walk in the word
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:12
Doing what I do, I go to more than my share of funerals. You can’t believe some of the things people think 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 but is trying to cope with a very difficult situation. You can’t exactly say to the grieving, “Boy, 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 the fact is, Scripture teaches that most people who die don’t go to heaven. “Broad is the road that leads to destruction. Narrow is the road that leads to eternal life.” (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 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.
There will be a day that each of us will step into eternity. And it’s sooner than we think. In preparation for that moment, I want you to know the truth: Not everyone is going to heaven.
The apostle John wanted to make this distinction very clear. In Revelation 21, God gave him a vision of heaven in all its glory. God Himself will dwell with His people (v.3). He 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 for the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, and murders and sexually immoral, sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death.”
Here are two that hit home:
The cowardly. . . those lacking courage, hiding from reality, unwilling to face the facts about God and how to be reconciled to Him.
The unbelieving. . . 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 they won’t believe.
Believing is an act of the will; it involves the mind. It is not a feeling. 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.
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 again—the line is drawn.
Not everyone is choosing to go to heaven.
Hear me, please. 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? I beg you to make sure right now. Don’t roll the dice on this one. You don’t want to be in the “I thought I was saved” line. 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.
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