By Jack Glover
Do you think much about heaven? We all know, in spite of medical miracles, life passes quickly. Job said of man: “Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain. (14:2). He also said, “For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, because our days on earth are as a shadow (8:9).
It is an indisputable fact that all of us will die. But what happens after that?
The scriptures are explicit about life after death. All will continue to exist but in spiritual bodies (I Cor. 15:35-58). We are told this spiritual body will either exist in a state of punishment or joy. Paul says: “to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress [a]for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom. 2:7-10).
Whether we live in punishment or joy will depend on how we live our lives while on the earth, before our deaths. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27).
Back to the question, do you think much about heaven? It would seem that because our lives in our physical bodies is short, we would be concerned about the next one. All of us will live eternally in heaven or hell. The rules that determine where we go are found in the scriptures: “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day” (John 12:48). Jesus made it very plain that how we follow his teaching, not how we follow laws man has made, will determine our fates in the future life.
Another consideration that might shed light on our future in heaven or hell is answering the question, will I make it to heaven? Luke records an event during the teaching of Jesus when one asked Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” (Luke 13:23) He answered in the next verse, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”
Jesus made the same point when he spoke to those on the mount: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
It is obvious that not everyone who thinks they are going to heaven will. In our time of loose religion, where everyone does their own thing, there will be many disappointments after death. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [a]miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'” (Matt. 7:22-23).
God wants all to be saved (II Pet. 3:9). However, he will not alter His truth to please any men to make their salvation possible. Salvation is promised only to those who follow his commandments (John 14:15; 15:14).
Do you want to live eternally in heaven or hell? It’s a question you will (must) answer eventually. If you are among the many who think salvation isn’t difficult, and all sins are covered by God’s grace, please be warned that doctrine is false. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matt. 7:21).
You need to think about heaven and follow his commandments if you want to get there. The way is narrow (difficult).