How do you get to heaven? What must you do? Is it only good people that will go to heaven?
This is the same question I asked our church family in Danville this Sunday.
I used a fictional situation – let’s say there is a lady – Martha. Martha has given her heart to Jesus, but every time she is with her friends, she just gossips. She knows it is wrong, but she just can’t help herself.
Will Martha make it to heaven?
The interesting fact is that when I posed this question to our congregation – most people said no, she is not going to heaven…
What will your answer be?
Let’s see what the Bible says, I like the Message translation:
Romans 4:13-16 (MSG)
13-15That famous promise God gave Abraham—that he and his children would possess the earth—was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God's decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed. If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That's not a holy promise; that's a business deal. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God's promise at that—you can't break it.
16This is why the fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God's promise arrives as pure gift…
Nothing you do or don’t do can get you into heaven.
Ephesians 2:8 (AMP)
8For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
It is by faith in Jesus Christ and faith alone that we may enter into heaven.
So where does it leave us with sin? Can Martha keep on gossiping? Listen what Paul says:
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means!
As Martha grows in her relationship with the Lord, she will be disciplined by her Father. If she submits to this discipline, she will eventually realize the truth and repent. This truth will set her free from the sin of gossip.
Our Father will always discipline us when we give into the temptation of any kind of sin. We need to realize that God takes us on a road of sanctification – removing sin and making us holy. This is however a life-long process.
Ultimately it’s about an attitude of the heart – because He gives us this gift of Life through Jesus, we don’t want to sin anymore. We want to honor Him with a holy life – and this we can only do with the help of the Holy Spirit!
Have you accepted Jesus? Heaven is your destination! The rest is a path of preparation for this glorious life that awaits you!