Am I going to heaven?
Part 3: There's only one way
Getting through the door
A number of years ago, there was a show called John Safran's Music Jamboree. Each week, the host John Safran would take his signature sense of humour and journalism and look at the world of music culture. In one of the episodes, Safran looked at one the most exclusive night clubs in Melbourne and wondered what it would take to get nine 18-19 year old males through the door. Watching from a surveillance van across the road, the first attempt was a miserable failure. The bouncer didn't even open the door before telling them to be on their way.
But Safran had a plan. The next night he called the club up and told them to expect a big name band from the US to rock up. That they should be prepared for them and put their name on the list. How would these young men manage to convince the club that they were famous enough to let in? They would dress up like Slipknot, a 9 piece metal band, well known for wearing overalls and masks. And it worked. Not only did they get in, but they got given a private room and gave out autographs to fans.
Now I know I'm not good enough to get into heaven on my own. But what, if like these young men, I could get my name on the guest list? What if there was a name that could get me into heaven? A name that would guarantee me entry? Well there is such a name. And that name is Jesus.
Why we really shouldn't get into heaven, but can
We're not good enough for heaven and deserve punishment. But God still loves us. He doesn't want us to go to hell, even though that's where we should be headed. But because of what we have done and because of what we have failed to do, hell is our destination. And there's nothing we can do to escape it on our own. We need someone to save us. And God is the God who saves.
God sent his son Jesus to earth, and he was perfect:
- Jesus is the only person who never sinned:
- He never did anything wrong.
- He never disobeyed God.
- He never rejected God as king of the universe.
Jesus is the only person in all of history who is good enough to walk through the doors of heaven. When Jesus was here on earth, he had a mission. His mission was to save us, and open up the gates of heaven so we could walk on in. To do that, he went to the cross. He allowed himself to be sentenced to death. Even though he had committed no crime. He willingly took the floggings and faced the humiliation. As they prepared him for execution, as he hung there on that cross, he faced more than anything this world could possibly throw at him - he took on the full anger of God. Every punishment that we deserved was poured out onto Jesus. Jesus took it all.
It is finished
With his dying breath, Jesus said "It is finished" (John 19:30). His mission was accomplished. He had defeated sin. Jesus acted as a substitute for us and paid the penalty for our sin. He stood in our place, took our punishment, so that we could be saved. So if you acknowledge Jesus as the true son of God, if you wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is the one God sent to deal with sin, if you believe that Jesus has paid the price in full, and turn and follow him, then the punishment for your sin has been dealt with.
If you believe all this to be true, then you'll have a much different experience when your life here on earth draws to a close. God will no longer be looking at your file. He won't be paying attention to all the wrong things you've done. He'll go straight to Jesus - he has put your name on the guest list. God will see that Jesus has wiped your slate clean and you will be welcomed into heaven with big, open arms. There will be a party in heaven. Because that's where God wants you to be.