“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12 NLT)
While this may be a question that’s already been answered for you, there are likely billions of people, many of whom are in your spheres of influence, who never give this question a thought. Why not? Either because it’s just not on their proverbial “radar,” or because they wrongly believe they’ve earned heaven through adherence to their religious belief or religious behavior, or for some they believe they’re going to heaven because of their religious environment.
Others ponder this question with much fear and uncertainty because they have this nagging question that lingers in their mind – “Is my belief strong enough?” or “Am I good enough?” or “Am I believing the right things?” or _______________ and you can fill in the blank. Still others don’t ask the question at all, believing it’s presumptuous to have certainty that we have a home in heaven.
To me it’s similar to asking me if I’m married. Of course, I’m married! How do I know? Because on December 18th 1993 I pledged my life and love to my beautiful bride. I entered into a lifelong relationship with the woman of my dreams, pledging to love her in sickness and health, whether we’re rich or poor, forsaking all others and clinging to her until death separated us.
Is it any different with our relationship with Jesus? I know I’m going to heaven, not simply because I pledged my life to Him 60 years ago, but because I reaffirmed my love and devotion to Him this morning and each moment as we walk together through whatever this day may bring. What kind of relationship would we have with our spouse or close friend if we never spoke? If we never spent time together? If we didn’t share life?
How would we grow in our love for one another if we never talked about our dreams and aspirations? How meaningful is any relationship without hardship, times of trial, and a desire to work together to make our walk together the best it could possibly be? How boring if we never had a disagreement or misunderstanding? How dull if we never laughed and cried together?
Yes, of course, these are human emotions, but we miss a huge part of our loving Savior if we miss His highs and lows; His laughter and His anger; His heartache and His suffering. But what does this have to do with whether or not we’re going to heaven? Quite a lot actually.
Unless you don’t have a choice, would you pledge yourself to someone to love a lifetime without knowing them? Without experiencing what kind of person they were? Whether they shared your values, desires, dreams, devotions? How can we NOT know we’re going to heaven when every day we share every waking moment with the lover of our soul? Our aspiration is to follow Him, obey Him, submit to His authority in our lives. Why? Because He IS our life! To be alive is to be available to serve and honor Him with everything we are or ever hope to be.
To be chosen by Him to live His life in and through us is life’s greatest privilege, but to miss Him here, on earth, is to miss life, not only here but throughout eternity. Eternal life begins, not when we literally die a physical death, but when we die to ourselves through our second birth into the family of God. Baptism illustrates our being lowered into our watery grave, then rising to new life in Jesus alone.
He IS our life! Without Jesus there is no life – here or in heaven. Heaven holds no appeal except it’s the home of my Savior and Lord. He’s with me here through the ministry of His Holy Spirit and will be with me in heaven when I will be able to see Him as He sees me.
It’s really pretty simple to know where you’ll spend eternity. Ask yourself: “Who owns my heart?” If it’s Jesus you’re going to heaven. But if it’s anyone or anything else, you’re likely not going to heaven.
Food for thought.
Blessings, Ed 😊