You often hear people comforting the bereaved with words like ‘well at least they have gone to a better place’
Have they? How do we know? And isn’t it arrogant or at least presumptuous to assume that a person (or that we ourselves) will definitely go to Heaven?
If entrance into Heaven was based on what we do, like loving our neighbors, or not stealing or being faithful, then yes it would be arrogant. It would be saying I’ve made it! I’m good enough. But all of us fall way short of God’s standards, so how can anyone be sure of going to Heaven?
The Apostle John says I write these things to you who believe…so you may KNOW that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13) What did John write in order to give us this assurance? He tells us God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. (vs 11) Our confidence is not based in what we do – it’s entirely based on what God has done for us through Jesus. He loves us so much that He gave His own Son to die on a cruel cross to take the punishment that we deserve.
Jesus took the rap for all our wrongdoing. Jesus’ last words were: ‘It is finished.’ In Greek the word is telelestai which is an accounting term meaning- ‘paid in full’. Jesus was saying I have paid for all your sin – there is nothing left to pay! Jesus has done all that needs to be done for you and me to go to Heaven. That’s why, just prior to his arrest, trial and crucifixion, Jesus said, “Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1,2,)
So can we be sure of Heaven? Absolutely. How can we be sure? Because our place in Heaven depends on what God has done, not on us. God has promised us a place with Him, Jesus has done everything necessary for us to be forgiven, reconciled and adopted as his child and He promises us a place with Him in Heaven. He has given us the gift of eternal life.(Romans 6:23)
What do we need to do to receive this gift? Trust Him! Trust Him and what He has done for us. We accept this gift of eternal life through faith in Him.
And we cannot boast about a gift. Actually it takes humility to recognize that we cannot get to Heaven by what we do. The only way is to trust Him to take us there.
Have you believed? Do you have that assurance?