walk in the word
Category: Heaven, Salvation
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12
Doing what I do, I go to quite a lot of funerals. You can’t believe some of the things people say about heaven.
“I guess God needed him more up there than down here.” Have you heard that? I understand that the person who says this doesn’t understand biblical teaching and is trying to cope with a very difficult situation. You can’t exactly say to the grieving, “Man, you are way off!” You have to just smile, listen, and hope they find out the truth as soon as possible.
Does this one sound familiar? “He was such a good man. Of course he’s in heaven.” Or, “Everyone is going to heaven.” When was the last time you attended a funeral where the officiating person said, “We are remembering today a person who is not in heaven”? People never say that yet Scripture teaches that most people who die don’t go to heaven. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destructions, and those who enter by it are many” (Matthew 7:13). Few choose the narrow way.
So we cope with a wasted life by misinformation about heaven. It’s tragic. How much better for us to be changed by the facts of Scripture! We will spend our entire time this week on Walk in the Word focusing on heaven. It’s going to be fantastic. It also makes the question, “are you going there?” way more urgent.
The day that each of us will step into eternity is sooner than we think. In preparation for that moment, you need to know this truth: Not everyone is going to heaven.
The apostle John made this distinction very clear. In Revelation 21 he wrote down the vision God gave him of heaven in all its glory. This is what he learned: God Himself will dwell with His people (v.3). God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death, pain, crying will be things of the past (v.4).
But John writes in verse eight that there are some people who will never see heaven. “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Here are two types of people that we are surprised made the list:
The cowardly—those lacking courage, hiding from reality, unwilling to face the facts about God and how to be reconciled to Him.
The faithless—those who have heard the truth about God and His redemptive work and have said, “Nope.” Or, “I’ll believe it another day. Maybe.” And that never happens.
Believing is not a feeling, it’s an act of the will; it involves the mind. If you don’t believe, it is because you choose not to believe. The truths of Christianity have satisfied the greatest minds of human history. If you have not trusted Jesus Christ for your own eternal life it is because you have chosen not to. But that can change. You can choose today to exercise your faith and believe “in Him whom to know is life eternal” (John 17:3).
As awesome as heaven will be for those who trust Jesus Christ as Savior, hell will be that much more awful. We would not wish it on our worst enemy if we understood what the holiness and righteousness of God will do for those who have rejected the full provision of forgiveness in His Son, Jesus Christ. You cannot read the Bible seriously without seeing it over and over again—the line is drawn.
Not everyone is choosing to go to heaven. Are you?
This is so important—please hear me. Can you look to a specific time in your life when you recognized yourself as a sinner and trusted Jesus Christ as your only basis of forgiveness? Have you said, “I am a sinner. I cannot earn my way to heaven. Jesus died to pay for my sin. I receive Him. I repent of my sin and I receive Him as my personal Savior”? Take this to heart on the authority of God’s Word: if you’ve never acknowledged these truths and claimed Christ Jesus’ death on your behalf, you are not going to heaven.
Have you chosen Him? You can make sure right now. Get this one settled for good. Pray this simple prayer from your heart: “Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I repent of my sin. Thank You for dying to pay my debt. I receive You as my forgiveness and my only hope of eternal life. I confess you as my Lord and Savior. Come into my life, Jesus. My life is now yours. Thank You for dying for me.”
Pray with me—Father, I believe that You hear and answer everyone who prays. So I ask You now for Your own glory. Thank You that You have received each one who has called upon Your name and have now given them the authority to be called Your children (John 1:12). Thank You for some who will be with us in eternity because of this moment—none of us because of any righteousness of our own, but because of You, Jesus, and what You have done for us can we be certain of heaven. Amen.
If you’ve responded to this invitation in faith, then please write or call us to let us know. We’d like to encourage you in your new life in Christ.
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