

      I completely agree J.D. Accepting God’s grace, when authentic, must change us. Otherwise you have not truly owned and repented of your sins. You are unaware of your sinful state and unappreciative of the gift God gives. True appreciation results in change. Imperfect still, but restored life. I too fear and pray for those who are fooled. I had a long conversation with one such person this morning raised in the Catholic church.

  5. Robin Banister Wilson on October 31, 2023 at 10:45 AM

    I am really enjoying your blogs. You also remind me so much of your mom. Just know your making a difference! Hope to see you one day in the future, much love- Robin

    • CathyChung on November 1, 2023 at 11:41 AM

      Thank you Robin. I do believe Mom would be proud. I am just finished with seminary and finally launching my ministries – preaching, writing, speaking, teaching. Thank you for following the blog and engaging. It makes a difference in helping people find Seeds and grow.

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