72% of Americans believe in heaven. Last decade, 76% believed in it, and 64% were convinced they were going. While the concept of an eternal place of rest is comforting for a number of reasons, that doesn’t necessarily mean everybody is going to get to go there. Jesus spoke very plainly about the fact that most people won’t find the narrow path to heaven, because they aren’t looking for it (Matthew 7:13-14). There will be a day of judgment, and only those whose names are written in His book of life will be allowed in (Revelation 21:27). Furthermore, and perhaps even more sobering, He goes on to point out that there will be a number of people who think they’re going to heaven, only to find out that they aren’t (Matthew 7:21-23).
On the other hand, we must always remember that the Bible allows us to be confident of our place in heaven (1 John 5:13). So how can you know? Do you have a false confidence? Are you hoping you get to go to heaven, but aren’t really sure what will happen on that day? Start with this quiz to determine if you even really want to go to heaven.
- Are you willing to do whatever God commands as it pertains to your salvation? Because Jesus is the only way to heaven (John 14:6, Romans 10:9-10, Ephesians 2:8, Acts 2:38)
- Are you willing to take up your cross, make Him your Lord, and obey Him daily? Or do you just want to follow from a distance without getting too involved? (Luke 9:23)
- Are you willing to give God control over your hobbies, relationships, and calendar? Or do you just want to give Him a spare Sunday here or there and pray to Him when you need Him? (Galatians 2:20)
- Do you truly hate all of your sins, or do you try to justify a few that you want to hang on to? Because you won’t be able to bring them into heaven. (Romans 6:11)
- Are you relying on His grace, or on your own goodness? Because no one is righteous before Him without Jesus’ cleansing and grace. (Romans 3:23-24)
- Do you enjoy worshiping God? Because you’ll be doing a lot of that in heaven. (Revelation 7:11-12, 11:16, 19:5-7)
- Do you enjoy spending time with God’s people (the church)? Because Jesus died for them, and heaven will be filled with them. (Revelation 22:14)
- Do you love those around you and treat them as people made in the image of God? Because if you hate people in your life, you can’t love God. (1 John 4:20)
- Do you long to be in God’s presence daily through Bible study and prayer? Because getting to see Him and be with Him eternally – not the luxury, the rest, seeing family members, or any other promised blessing – is the greatest promise of heaven (Revelation 22:3-5)
Getting to enjoy eternity in heaven with our Savior is the greatest hope this life offers. Really, it’s the entire point of our lives, to glorify Him while we’re here so we can glorify Him more perfectly in heaven. Unfortunately, the world offers us all kinds of distractions and fleeting pleasures (not all of which are inherently wrong) to get us to take our eyes off of heaven. That’s why we have to train our minds and hearts to focus on heaven in everything that we do.
It’s pretty simple. Everybody wants to go to heaven. Nobody wants to go to hell. But eternal life is not a matter of saying “I believe in God” and hoping things work out. God gave us the path to heaven through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, and the Bible gives us everything we need to know to join Him there someday. Don’t be left on the outside. Be sure of your salvation through the promise Jesus offers.
By Jack Wilkie