What is the Kingdom of Heaven
Let us consider what is between the Kingdom of Heaven and the gates and flame of Hell. Who is it that enter the Kingdom of Heaven and escape the fire and torture of hell. Does everyone go to Heaven? On the surface we could take this lightly, but since we will all die eventually, maybe we need to take a more serious look.
So, who goes to Heaven and who ends up in the fire or flames of hell? Most would probably believe that the majority of people will go to Heaven; but is this a true reality. They would continue to say that only those who have done major ‘bads’ such as murder, stolen bigger things like robbed banks or peoples homes, hurt people, or other similar things will not get to Heaven; but that most people are relatively good and will go there. Still others believe that as long as we are a member of a Church or have been baptised either as an infant or as an adult we will go to Heaven. Where do these conclusions come from? Is it passed down through the generations in our families of what they believe, is it taught in our Churches, is it passed along from friends and acquaintances. Like many other important decisions we make in our lives, it is important for you to know what is true and what is not.
As part of your upbringing you generally were taught, that as children if you are good you get rewards and if you do bad things you can get punished or have rewards taken from you. Even as an adult out in the world, things generally work this way, promotions, careers and jobs are gained or lost depending generally on how ‘good or bad’ you are at handling situations in our lives at home or at work. This way of thinking follows us so closely that we tend to carry it into our spiritual beliefs. At this point it would be important for you to see what God has said about Heaven and hell in His word, called the Bible.
You should be careful at this point that you are objective to what the Bible says on those that will enter the Kingdom of Heaven; and those that will escape the fire and torture of Hell; or any subject for that matter. You need to be willing to acknowledge if and where you may be wrong in your beliefs.
The Bible says in Rev 21:27 ‘only those written in the Lamb’s book of life’ will see Heaven.
Jesus told the disciples about two men who died in Luke 16:22~26 one went to Abrahams bosom and the other went into torment. To find out what it takes to get your name written in the Lamb’s book of life you need to know what will not get your name written there.
Some believe that being a good person such as helping the poor & needy, going to church, becoming a church members or member of good volunteer groups, etc. will earn them a right to Heaven. Eph. 2:8,9 says ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast’.
First, it is by God's grace and nothing of yourself that you can ever get to Heaven; Gods ways are not like our ways in which doing good things or ‘works’ as God calls it has no merit in helping you get to Heaven. If you could earn your way there through any sort of good deeds or works; then how would you know when you did enough good things. Also and even more important, if you could earn your rightinto Heaven then there would have been no reason for Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sin. What He endured on your behalf would have futile. Sin, what me; let’s look at this a little later.
Many others believe that being a member of a Church or being baptised will earn them a right into Heaven. There is not one single verse in Bible that backs up Church membership as an avenue into Heaven. Also when it comes to baptism you will notice that if you examine the verses (Acts 18:8, Acts 10: 47,48, Acts 8: 29~31 & 35~38) closely that you need to here God’s Word, believe next, and then get baptised. Baptism is an outward expression of obedience, not an act that can have any power to earn you any right into Heaven.
The only thing that keeps us out of Heaven is sin, everyone sins or has done something wrong in there lives. It could be saying bad words, stealing of any kind - yes even the “little things”, wrong attitudes toward others, and on and on. The Bible says in Romans 3:12 ‘There is none who does good, no not one’ and in Titus 3:5 ‘not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us’. In Matthew 5:20 Jesus said to His disciples 'Unless your righteousness (holiness) exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven’
If you were to read accounts of these Scribes and Pharisees you would see the extremes they went through to try to uphold God’s law. Also read carefully 1 Cor. 6:9~11.
So how can you assure a place in Heaven? You need to be rescued from penalty of sin. The Bible says you must be born again. You need to recognize that you have sinned and fall short of the mark that God has set for us. In Romans 10:9,10 it says to ‘Confess with your mouth(a sinner),believe (trust Jesus) in your heart...’. In Act 4:12 it says ‘There is no salvation in any other that you might be saved...’ The Bible is clear that there is no other way to get saved from Hell apart from recognizing you are a sinner needing salvation.
Jesus said in John 14:6 ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’
Jesus also said in John 3:36 ‘He who believes in the Son has everlastinglife and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abides on him’
Also the Bible says in John 1:12 ‘As many as received Him He gave the Right to become children of God’
Some have said that God is loving and would not send anyone to Hell. Actually it is us by our own refusal to except Jesus as our Lord and Savior and not admitting that we are a sinner in need of salvation that sends us to Hell. God offers us a way to salvation through the work of His Son Jesus Christ, but it is us who either except or reject this.
If are someone who has done a lot of bad things and believe you could never receive God’s forgiveness, there is good news. You could never do anything so bad that God would not forgive you if you truly ask it from your heart. If you truly mean it from your heart; ask today for Jesus to forgive you, tell him that you are a sinner and need His forgiveness, tell Him that you know that He went to the cross and died for you sins and that you are ready to give your life to Him. If you truly meant this from your heart and you turn to Him, He will forgive you and except you as one of His. Thank God for His love and grace He has extended to you.