Can I go to Heaven?

 

            In Revelation chapter 21, verse 10, the Apostle John begins a description of that wonderful place that Jesus went to prepare for his followers.  He describes it as a great city, the holy Jerusalem with a light like a most precious stone, a great wall, twelve gates, four square or as wide as it was long.  It has the appearance of being made of jasper, sapphire, emerald, and other many precious jewels, pearls, and pure gold so fine it’s transparent, like glass.  Then he tells us that it is prepared for the saved, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of Life.  This is the place that Jesus described:

 

John 14:2-3  “IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS: IF it were NOT so, I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU. I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU.  AND IF I GO AND PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU, I WILL COME AGAIN, AND RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF; THAT WHERE I AM, there YE MAY BE ALSO.”

 

We, of course, all want to go there.  And if you ask the average man on the street, in this country at least, most of them would also want to go there.  But all too often we see people who want to go there by doing as little as possible.  There are many things that we could use to illustrate this thought but sufficient for this lesson that we look at five:

 

Can I go to Heaven on one service a week?  NO! 

 

Not if I willfully refuse to worship God.  The Hebrew writer in chapter 10, beginning in verse 19 encourages all of us to Have boldness to enter into Christ, the new and living way that he has given us.  We are encouraged to draw near with a true heart, our hearts cleansed form an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  We are told to hold fast the profession of our faith, provoking each other to good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together but to exhort one another.  And he uses this failing, this lack of commitment, as an example of willful sin.

 

Can I go to Heaven and love the things of the world?  NO!

 

            The things of the world are in the realm of Satan, the one who Jesus calls Mammon in.

 

Matthew 6:24  “NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS: FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE, AND LOVE THE OTHER; OR ELSE HE WILL HOLD TO THE ONE, AND DESPISE THE OTHER. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON

 

Paul warned the brethren at Rome:

 

Romans 12:2  “AND BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT is THAT GOOD, AND ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT, WILL OF GOD.”

 

But the Apostle John explains it most thoroughly:

 

I John 2:15-17  “LOVE NOT THE WORLD, NEITHER THE THINGS that are IN THE WORLD. IF ANY MAN LOVE THE WORLD, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM.  FOR ALL THAT is IN THE WORLD, THE LUST OF THE FLESH, AND THE LUST OF THE EYES, AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE, IS NOT OF THE FATHER, BUT IS OF THE WORLD.  AND THE WORLD PASSETH AWAY, AND THE LUST THEREOF: BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF GOD ABIDETH FOR EVER.”

 

Can I go to Heaven and not work for the Lord?  NO!

 

            God’s purpose for putting man here was for mankind to serve him:

 

Ecclesiastes 12:13  “LET US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER: FEAR GOD, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: FOR THIS is THE WHOLE duty OF MAN.”

 

Jesus gave us our marching orders in the war for the souls of men 2000 years ago.

 

Matthew 28:19-20  “GO YE THEREFORE, AND TEACH ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST: TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: AND, LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAY, even UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD. AMEN.”

 

James tells us that those who will not work have a faith problem, it’s no longer alive:

 

James 2:17  “EVEN SO FAITH, IF IT HATH NOT WORKS, IS DEAD, BEING ALONE.”  v24.  “YE SEE THEN HOW THAT BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY.”

 

Can I go to Heaven and live any way I please?  NO!  But the way an awful lot of people live they must believe this.  First of all Paul tells us that:

 

Titus 2:11-13  “FOR THE GRACE OF GOD THAT BRINGETH SALVATION HATH APPEARED TO ALL MEN, TEACHING US THAT, DENYING UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS, WE SHOULD LIVE SOBERLY, RIGHTEOUSLY, AND GODLY, IN THIS PRESENT WORLD; LOOKING FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE, AND THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST;”

 

Jesus tells his disciples that:

 

Matthew 10:22  “AND YE SHALL BE HATED OF ALL MEN FOR MY NAME'S SAKE: BUT HE THAT ENDURETH TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED

 

And James again helps to understand that we will be tried and how we handle those trials will determine whether we will receive a crown or not.

 

James 1:12  “BLESSED is THE MAN THAT ENDURETH TEMPTATION: FOR WHEN HE IS TRIED, HE SHALL RECEIVE THE CROWN OF LIFE, WHICH THE LORD HATH PROMISED TO THEM THAT LOVE HIM.”

 

Can I go to Heaven and not be obedient to the Lord’s plan of salvation?  NO!

 

First we must hear the word of God - Romans 10:17

Then we must believe the word of God - John 8:32

We must repent of our past sins - Luke 13:3

We must confess Christ as Lord - Matthew 10:32, Acts 8:37

Then we must be baptized into Christ:  Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38 and:

 

I Peter 3:21  “THE LIKE FIGURE WHEREUNTO even BAPTISM DOTH ALSO NOW SAVE US (NOT THE PUTTING AWAY OF THE FILTH OF THE FLESH, BUT THE ANSWER OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE TOWARD GOD,) BY THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST:”

 

It is only by obedience that we can go to heaven.

 

William L. Schwegler, Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, LA; August 21, 2002