Susie and I had dinner with some long-time friends last week. As we neared the end of the evening one of them commented, “This is so good. Just think how great Heaven will be (If I get there).”
We all quickly countered our friend’s comment by assuring her she’d be in Heaven. She wrote off her comment to her “Catholic guilt.”
Guilt notwithstanding, I found her comment a little troubling. I wasn’t troubled so much for my friend, as she is a godly woman and a decades-long follower of Jesus. She knows her eternity is secure. But it troubled me for many other Christ-followers who still struggle with the question of their eternal destiny.
The Bible pulls no punches on this topic. As God’s children, we are supposed to rest assured in the fact that Heaven is our home and that Jesus is coming to get us. 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”
So, let’s talk about it. Let me list ten things (I could list dozens more) that are true about you if you’re a Christian:
- You’ve been born again (or born from above). Jesus also called this second birth being “born of the Spirit,” John 3:1-8. It’s a gift of God, and it’s irreversible.
- You’ve been sealed or marked by the Holy Spirit, Eph 1:13-14. He basically seals you as his property, his prized possession.
- You’ve been adopted as God’s son or daughter, Rom 8:15. Paul based his theology of adoption on Roman culture. It was a permanent act that gave full benefits and rights of the family to the adoptee.
- Your spirit has been made eternally alive, Eph 2:1-5. Your eternal life begins the moment the eternal Holy Spirit takes possession of you.
- You’ve been saved by God’s grace, which means you didn’t earn it. It’s a free gift, Eph 2:8-9. Do the math, if you can’t earn it you can’t lose it.
- You’re seated with Jesus in the heavenly realms, Eph 2:6. You’ve got a seat at his table, and he won’t give it away.
- You’ve been forgiven of all your sins, Col 2:13. God’s forgiveness makes you holy, and thus qualified for Heaven.
- You’ve been washed and made holy by Jesus’ blood, 1 Cor 6:11. What God declares holy, no man can make unholy.
- Jesus is preparing a place (house) for you in Heaven, John 14:1-3. And, he’ll come and get you when it’s ready.
- You’re a completely new creation, 2 Cor 5:17. A new creation with a new identity and a citizenship in Heaven.
With all of this going for us, how can we ever doubt that our eternity is secure?
Friend, get used to the biblical truth that your salvation is based on the eternal love and work of Jesus and not on any merits of your own. Once you cross the line of feeling like you need to earn God’s love and favor, accepting it for free (and the Heaven that comes with it) will be much easier for you.
Does that help? I’ll say more about this in future entries.