5 Facts That Lead to Heaven
Over the last several Blog posts we’ve taken a look at heaven. We studied Scriptures that show us that heaven, not this earth or the things of this earth, is our real hope and our real home. We’re pilgrims, not residents, on this earth.
All of this makes sense if you are a believer in Jesus Christ. But what if you are not? What if you’re reading this Blog and you’re not sure about your relationship with Jesus, or you’re not absolutely certain that you are going to be with Him in heaven?
Before we go any further, let me help you make a decision that will last for an eternity.
Way too often we don’t stop long enough to think about what really matters. We lose focus on our true home and our true hope. We’re so busy that we don’t ask, “What about God, and what about eternity?” To answer that question I’m going to present His facts and then ask you to make the most important decision of your life.
Fact #1: Death Is Inevitable
In Psalm 39:5 King David referred to handbreadths, which is just the width of the palm of your hand. He described life as a vapor, meaning something that passes quickly. Our lives, in God’s eyes, are no wider than the palm of our hands and pass very quickly like a vapor. Death is inevitable. We’re not invincible.
Have you prepared for your own mortality? You must make a decision in advance, because it’s too late to make it after your death.
Fact #2: Heaven Isn’t Automatic
Heaven isn’t everyone’s default destination, contrary to popular opinion. When death happens, we like to say, “That person is in a better place” . . . but are we really sure?
The absolute truth must come from God’s Word, not people’s opinions.
In Galatians 5:19–21 the apostle Paul is saying that you cannot live a life of sin, rejecting Christ and His solution for your sin, and then expect to spend eternity in the Kingdom of God. It simply doesn’t work that way.
Fact #3: Hell Is Real
Jesus talked more about hell than all the other prophets combined. He wanted people to know the consequences of their decisions. In Luke 16:19–31 Jesus talked about a poor man, Lazarus, who went to heaven and a rich man who went to hell. The story was contrary to traditional Jewish thinking. Most listeners would have thought, Isn’t it obvious that the rich man would automatically go to heaven? Jesus tells us that the rich man was “in torments in Hades.”
Hell is a literal place of torment for those who consciously and willingly reject the matchless, sacrificial love of God found in Jesus Christ. Hell is not a state of being; it’s not a metaphor; it’s not a symbol. Hell is a real place.
It’s too late to make the decision when you’re in hell. You must cry out for God’s love and mercy on this side of eternity.
Fact #4: God Loves You
Yes, God loves you, with all your sin and baggage and wounds and addictions and doubts. Yes, you, with all your stuff . . . God loves you! He loves you in spite of all you’ve done.
You need Him, He knows it, and that’s why God sent Jesus. He knows everything about you, and His greatest desire is to take your sinfulness and brokenness, and love you into a place of healing and redemption.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past—let it be your past and start a new life in Christ today. God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to die for you while you were still a sinner. God loves you so much that He’s waiting for you, in your true home, and He offers you true and eternal hope.
Fact #5: You Must Be Born Again
It’s not about religion—it’s about new birth. John 3 records Jesus’ conversation about eternal life with a very religious man named Nicodemus. He said this: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . . Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’” (vv. 3, 7).
Nicodemus was a good man; he lived a “religious” life. He tried hard to keep the Ten Commandments, yet he fell short, like all of us do. Jesus essentially told him, “It’s not about religion—it’s about being born again in order to live in the Kingdom of God forever.”
You must be born again. It’s not a bumper sticker or just a saying. It’s reality, and it’s necessary so that you can have an abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven.
How to Be Born Again
Repent. To repent means to change your mind and change your direction, to quit running from God and run toward God instead. Acts 17:30 says, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.”
Believe in the gospel. Believe Jesus rose from the dead. Believe the Good News that Jesus came to pay the price for all of your sins (past, present, and future). Believe and trust that Jesus died in your place because God loves you.
Receive Christ. John 1:12 says, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” Receiving Christ is something you do as an act of your own will through prayer.
Your Prayer of Decision
If you are ready to make this decision for Christ, simply tell Him. Tell Him you want to repent. Tell Him you want to turn away from your past and run to Him. Tell Him you believe in the gospel—you know Jesus paid the price for your sins and you believe in Him. Receive Jesus. Invite Him into every part of your life to heal you, to restore you, to break your bondage to sin, and to open your heart to His love and gift of eternal life.
It’s that simple. Your prayer may sound something like this:
Heavenly Father, I repent. I turn to you now. I realize I can’t get to heaven on my own. I believe Jesus Christ took the penalty of my sin and died on the cross in my place so I could know you, love you, and spend eternity with you in heaven. I believe Jesus rose from the dead, and I receive Him now as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for accepting me into your eternal family. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, celebrate! You are a new creation in the family of God. Angels and saints in heaven are rejoicing because you are now a part of God’s family. Remember this day—it’s special. You have been born again. New life is yours. Salvation, forgiveness, peace with God, your eternal home, and hope . . . it’s all yours. Congratulations! You just made the best decision of your life. You have a new home and a new hope in heaven.