The Road To Heaven, Are you Going There?
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How do you know if you are going to Heaven when you die?
Do you feel like something is "missing" in your ability to feel confident that you are going to heaven?
Articles by Patricia Jones, M.A.
Copyright © 2006 - 2019 Dove Christian Counseling Center. All Rights Reserved
A few months before my father died he called me to his bedside. He had had a severe stroke, but could still talk, and he told me that he was not sure that he was going to go to heaven when he died and that he was very worried about it. He wanted to know if I thought he was going to get into Heaven?
I told him without a shadow of a doubt that I knew that he was. And here is why I know that. The very fact that he was worried about it, felt that he was not worthy of it, had sinned in his life, committed some sins that he was very ashamed of, etc. told me that his heart was right. He was humbled before God. He knew he was a sinner, he had asked for God's forgiveness, and he understood what Jesus did on the Cross, and he BELIEVED that Jesus had already paid the price on the Cross for his sins, and that Jesus was the SON OF GOD.
He told me that sometimes he had a hard time believing all of this and he wanted to know if he died before he could 100% believe that Jesus was who He said he was and had done what He did on the cross would he still go to heaven?
He was at times a "doubting Thomas." And I think this was due to his military background as a Colonel in the United States Air Force where everything was either negative or positive. He worked in the DIA and dealt in facts and solid proof.
I told him the very fact that he even asked the question was all that God needed to know.
It is the people who don't even care if there is a heaven or hell to go to, who think they are their own "gods", and that give themselves all the credit in life for their fortunes and accomplishments; who never NEED GOD, and think that those who do are using Him as a "crutch" to get through life; THOSE are the people who are in danger of not going to heaven.
Pride and arrogance will keep you out of Heaven. Thinking that you are equal to your Creator will keep you out of heaven. Operating under your own power, and exalting yourself instead of your creator, will keep you out of heaven. Not doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you will keep you out of heaven.
Sure, my Dad sinned as we all do. BUT, he was one of the most loving, kind, generous, self-sacrificing people I will ever know, ALWAYS thinking of others first and himself last. He spent his entire life doing for others. He genuinely cared about and loved others. His spirit was "right with God" so even if his belief at times was weak, his heart was strong for God. When you put others before yourself, you are putting God before yourself. When you put yourself before others, you are putting yourself before God.
God says that we must make Him first in our lives. He should be number one. Our spouses are to be number two. Our children and other family members number three, and our work number four. That is God's order of priorities. So we need to get our priorities straight.
This is what Jesus meant when He said that anyone who followed him would have to give up Mother, Father, brother, sister, son or daughter for His sake. He said we are to put Him first to inherit eternal life. If you put anything else above God, you lose.
IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO GET TO HEAVEN BEFORE YOU DIE.
It is never too late to make God first in your life. You can be on your death bed and make Him first if you are genuine about it, and not doing so just so you can get into heaven. Only God will know if you are sincere or not. Confession on your death bed done for the wrong reasons will have the reverse affect.
Which brings me to the most important thing that you must do and that Jesus said must be done before you can inherit eternal life. The disciples asked him "what must we do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus replied:
You must be born again John 3: 1-17
1) Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.
2) He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
3) In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
4)"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
5) Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
7) You should not be surprised at my saying, "You must be born again."
8) The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
9)"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
10) "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?
11) I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony
12) I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
13) No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
14) Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15) that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
The phrase to "be born again" many times turns people off. And this is because it has been used over and over again, almost in a judgement way by charismatic, Pentecostal churches. There is nothing wrong with those churches other than that they have many times elevated themselves to be better than the rest of the Christian community by sharing their "born again experience" in a judgmental way. If they could share being born again without judgement and instead have a sincere desire to help others become born again, many more people would be saved instead of turned off by the phrase. However, it is the phrase that Jesus used, and therefore there is no better way to say it.
Jesus was saying that we have already been born once, of the flesh. He also said that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Only the "spirit" can enter into heaven. Therefore, He said we must be "born again spiritually" Our "spirits" must be born again. For only the "spirit" goes to heaven where we are given new, spiritual bodies. So, although we have all had a physical birth, we must also have a "spiritual birth."
This makes perfect sense as God said that we are created "IN HIS IMAGE" and God is a "SPIRIT" not made of flesh and blood. If we want to live with Him in heaven we have to be LIKE HE is, and therefore, we must be 100% "SPIRIT."
How do you do this? All you have to do, and you can do it by yourself, without going to some charismatic church, is to ASK FOR IT. Just ask Jesus to "give you the Holy Spirit and ask Jesus to have you become "born again." And if you are sincere, and are asking for this because you sincerely love God, your neighbor, and want to spend all of eternity with God, then He will give you the Holy Spirit. Then that "missing something feeling" will be gone, and you will feel much closer to God. It is that simple.
When you are "born again spiritually" the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you and guides you into all TRUTH. You will also receive supernatural gifts of the spirit to help you live here on earth. Jesus said, that when he was resurrected and went back to heaven He would send down to earth the Holy Spirit who would live inside us, guide us into all TRUTH and lead us to eternal life and be with us forever.
if you are struggling with having enough confidence to believe that you are going to go to heaven when you die, and you feel that something is "missing" in your walk with God, then the "missing part" is not being born again of the spirit. So just ASK JESUS to send you the Holy Spirit to live inside of you and your spirit will be born again and you will have the confidence that you are going to heaven. After you die, it will be too late to ask.
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