How to Get to Heaven After This Life by Ken Hamilton 8/20/10


No one gets out of this world alive, so the question is where do we go when we die?

Most people, when asked this question, will tell you they are Christians and will go to heaven and enjoy eternal life with God, or at worst case, hope they will go to heaven, regardless of their church affiliation, if any.  However, according to the Bible in 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul said “Test yourself to see if you are in the faith, examine yourselves!  Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you —unless indeed you fail the test?”  To fail the test means we do not have Jesus Christ in us and therefore we will not go to heaven.

The following scriptures will allow us to test ourselves as they show God’s plan for our eternal life in heaven, according to the Bible.  If we do pass the test, Paul goes on to say “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing , shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

God has provided for us because He loves us and offers a wonderful plan for our lives.  The Bible says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Christ said, “I came that they may have life, and might have it abundantly” (that it might be full and meaningful) John 10:10

Most people are not experiencing this abundant life because man (all men and women) is sinful and separated from God.  Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life.  The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” All means everyone who has ever lived, you and me, everyone.” Romans 3:23

Man was created to have fellowship with God; but because of his stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and his fellowship with God was broken.  This self will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference is evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

So, man has a twofold problem:

Sin (the disease) resulting in a great gulf that separates man from God.  The Bible says “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2

And, the wages of sin – death (the result of the disease).  The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23

The Bible goes on to say, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…” Romans 5:12

The definition of death in its simplest form is separation.  When someone dies and is buried or cremated, he or she is separated from those who still live.  Therefore, when we sin, which results in spiritual death, we are separated from God.

Sin originated in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  See Genesis 3:1-19.

The question that begs asking is how can a sinful, spiritually dead man be reconciled to a holy, living God – without compromise or violation of God’s holy character?

The Bible goes on to say “And in as much as it is appointed for men to die once and after that comes judgment.” Hebrew 9:27

According to this verse, when man dies, he has an appointment with God to be judged.  Now if it is true, as the Bible says, that all men have sinned, and that the penalty for sin is death (separation from God), and that the day is coming when man will be judged, this doesn’t paint a very bright picture.  Therefore, down through the ages, man has understood this and has tried to make his way back to God and the abundant life through his own efforts (good works); such as living a good moral life, having a good philosophy or being religious and going to church and maybe tithing.  Man desires to be made holy and alive.  However, according to Ephesians 2:9 which says “not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”  There is nothing we can do by our works to avoid judgment for our sins and therefore, God provided a twofold solution:

For the problem of sin He sent His son to become our sin on the cross and for the problem of death, Jesus was resurrected on the third day and now lives.

The Bible says “Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

And, “For Christ died for sins, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.  He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3:18

So, we need to receive Christ through faith.  The Bible says “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9

Jesus Christ said “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” John 5:24

So, Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.  Through Him we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.  He died in our place.  The Bible says “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8

And, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:11

Christ is the only way to God “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’” John 14:6

So God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.  The Bible says “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and man, the man Jesus Christ.” 1 Timothy 2:5

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.  The Bible says “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12

So, only unbelief stands between any man and a free salvation.  The Bible says “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.  He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the begotten Son of God…  He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abides in him.” John 3:17-18, 36

So then, God’s “books” have been balanced; the debt has been paid for our sins and we can be reconciled with God for our sins.  God stands eagerly welcoming any man who will believe the “good news” and come home (repent).  The Bible says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19

However, it takes more than knowledge that Jesus is our Savior (the devil knows about Jesus and trembles).  It takes more than agreement that the knowledge we have is accurate (the devil agrees that Jesus is Lord).  What it takes is trust and faith in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life, not based on what we can do but on what Jesus Christ has already done.  He stands ready to exchange His perfection for our imperfection.  It is by faith we are saved as an act of our will.

So, the answer to where we go after we die, is either to heaven (eternity with God the Father and with our loved ones and friends who also received Jesus Christ as their Savior as we did) or to hell (eternity in torment separated from God the Father with others who also denied Jesus Christ as we did).  Jesus says in Luke 12:5 “But I will warn you whom to fear; fear the One who after He has killed (Battle of Armageddon) has authority to cast into hell, yes I tell you, fear Him.”  And later in Luke 16:23 Jesus said “And in Hades (Hell) he lifted up his eyes, being in torment…And he cried out…have mercy  on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame…And he said, Then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, lest they also come here to this place of torment.”

Thus, the first thing we need to know is that we need to be saved, that we are all sinners and in need of a Savior.  If you don’t think you are a sinner, then it doesn’t matter to you that God sent us a Savior to die on the cross for our sins.  Your pride will make you blind to the truth.  The Bible says “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

When we believe the Gospel, “The Good News”, of Jesus Christ as our Savior, we become saved by our faith and we can rest in the knowledge that we will spend eternity in heaven with our Lord and Savior.  The Bible says “And the witness is this, that 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, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:11-13

Praise God for His faithfulness and patience with us.  The Bible says “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

Will you pray today and admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior, repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and acknowledge He is the Son of God and died on the cross for you?  If you do, He will send His Holy Spirit to live within you and be your Helper.  Then you can live a victorious life and experience heaven on earth knowing with certainty that you will live in eternity with God the Father, Jesus Christ, His Son and the Holy Spirit when you depart this life you know today.  The Bible says it so we can believe it!



Evangelism Program – Navigators, Equipping the Saints Ministries

Four Spiritual Laws – Campus Crusades, Bill Bright

Living in Christ – Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Team Training – Crossroads Bible Church, Pastor Tim Stevenson

The Holy Bible

Categories : Devotionals

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