Graceful Perseverance: How to Get to Heaven - 7/12/20
Welcome to this week's blog. Today let's focus on how to get into Heaven. As with all of my blogs, I share my personal thoughts, ideas and interpretations with my readers, and then back everything up with scripture.
I think it would be fair to say that many people in the world today have a variety of beliefs and perceptions on how to get to Heaven. Many cultures also have their own rituals and religious ways of life that they believe will guarantee their spot in Heaven. Some believe only by "good works" they will make it to Heaven. Others believe if they attend church on Sunday mornings, they too will be guaranteed a spot in Heaven. I always find it interesting that people really believe that if they attend church every Sunday morning that they are somehow holier than the rest of us, and are promised a place in Heaven. And, if they drop an extra $20 bill in the offering plate, or hand a dollar to a homeless person on a street corner as they leave church service on Sunday, that somehow compared to their neighbors, they too will be guaranteed an elite place in Heaven.
And then there are those who claim to be faithful to the Lord, not all the days of their lives, but only when it conveniently fits into their schedule. For some reason they believe being faithful to the Lord for one hour on Sundays mornings is adequate praise and worship time to also earn a spot in Heaven. Therefore, Monday through Saturday they are free to live their lives any which way they please, whether the Lord condones their behavior or not, doesn't matter, look what they do on Sunday. And at the end of the day, they are still convinced in their minds they will have a place in Heaven. But I can promise you, and my words are backed up with scripture - God is watching all of us, and God sees all sin, and all those who repent for their sins every day, and every minute of our every day.
Throughout scripture God is instructing us, and speaking directly to us. It is a choice of ours to listen or not. God is speaking directly to us in Matthew 7:21-27 (ESV) - Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
In the scripture above, which person are you? The take away from this scripture is God asks all of His children to be prophets in His name. We are to cast out all demons in His name. And, we are to do many works in His name. If any of us refuses to do the Will of God in our lives, on the day, and the hour He returns, He will say to you, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." The interpretation of this scripture tells us that if we do not follow God's commands, and refuse to do many works in His name, and we choose not to live by His laws, on the day of His return, He will turn His back on us, even though we are confident we have a place in Heaven. If you are a worker of lawlessness, you truly need to rethink this.
I love Jesus' words in the Book of Matthew - Follow Me! Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? - Matthew 16:24-26 (NIV).
Scripture also teaches us about God's 10 Commandments. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. - Deuteronomy 4:2 (ESV). Scripture tells us that if we "relax on His commandments, and teach others to do the same," the Lord has a promise for those people too. But for those of us who do not relax on His commandments, and teach His commandments to others, will be called "Great" in Heaven. What a wonderful promise the Lord has promised us. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be called "Great" in Heaven vs. here on earth. Coming from the Lord means everything, as opposed being called "Great" on earth by man. It's about choosing your treasures here on earth or storing up your treasures for Heaven. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. - Matthew 6:19-20 (ESV).
Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:19 (ESV).
This is exactly why it is so very important in our lives that we obey Christ, confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and truly believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead. It is only then that you will be saved, and have a special place in Heaven. What does being "saved" really mean? It means we are promised salvation, an eternal life with Christ in Heaven, and we will not perish. Only the lawless people are the ones who will perish, and not have an eternal life in Heaven. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23 (ESV).
Here are two scriptures from Romans and Ephesians that God has also provided us with His clear instructions on how to live our lives here on earth:
Because, 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. - Romans 10:9 (ESV).
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. - Ephesians 2: 8-9 (ESV).
Look what Jesus said to men who approached the Him on the streets, and asked Him what good deeds must we do in order to have eternal life? And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments. - Matthew 19:16-17 (ESV).
Jesus said to Simon Peter, and to His disciples - I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be-loosed in heaven. - Matthew 16:19 (NIV).
Jesus continues to ask us, just as He asked His disciples - Who do people say the Son of Man is? Who do you say I am? When you give the same answer that Simon Peter and the disciples did, God will bless you and reveal to you a special place in Heaven. When you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart just as Simon Peter did when he replied to the Lord - You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. - Matthew 16:16 (NIV); you too will be blessed and have an eternal life in Heaven. This is how you get to Heaven.
Let's review God's desires for His children to choose Heaven, and secure a special place for each of us. You will be saved by faith, and receive God's free gift of life - eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is how you get into Heaven.
Obey God's 10 Commandments
Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that Jesus was raised from the dead and you will be saved
Do the Will of the Father who is in Heaven
Blessings until next week,
Debra M. Pauli Unstoppable Believer
Scripture Quotes: Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV) / English Standard Version (ESV)
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