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How Do We Get to Heaven?

It’s a beautiful day in Iowa today… clear skies, cool temps (warming up today, which will be nice) and everything seems right with the world.  I know God is on his throne, and all the good people who die today will certainly be in Heaven.


A close friend of mine recently spoke wistfully about a friend of theirs.  A very kind person.  A very good person who cared much more for others than themselves.  They passed away a number of years ago, and my friend believes without a doubt that their friend will be in Heaven when they get there.

Because they were good.

I quizzed my friend about this to be sure I was hearing them correctly… no doubt the confidence was there with nothing else to support it… they were a very good person, perhaps the best person they knew, and therefore they had to be in Heaven.

I don’t know the person they spoke of.  I don’t know how good they were or if they had a relationship with Christ.  I simply don’t know if they are in Heaven or not.

Frankly, if they had professed faith in Jesus Christ and I saw the kind of fruit that my friend saw in them, I would likely have similar confidence.  I am confident of the eternal position of many people, including my own wife (who is still with us), and my mother (who went to be with the Lord in the 1990s), along with others who have professed Christ and demonstrate a life influenced by that profession.

Just so I’m clear, I think having hope that our loved ones are in Heaven is fine.  If you are not a believer and hold this idea, I really don’t want to burst your bubble because frankly it’s just not my place and I lack facts.  Even lacking evidence or expression of their faith, anything can happen in one’s life in their final moments so there is always hope.

In the case of this friend of mine, I am still out to lunch about their own place in eternity because the conversation comes up only briefly with an attestation that they believe in Jesus.  We can talk another time about why the conversation hasn’t progressed.

If you are a believer, I would have to confront you about this if you wrapped your assurance of another’s salvation around how good they were.  I will tell you the best person I know (my wife) is not good enough to go to Heaven.  I am not good enough to get into Heaven.  You (reading this) are not good enough to get into Heaven.  

But I also don’t want anyone to be misinformed about the truth of the Gospel, which tells us clearly how we get to spend eternity in Heaven with God.

We are all sinful people.  No matter how nice someone is to you, they are sinners just like you and me.  We need to stop seeing people’s lives under the facade of their Facebook pages.  The sin in all of our lives is abhorrent to our holy God.  In his letter to the Romans, Paul says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  In Psalm 14, David says (and is later quoted by Paul in Romans): “There is none who does good, not even one.”

Jesus himself says this: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Again in Romans, Paul says: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Eternal life with God comes only through this: trusting that 1) Jesus  Christ is God, 2) the work of Jesus on the cross is the only sufficient price for my sin, and 3) I accept Jesus’ work that I may be his follower.  If you have truly done this, you will spend eternity with God.  If you haven’t, I implore you to do so today and pray for God’s forgiveness and the gift of his Son’s death to cover all of your sins!  Then your friends and family may know you will be in Heaven when you die, and perhaps they might come to faith as well.

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