Not Everyone Goes to Heaven

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).

Some passages in the Bible can quickly awaken us from spiritual cruise control. Jesus did most of the talking about eternal destinies, whether saved in heaven or lost to a Christless eternity. We don’t like to dwell on these matters, but we cannot shake the clear statements of Scripture: Not all people go to heaven.

Jesus said something equally sobering in Matthew 25:41:

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ ”

This fact alone provides more than enough reason to get out the good word of salvation to those apart from Christ. Let’s review a few paths that won’t take one to heaven:

  1. Good works.
    We often hear at funerals that the decedent was “a good person” or “would help anyone in need.” Such virtues should be commended, but they will not get anyone closer to heaven.
  2. Good pedigree.
    Many people come from religious homes, even Christian families. But each person shall stand before God on their own. A parent’s faith will not inch us closer to God nor grant us admittance into heaven.
  3. Good intentions.
    Many people plan to turn to God sometime in the future. But God reminds us that now is the time to turn to Him (2 Corinthians 6:2). Young people want to build their careers or start a family. Mid-lifers want to build on their accomplishments and accumulate all the goods they can. Even older retirees will put off coming to God and promise themselves another day to do it. Good intentions fall short, in fact, we tend to grow more hardened with time.

What about God’s people? They too need to realize that time is slipping away for millions of people that do not know God. We must not kid ourselves into thinking that God will go easy on those who reject him. We do serve a God who loves sinners, but He also judges according to His righteous standards.

What can we do?

  1. Continue to pray for those who do not know God.
    At Sunrise we use our “10 for 10,” praying for people during the weeks leading up to Easter. Why not continue to pray for them? Who can think of a better habit to develop than to pray for lost sinners?
  2. Lovingly witness to those without Christ.
    You might start by inviting them to church or sharing your testimony. You do not need to speak eloquently or with style. You only need to be sincere.
  3. Support Gospel teaching churches that reach out.
    Some churches teach the Word but fail to proclaim salvation to lost people. But what kinds of churches should we throw our support to? We should support churches and ministries that obey the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20.

Whatever we do, we must not lose focus on our main calling in life. God can use us to impact lives for Christ.

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