Happy Sabbath! I was struck by a video the other day that helped me put something in perspective. Four apples.
If the world's population is about 8 billion (April 2021) and the entire number was represented by four apples, then each apple is worth two billion. Easy math.
1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say, as with a voice of thunder, "Come!"
2 And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and its rider had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!"
4And out came another horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that men should slay one another; and he was given a great sword.
5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I saw, and behold, a black horse, and its rider had a balance in his hand;
6 and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm oil and wine!"
7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!"
8 And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.
Revelation 9:13-15 describes the death of another 2 billion in Trumpet judgements.
13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God,
14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphra'tes."
15 So the four angels were released, who had been held ready for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, to kill a third of mankind.
16 The number of the troops of cavalry was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number.
17 And this was how I saw the horses in my vision: the riders wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulphur, and the heads of the horses were like lions' heads, and fire and smoke and sulphur issued from their mouths.
18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulphur issuing from their mouths.
Revelation 20:14 tells us what's to become of Hades, with those 4 billion souls. It's not good.
14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
If you tell yourself that you're a nice person, and you can make it to Heaven on your own, your odds aren't very good according to this math.
If you "said the prayer" and didn't give salvation another thought after that, consider these verses:
57 As they were going along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head."
59 To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
60 But he said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61 Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home."
62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."
Once you make the decision to follow Christ, you don't just return to your home, your old habits, your old life. You don't have to turn into a sign-waving loony on a street corner, but you do have to commit to being made new. There's no sacrifice that covers sin committed in willful defiance of God's covenant. If you think you can blame that sin on someone else, you're wrong.
I pray you're one of the apples that makes it.