Are you Heaven bound?

 

“I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” – John 14:2-3

Have you ever thought about what Heaven will be like? I mean really thought about it. Have you studied it and searched the Scriptures to understand what it will be like to live in a resurrected body in a New Heaven and on a New Earth?

Think about this…

If you knew you were moving to Paris, wouldn’t you do everything you could to start learning about what Paris is like? Wouldn’t you want to know about the people, the geography, the customs, the climate, and the food? Of course you would. So why don’t we spend more time trying to learn what Heaven will be like?

Or course, some people simply don’t want to face the fact that they’ll one day step into eternity.

Perhaps they know they aren’t right with God and they don’t have assurance that Heaven will be their destination when they die. Or maybe they’ve just accepted the common misconception that Heaven will be boring and uninspiring.

I remember the story of a preacher who stood up in church one day and asked the congregation, “How many of you want to go to Heaven?” Every hand in the church went up. Then he asked, “How many of you want to go TODAY?” You guessed it…not a single hand went up this time. Although nearly everyone wants to go to Heaven someday, few people want to die today.

Eternity Is in Our Hearts

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says God has set eternity in our hearts, and that is confirmed in a recent survey by Barna Research. The survey found that an overwhelming majority of people believe in life after death and the reality of Heaven and hell. This is true regardless of people’s religious upbringing. However, there are significant differences in what people actually believe about Heaven and hell.

One thing is certain: Unless the Lord returns first, we’re all going to die someday. It’s estimated that three people die every second, which is 180 people every minute and nearly 11,000 every hour. If the Bible is right about what happens after death—and I believe God’s Word is infallible—then more than 250,000 people every day go to either Heaven or hell!

As you’re reading this article, more than two billion people around the world have never heard the name of Jesus even once!

Many are deceived by the belief that they’ll go to Heaven if they’re a “good person”…or if they attend church…or if they try to follow the Golden Rule. Unfortunately, none of these things will get us into Heaven.

You see, Heaven is not a default destination. No one goes there automatically. We can’t go to a stranger’s funeral and automatically assume they’re now in “a better place.”

Every one of us has sinned and fallen short of God’s perfect standard. No one is righteous enough to make it into Heaven by their good deeds (Romans 3:10-26). So the plain truth is this: Unless a person addresses their sin problem by receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, their true default destination will be hell.

Facing the Sin Question

Most people don’t want to talk about the subject of sin or the consequences of sin. It isn’t a “polite” or politically correct subject. Try mentioning sin or divine judgment the next time you have a conversation with someone, and see how long it takes before the subject is changed!

Friend, unless you have made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, you are still a sinner in the eyes of God.

The consequences of sin are that you are lost and unable to find your way to safety. Your sin has separated you from a relationship with your Heavenly Father (Isaiah 59:2).

Sin blinds us. It enslaves us. It makes us helpless and without hope. In short, unless someone intervenes to help us, we cannot be saved.

But here’s the Good News: God didn’t leave us in our sins. He made a plan to save us…to give us hope…and to redeem us. Instead of giving us what we deserve (judgment), God offers us what we don’t deserve: mercy and salvation.

Romans 6:23 tells us, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Thank God for Jesus, His atoning death on the Cross, the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of eternal life! We don’t have to spend eternity in hell, for Jesus purchased Heaven for us by His precious blood.

Overcoming the Fear of Death

Even so, many Christians unnecessarily fear death or lack a deep assurance of their salvation. The Bible says Jesus came to set us free from the fear of death, freeing us from the devil who once held the power of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).

But what really happens when we die? What is Heaven like, and how can we know for sure that we’re going there? What will our bodies be like in eternity? Will we remember the things that happened here on earth? Will we be able to see our loved ones and our pets in Heaven? Will the present earth be destroyed…or renewed? Will the New Earth seem familiar, or an entirely different experience? What will our daily lives be like?

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