Are you going to Heaven? There is a growing tendency to believe that all good people, whether or not they consider Jesus Christ to be their Savior, will live in Heaven after they die on earth. In 2005 a Barna survey found that 54% agree, 39% disagree that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life; they will earn a place in Heaven. So what does the Bible say about those who will be going to Heaven?
Heaven, as described by the Bible, is certainly a wonderful place. The Bible defines Heaven as the eternal dwelling place of God in Isaiah 66:1, “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne….” When Jesus taught His disciples to pray He taught them to pray by addressing God the Father, “which art in heaven…”(Matthew 6:9) this also illustrates that God dwells in Heaven. Not only is Heaven the dwelling place of God but also the Bible describes many other wonderful characteristic of this eternal Paradise.
First, the Bible describes Heaven as a place of eternal rest. Revelation 21:3-4 tells us “…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.” Hebrews 4:9-11 and Revelation 14:13 also teach that Heaven is a place of eternal rest. This is a major contrast from Hell. Jesus points out in His teachings that Hell is a constant place of unrest where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12, 22:13,24:51, 25:30), torment (Luke 16:23), and eternal fire (Matthew 25:41). Unlike Hell, Heaven is a place of eternal peace and rest for the Christian’s weary soul.
Second, the Bible also states that Heaven is a better dwelling place or a better country. We who live in the United States of America live in a great country, yet it is not Heaven. Many problems exist here because of sin, just look at the daily newspaper. Heaven is a better country, far better than the United States. Heaven is a better place because there will be no more sin, no more death, no more sorrow, no more evil, and no more of the things that break our heart. Hebrews 11:16 reminds that the faithful long for a better country; far better than anything anyone can ever hope for or imagine.
Third, Heaven will also be a place of fellowship. Primarily, Heaven will be a place of fellowship with God. One day the Bride of Christ (the church) will dwell with her Groom according to Revelation 21:3. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 affirms that Christian will, “…ever be with the Lord.” What joy it will be to dwell with God for all eternity. Next, Heaven will also be a place of fellowship with others who have been found faithful in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 teaches that Heaven is for those people who have died as faithful Christians and those who are Christians that are alive at Christians return at which time they will be gather together and taken to Heaven. The Bible also shows that the Believer’s identity will be known to one another such as the case with Moses and Elijah on the Mt. Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-13 and the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31.
Fourth, the wonder and beauty of Heaven as it is describe in the Bible is also a place of unending joy as seen in Isaiah 35:10 and Revelation 21:4. Revelations 2:7 states, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” In 2 Corinthians 12:4 it also affirms that Heaven is a place of paradise.
Fifth, the Bible portrays Heaven as such a wonderful place that its joy is beyond imagine. It is no wonder that many people want to go there. Yet Heaven is only for the Saved. 2 Corinthians 5:1 tells us that Heaven is where Christians will dwell with God for eternity. If mankind wants to dwell with God in Heaven then they must be found in Christ to do so (Philippians 3:9). People cannot just pray themselves in, or do enough good deeds, or just desire their way into Heaven. The Bible proclaims that we must believe that Jesus is the Christ. John 3:16 makes known that, “…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 goes on to point out in John 3:36 that this belief is just not head knowledge but an obedient faith, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 declares that if individuals want to avoid the flaming fire and vengeance of the Lord they must obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the Good News that Jesus Christ lived, died, was buried, and resurrected on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). When mankind obeys Christ’s Gospel by confessing Christ before men, Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Upon this confession of faith the sinner who truly believes in Christ as the Son of God must repent of their sins, Luke 13:3 “…but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” One’s repentance will lead them to be buried with Christ by immersion in water, as commanded in Acts 2:38, “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” In Romans 6:4 it reads, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” This teaches that at ones baptism they begin a new life in Christ, where salvation is bestowed upon the sinner and they begin their journey to Heaven.
As one reads the Bible it is clear that Heaven is a place prepared by Christ. In John 14:2 Jesus tells His disciple that Heaven will be a place prepared for many people. Scripture even points out that God desires all to repent and be saved (1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9) so they can go to Heaven. Yet Jesus also reminds that not all that desire to go to Heaven will be there, only those who hear and do His will (Matthew 7:21-24). As one reads Scripture one can understand that Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
The late gospel preacher Marshall Keeble once said in a gospel meeting, “The Bible is right! You can leave this meeting and go home mad, but the Bible is still right. You can fuss at Keeble all night, but the Bible is right! All men can die and go to Hell, but the Bible is still right!” The Bible is right, and it is where one must begin if they want to go to Heaven. The Apostle John said in 1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” If one wants to know how they can have eternal life then they must begin with God’s Word, the Bible. It is the souls only guide in the journey to ones eternal reward. People just cannot be good enough to go to Heaven; we must be in Christ and obey Him. Are you going to Heaven? Written by Mark T. Tonkery