Will I get into Heaven when I die?
Many people believe that the majority of us will go to Heaven when they die. They would say that those who have done major ‘bads’ such as murder, stolen bigger things like robbed banks or peoples homes, hurt people, or other similar things will not get to Heaven; but that most people are relatively good and will get to Heaven. Others believe that as long as we were a member of a Church or had been baptised either as an infant or as an adult we will go to Heaven.
Where do these conclusions come from? Is it passed down through the generations in our families of what they believe, is it taught in our Churches, is it passed along from friends and acquaintances. Like many other important decisions we make in our lives, it is important for you to know what is true and what is not.
As children generally we were taught that if you are good you get rewards and if you do bad things you can get punished or have rewards taken from you. Even as adults in the world, things generally work this way, promotions, careers and jobs are gained or lost depending generally on how ‘good or bad’ you are at handling situations in our lives at home or at work.
At this point it would be important for you to see what God has said in His word, called the Bible.
Have you always followed the Ten Commandments:
1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6 “You shall not murder.
7 “You shall not commit adultery.
8 “You shall not steal.
9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”
Lets read these carefully as we consider the following. Have you ever broke any of these, you never took God's name in vain, you never committed adultery (not even thought about it), never stole anything (that includes the small things too), never told a lie (includes the little white ones), etc.
Everyone sins or has done something wrong in there lives and sin keeps us out of Heaven. It could be saying bad words, stealing of any kind - yes even the “little things”, wrong attitudes toward others, and on and on. The Bible says in Romans 3:12 ‘There is none who does good, no not one’.
Read over all those commands carefully again. You should be careful at this point that you are objective to what the Bible says on this or any subject for that matter. You need to be willing to acknowledge the sins you have done and are still doing. By the way there are over 600 commands in the Bible; not just these 10.
Some believe that being a good person such as helping the poor & needy, going to church, becoming a church members or member of good volunteer groups, etc. will earn them a right to Heaven. In Eph. 2:8,9 it says ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast’. First it is by God’s grace and nothing of yourself that you can ever get to Heaven; God’s ways are not like our ways in which doing good things or ‘works’ as God calls it has no merit in helping you get to Heaven.
If you could earn your way there through any sort of good deeds or works; then how would you know when you did enough good things. Also and even more important, if you could earn your right into Heaven then there would have been no reason for Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sin. What He endured on your behalf would have futile. SIN, what me; let’s look at this a little later.
Still others believe that being a member of a Church or being baptised will earn them a right into Heaven. There is not one single verse in Bible that backs up Church membership as an avenue into Heaven. Baptism is an outward expression of obedience, not an act that can have any power to earn you any right into Heaven.
So how can you assure a place in Heaven?
You need to be rescued from penalty of sin. The Bible says you must be born again. You need to recognize that you have sinned and fall short of the mark that God has set for us. In Romans 10:9,10 it says to ‘Confess with your mouth(a sinner), believe (trust Jesus) in your heart...’. In Act 4:12 it says ‘There is no salvation in any other that you might be saved...’ The Bible is clear that there is no other way to get saved from Hell apart from recognizing you are a sinner needing salvation.
Jesus said in John 14:6 ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ Jesus also said in John 3:36 ‘He who believes in the Son has everlasting life and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abides ..’ Also in John 1:12 the Bible says ‘As many as received Him He gave the Right to become children of God’
Some have said that God is loving and would not send anyone to Hell. Actually it is us by our own refusal to except Jesus as our Lord and Savior and not admitting that we are a sinner in need of salvation that sends us to Hell. God offers us a way to salvation through the work of His Son Jesus Christ, but it is us who either except or reject this.
If are someone who has done a lot of bad things and believe you could never receive God’s forgiveness, there is good news. You could never do anything so bad that God would not forgive you if you truly ask it from your heart. If you truly mean it from your heart; ask today for Jesus to forgive you, tell him that you are a sinner and need His forgiveness, tell Him that you know that He went to the cross and died for you sins and that you are ready to give your life to Him. If you truly meant this from your heart and you turn to Him, He will forgive you and except you as one of His. Thank God for His love and grace He has extended to you.