Many Christians think that going to Heaven is an automatic destination for them when they leave this world, but this is not true according to the Bible. Heaven is a promise to those who have made their reservation while they’re here on earth. Have you made yours?
Heaven is mentioned over 500 times throughout the Bible and each time it’s referred to as a literal place. Jesus said in John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” This place is Heaven, a real, physical dwelling place.
We can find a beautiful description in Revelations 21: 1-5 of the new city of Jerusalem, which is the city where we’ll dwell with Jesus after the devil is thrown into the pit for a thousand years:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.’ And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’”
So many people think that when they die or when their loved ones die that they just automatically go up to Heaven and live with Jesus in a peaceful, joyful, scenic world forever, but this is an error that needs to be addressed. There are only some people going to Heaven when they die, NOT everyone.
Who goes to Heaven? Every Christian who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, who repents of their sinful ways and lives for Jesus, who is born again and whose purpose in life is to follow the precepts of Jesus, will go to Heaven.
Jesus died on the cross for every man, woman and child on this earth. It doesn’t matter who they are, what they’ve done or how sinful they’ve lived their lives; forgiveness at the cross is for everyone who will accept it.
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” … John 3:16
Jesus is the only hope we have of getting into Heaven. He says in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enters in he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture.”
Unfortunately, there aren’t too many people who will find this door and who will accept Jesus as the sacrificial lamb for their sins. So, even though He died for everyone, not everyone will be saved from God’s judgment and punishment.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at.” … Matthew 7:13
It’s God’s plan that everyone should be given the opportunity to break away from the clutches of sin – from the sinful nature of this world – and to accept what Jesus did for them on the cross, but He knew from the onset that not everyone would choose to accept it. He knew that many people would not want to turn from their way of life and see what Jesus did for them on the cross, and He knew that most people would not make it to Heaven. But He died on the cross for them anyway.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” … 2 Peter 3:9
There will be more people who won’t go to Heaven than who will go there, and God outlines for us clearly who will NOT go to Heaven. Just because we’re a nice person doesn’t get us into Heaven. It’s not what we do on the outside, but who we are on the inside that qualifies us as Christians.
“Not everyone that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.” … Matthew 7:21
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists shall inherit the kingdom of God.” … 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
So what Jesus is saying is that people who profess to be Christians and yet do these things are really not Christians at all because the Spirit of God is not in them or else they wouldn’t do them. Christians who have the Spirit of God in them also bare the fruits of the Spirit in their lives and in everything they do.
Yet, many believe that they will still go to Heaven when they die just because in their own eyes they’ve lived “good” lives and believe in God. They think that because they go to church and live decent lives that they’re automatically going to Heaven, but unfortunately, they will also miss it. After all, the devil believes in God and he’s going to hell.
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” … Matthew 25:30
We are Christians because God lives in us and we belong to Him. We have accepted what Jesus did on the cross, repented for our sinful nature and now have HIS nature living in us. But how do we know what is the right way to live?
We read the Bible every day and study it and learn who Jesus is so that our faith and trust in Him will grow as we become His disciples in this lost world.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” … 2 Timothy 2:15
We don’t magically change into a perfect person when we become a Christian; it’s a step-by-step process as we study and learn and then put into practice what we’ve learned. We pray every day and develop a relationship with Jesus, and He will become very real to us. None of us will ever become perfect because we live in a sinful world and its influence is all around us.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” … Romans 3:23
Christians live under grace and what a privilege it is that we don’t have to perform the physical rituals for repentance that they did in the Old Testament. With so much overpowering sin all around us, most of us would spend our lives at the altar just getting forgiven. But through the cross we have the grace where all our sins are forgiven and all we have to do when we slip and do something that we shouldn’t is come before God and tell Him we’re sorry – and then we don’t do it again. (Because if we continue to do it then we really have repented of it)
As Christians, we are saved and we live under grace; we bear the fruit of the Spirit and engage in a daily relationship with Jesus. He IS our ticket into Heaven. Jesus is at Heaven’s door waiting for us to come to Him, and when we come and accept Him, He gives us our reservation for Heaven. No other time; no other way.
Time is running out, but there are reservations left and He wants YOU to get yours. Don’t put it off because they will not be available as a last-minute option when you leave this world and stand before Him. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior today and get your reservation for Heaven now!
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
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