God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
–1 John 5:11
What is the spiritual passport we need to get into Heaven? It is not a heart that is stamped “Baptist” or any other denomination. Only a heart that is stamped “Forgiven” is welcomed into Heaven. No other stamp makes a difference in the presence of God.
The theological term for forgiven is “justified,” which means “to be declared righteous.” When we trust in Christ as Savior, God declares us “not guilty” based on what Christ did on the cross. Romans 5:1 says, “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The only way we are allowed into Heaven is by being forgiven of our sins.
There are not many ways to Heaven; there is only one way to Heaven, and that is through faith in Christ. I realize that is unpopular to say today. Many people think there are other routes to Heaven. The billionaire Warren Buffett donated 85 percent of his net worth to charity, saying, “There is more than one way to get to Heaven, but this is a great way.” I commend Buffett for his generosity, but he will be surprised when he discovers that he cannot donate his way to Heaven. There is only one way to Heaven, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ.
How can you make sure that when you stand at the entrance of Heaven, God is going to welcome you into His presence? In 1 John 5:11-13, the apostle wrote, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” That word “believe” does not mean an intellectual assent to a certain set of facts about Jesus. You can believe all the things about Jesus correctly: that He was the Son of God, that He died on the cross for the sins of the world, and that He rose again on the third day. You can believe all those things and go to Hell when you die. The Bible says even the demons believe those things (James 2:19). “To believe” means “to trust in, to cling to, to put your whole weight upon.” To believe in Jesus means to come to that place in your life when you realize you cannot save yourself and you trust in what Christ did for you by dying on the cross and receiving the punishment that God intended for each of us. Only by clinging to, trusting in, putting your whole weight upon Jesus Christ is your heart stamped “Forgiven,” and you are welcomed in the presence of God.
God does not want us to face death uncertain about our future. If we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we can know with absolute certainty that we are going to be welcomed into Heaven.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How Can I Prepare For My Journey To Heaven?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Elliot Blair Smith, “Warren Buffett Signs Over $30.7 Billion To The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation,” USA Today, June 26, 2006.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)