Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Will You Go To Heaven?

What do you think, will you go to heaven when you die?

If you answered yes, how do you know? Is your answer based on some belief you concocted in your mind or because of something someone once told you? On what do you base your answer? I've heard some people say they deserve to go to heaven because they have lived a good life. If that is true and all you have to do is be good, how good do you have to be? Better than a murderer, a thief, or a liar? Or as good as Mother Theresa? Is there a level of good you have to attain or just be better than someone else? Just how good is good-enough?

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." Titus 3:5

When it comes to heaven I'd rather not guess at whether I'm good enough or not - chances are I'm not. I don't want to take that chance, and be wrong. I'd rather know for sure. The Bible says that Jesus is the one who decides who goes to heaven and who doesn't. He uses a metaphor and calls himself the door and the gate. He said He is the Way and that no one can come to the Father (God) but through Him. He also said He has gone to prepare a place for those who believe Him, that where He is there they may be also.

"I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture."
John 10:9

If we were good enough to make it into heaven on our own, God would not have sent His son to die on a cross for our sin. He didn't want us trying to make it their on our own without Him. After all heaven belongs to Him, it is where He resides, and He makes the rules not us. He wants people there with Him who care about what He says. People who love Him and obey His rules for getting there. God isn't going to give heaven to those who disregard what He says and could care less about having a relationship with Him. Just like parents aren't going to prepare a wonderful new home for a grown child who lives his life recklessly, disregarding everything they say.

The Bible is pretty clear about how a person gets into heaven, it's through Jesus and Him alone. So what does that mean? Well, it doesn't mean if you repeated some words of a prayer many many years ago and haven't followed Jesus since. It doesn't mean if you checked a box on a form and put it in the offering plate and shabam you got a magical get-into-heaven-free card for the rest of your life. But what it does mean is that if you have met Jesus and made a conscious decision to change direction, to turn away from sin and living for yourself to live for Him, and if you are desiring to follow Him and love Him enough to want to obey His words, then He says you are His disciple. He said the way is narrow and few find it. People want a wide way because they want it their way, whatever way they choose, but Jesus said it's narrow because it is Him and Him alone - no other way.

 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it." Matthew 7:13

It doesn't really matter if we like His way or not. Heaven belongs to Him and He can make the rules on how to get in. No amount of fit throwing or arguing will change that fact. He is the King and it is His kingdom.

And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
Revelations 19:16
I think it is very generous of Him to offer it to us in the first place. Think about it. He created it. He paid the price for us to enter into it. He said it is ours with just one request - believe in Him enough to follow Him there.

So, back to my original question. Will you go to heaven?