A long time ago, I hosted a party for a few close friends and family. It wasn’t long before I heard that a friend of a friend was upset because I hadn’t invited her. I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings, but we weren’t close at all. She had never been to my home, and I don’t think we had ever had an in-depth conversation. I couldn’t help but wonder why she wanted to come to my party at all. It certainly didn’t seem like she wanted to spend any time with me.
I think God feels like that sometimes.
Here in the US—and especially the South—we’re taught that you either go to Heaven or Hell when you die. So everyone talks about “getting into Heaven”—not because there’s anything there they particularly want but because they don’t want the alternative.
These people think that Heaven will be a state of mind, like a wonderful dream they’ll be caught up in for all eternity. Or they think Heaven is like Florida, a place where everyone ends up in the end regardless of their beliefs or actions in this life.
But here’s the truth: Heaven is God’s home. It’s His dwelling place. It’s where He resides with His servants and His family. Unlike some enormous estate in the sky, though, I believe Heaven exists wherever God is because it’s His essence and presence that creates Heaven. You know the saying, “Home is where the heart is”? Well, Heaven is where God is. (See 2 Chronicles 30:27.)
And that God is the God of the Bible, the creator of the universe, the one and only perfect and holy God, the one who is comprised of three parts: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.
There are many religions in this world, and each of them has its own description of the afterlife. But if you want to get into Heaven—the dwelling place of the God of the Bible—then you need to be on good terms with the Man of the House. The good news is that God explains exactly what we need to do to get accepted at the gates: follow Jesus.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him’” (John 14:6-7 NAS).
And how do we follow Jesus?
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it’” (Matthew 16:24-25 NAS).
This Scripture shows us that we must believe in Jesus and then do the things He directs us to do. This obedience is what Jesus is referring to when He says we are to take up our crosses.
That’s it. We follow Jesus by believing in Him and obeying Him. There’s no ten-step plan. There’s no sacrifice you can make or ticket you can buy. There is no backdoor into heaven, and there will be no chance to charm or bribe the gatekeeper. Jesus knows each of us intimately, even if we don’t know Him, and He will call us to account.
“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds” (Matthew 16:27 NAS).
The world will tell you that being a good person is enough to receive a reward in the hereafter. But the world is wrong. The only way to get into Heaven—God’s dwelling place—is through Jesus, the Son of God and second part of the Trinity.
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’” (Matthew 25:31-34 NAS).
Your Invitation Awaits
None of us knows when our time will come to an end or when Jesus will return. If you’re hoping to get into Heaven, then I urge you to get to know God through Jesus the Son. You can start by saying a simple prayer like this: “Jesus, I don’t understand all of this Christian stuff, but I want to know you. Please make Yourself real to me and help me to follow You. Help me to know God the Father through You. Thank You.”
As important as that prayer is, don’t stop there! Pick up a Bible and start reading it daily so you know Who it is you’ll be spending eternity with. If you’re new to the Bible, I suggest the Message version, which is easy to read. You can even download it for free through the Bible Gateway app.
Dear friend, don’t delay. I don’t want you to miss your invitation to Heaven!The world will tell you that being a good person is enough to receive a reward in the hereafter. But the world is wrong. The only way to get into Heaven—God’s dwelling place—is through Jesus, the Son of God and second part of the… Click To Tweet
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