Will I Go To Heaven?
Published on 18 August 2020
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. .
John. 14: 1-3 (NLT)
One only has to trawl through the annals of human history to discover that the question of entry into Heaven, and the subsequent contention of ‘how to enter it’, has been always universally present. Australian aboriginals who, anthropologists argue, are the longest unbroken human civilisation, pictured Heaven as a distant island beyond the western horizon. If you did a comparative world religions study, you would find that the afterlife is a key distinctive in each one of them: Islam has Jannah or Paradise and Buddhists and Hindus, within their pantheistic worldview, share the belief in Nirvana or Moksha (the attainment of enlightenment). Our Jewish friends, on the other hand, do not have a firm concept of this.
The Christian, or followers of Christ, have also always had a firm belief and understanding of their eternal states. Archaeologists, in recent times, have discovered that the Roman catacombs, where the bodies of many martyred Christians were buried, contained inscriptions such as these:
Wow! What confidence in that statement! It imbues a resolute certainty— almost an arrogant confidence— if not understood properly. Is this early Christian being facetious in regard to his salvation? I don’t believe so. Coming back to that short comparative religious analysis that we did, I would argue, that it is the Christian faith which is distinctly-separate in its approach, not only towards Heaven, but also towards the vexing question of ‘Who can enter Heaven?’ or ‘Will I go to Heaven?’
An eternal guarantee
About 18 months ago, I dropped my Macbook pretty hard on a concrete floor in the office. Ouch! Lo and behold, when I tried to switch the computer on, it crackled and produced fuzzy lines, which is never a good sign for a computer! I nervously booked an appointment with Apple, expecting to pay a hefty repair fee. To my amazement they said that my Macbook had 3 more days of warranty left. 3 more days!! And I didn’t have to pay a cent. My Macbook was completely replaced. PTL!
Do you know that the Christian faith, through the work of Jesus Christ, gives us a guarantee as well? What’s even better is the fact that it is an eternal guarantee. What is this guarantee? It is eternal life with God if we believe in Jesus and what He has done for us.
Jesus Answered, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 3:16-18 (NIV)
These verses in the gospel of John, put it profoundly and yet simply. They address our universal human condition, sin and death—which is a subsequent result. G. K. Chesterton, the famous British orator, put it this way: “What we need is not a religion that is right where we are right, but one that is right where we are wrong.” What does this mean? Essentially, Chesterton highlights the unique disposition of the Christian religion; we are unable to save ourselves and no amount of good works will suffice. We were dead in our sin, dead in our rebellion towards God and dead in our deeds, our words and actions. The result of this death is not only temporary, but also eternal. After all, what you sow (death) is what you eventually reap (death).
I have good news for you though: Jesus did not come to make bad people good; He came to make dead people come alive. The panacea, or ‘cure’, therefore, is found in Jesus. Jesus paid the price for our wrongs, He reconciles us with God and He gives us life and life more abundantly. He provides a plan, vision and destiny for our lives. Where sin crept in to produce death, faith in Jesus produces life.
Paul, in his thesis to the Roman church, expounds this thought:
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
Nothing can separate us from God’s eternal love and our place in Heaven, if we place our faith in Jesus. Why is this necessary? Well, the fundamental premise is this: we are, unfortunately, unable to save ourselves. No amount of good works can draw us closer to God and no amount of penance will suffice. No other prophet or religious figure can save us. Only Jesus, the Son of God, was worthy to pay the penalty for our sins, demanded by God’s holiness (Revelation 5:4-5 and 9-10).
Acts 4:12 tells us that salvation is found nowhere else but with Jesus. What’s the cost of receiving this salvation? Well, let me tell you today, that it is a free gift and available to all through faith. We are therefore reconciled with God, only through faith in Jesus. What a simple, powerful and free truth to receive today!
I remember when I first experienced the saving grace of Jesus, through His death, burial and resurrection, when I was 15. It was at a youth camp in the cool mountains of Genting Highlands, Malaysia. I did not come from a Christian home and knew very little, if anything, about Jesus. It was my cousin-in-law who convinced me to come to this camp. I was reluctant at first; it was school holidays after-all! But he kept asking and I relented. I remember saying “yes” to Jesus on the second night, when a deep sense of His presence was felt in that meeting, that I couldn’t explain. When the ‘altar call’ was given, I felt so compelled by God’s kindness, love and acceptance, to walk forward and accept Him as my Lord and Saviour. I felt washed clean and forgiven, just like John promises us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us of our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). I felt like a new creation that day. The old had gone and the new was here. That was many years ago and I know my name is now written in the Book of Life. But it is not just my eternal destiny that is secured and guaranteed. I also am living a fulfilled life in Christ, because He comes to give life, and life to the full. (John 10:10)
I love this quote by D.L. Moody, one of Christendom’s saints. He writes about death: “Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead. Don’t believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before.”
We have all fallen short of God’s holy standard; that is the curse begotten from Adam and Eve. We only have to look at the world around us to see brokenness, corruption destitution and debauchery. The wages of this sin is death but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life in Christ (Romans 6:23). Heaven is available and a free gift for you. Will you go to Heaven? The answer is an unequivocal YES if you have received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour! He has prepared a place for you, it is guaranteed in Christ. Hallelujah!