Ticket to Heaven
Have you ever wondered what you would say to God if you died today and found yourself at an ethereal split in the road, somewhere between heaven and earth where only one of the roads goes to heaven and you see a sign that says, “Be Prepared to Answer God When He Asks, Why Should I Let You into My Heaven?” In the rush of that moment, as your mind races to conceive an adequate answer, you notice the person at the front of the line giving God his answer, then he turns and walks past you heading to that other road; as he passes by, his face is drawn and without hope. You think to yourself, “Surely, I won’t be like that poor soul.”
When it’s your turn to give God your answer, would you begin to describe all the good deeds you did throughout your life? Would you explain that you gave lots of money to the church? Maybe you would say to Him that you asked Jesus to come into your heart at the end of a church service? Would you tell Him that you publicly confessed Christ as your Lord and Savior? Would you say you’ve always believed in God? Would you say you’ve tried your best to live your life by keeping the Ten Commandments and think of yourself as always having been a good person? Or, would you tell Him that you were baptized as a baby, attended church and went to confession regularly all your life?
Which of the above do you think is the correct answer that would assure your entrance into heaven? Actually, none are correct. If none of them are correct, then what is? In order for you to enter heaven, you must already possess eternal life. But how does one receive eternal life? God gives us the answer very clearly in His written Word, the Bible, specifically in the Gospel of John, found in the New Testament.
As you read through the Book of John, you will read the words of Jesus Christ, who was crucified and resurrected to pay for the sins of the world so all mankind would have an opportunity to receive the free gift of eternal life.
John 3:14-18 14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” NKJV
John 5:20-21, 24, 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” NKJV
Expanding on John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you” *is Jesus’ way of saying to His hearers, “You can be sure of this!” Jesus promises eternal life and escape from judgment to all who will trust in God’s word about Him. And what has God said about Him? Verses 20 and 21 make it clear. God the Father sent Jesus the Son to give eternal life to all who believe.
John 6:47 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” NKJV
Notice also that John 6:47 says, “he who believes in Me [Jesus Christ] has everlasting life.” It doesn’t say, “will have”; it says, “has.” Therefore, the very moment you believe God’s promise of eternal life, you have it (it’s that simple), and it can never be taken away from you (John 10:28-29). Furthermore, the gift of eternal life is available to every human being; there are no exceptions.
Now, to answer the original question: If you’ve believed in Christ, that is, trusted in Him for eternal life, God will not even ask you, “why should I let you into My Heaven?” because you will already possess eternal life and you will immediately be with God when you leave this world; there will be no waiting in line. In light of this, everlasting life is not something you can earn by works, good deeds or any kind of human effort; in fact, they have absolutely nothing to do with qualifying you to enter into heaven. Eternal life is simply a gift from God, given to you the moment you believe in Jesus Christ’s promise of everlasting life.
What comes after one believes in Christ as his or her savior? If you have believed, you are now a child of God (John 1:12) and you need to become aware of everything that is at your disposal to successfully live the new life God has given you. As you learn and apply the Word of God to your life, you will also have many opportunities to receive the fantastic rewards God has planned for you. A good place to start is by reading two short ebooks, beginning with “The Plan of God” followed by “Rebound and Keep Moving,” by Robert B. Thieme, Jr., (1918–2009), graduate of University of Arizona and Dallas Theological Seminary. To begin, left click on one of the above ebook links. Furthermore, none of the above recommended bible teaching ebooks have a price tag attached to them. To illustrate why: when a mother gives her newborn child milk, she neither needs nor expects the child to pay for it. Likewise, bible teaching in this group for babes in Christ is free to anyone who wants it.
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* This explanation of John 5:24 appears in "Notes," p. 20, in Living Water: The Gospel of John with Notes
(Logos 21), 4th ed., trans. Arthur L. Farstad, "Notes," by Absolutely Free (Glide, OR: Absolutely Free, 2005)