THE ONLY ONES GOING TO HEAVEN
Following His earthly ministry, Christ returned to heaven to prepare a beautiful eternal home for the saved (John 14:1-3). It has often been said that “heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.” While the Lord is not willing that any should be lost (II Peter 3:9), the fact remains that not everyone will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14). Jesus also spoke of a place prepared for the devil and his angels and said that the lost would be assigned to that place (Matthew 25:41).
A diligent study of the Scriptures will reveal that from among accountable human beings (therefore excluding innocent children and those of defective mental capacities, all of whom are in a state of spiritual safety), the only ones who will go to heaven are:
1. Those who believe in the one true God, “for without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6, emphasis here and following mine, hf).
2. Those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, “for if you do not believe that I (Christ) am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24; see also John 14:6).
3. Those who genuinely repent of their sins, for “unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13: 3, 5; see also Acts 17:30).
4. Those who confess their faith in Christ as the Son of God, because “whoever confesses Me (Christ) before men, him I will also confess before My father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me (Christ) before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33; see also Romans 10:9-10).
5. Those who are baptized (immersed, for such is the meaning of the word) into Christ for the remission of their sins, because “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16; see also Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-6).
6. Those who, by doing the above things, obey the gospel of Christ, because Christ will come again “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thessalonians 1:8).
7. Those who, as a result of doing the above things, are saved from their sins and added by the Lord to the church which He established, for “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
8. Those who, by doing the above things, are reconciled “to God in one body by the cross” (Ephesians 2:14-16; see also Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:4).
9. Those who, as a result of doing the above things, get their names recorded in the Lamb’s Book of life, because “anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
10. Those who, after doing the above things, continue “to observe all things whatever I (Christ) have commanded” and remain faithful to the Lord (Matthew 28:18-20; see also Acts 2:42; Revelation 2:10).
Will you go to heaven when you die? It is not enough to say, “I think I will, I hope I will.” The only ones going to heaven are those who do the things set forth above. Have you done them?
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
October 25, 2016
October 30: Jefferson Pike Church of Christ, LaVergne, TN