Do All Christians Go to Heaven?
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
People who cried “Lord! Lord!’ and did not enter the gates of Heaven are people who knew of Jesus, but Jesus says He did not know them. That is because they did not have a personal relationship with Him. They used His name but had nothing else to do with Him. In other words, lukewarm Christians, who Jesus Himself has something to say about this group of people. In the verses below, Jesus is actually speaking to a specific church.
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me- gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
Not everyone who proclaims the title of Christianity has been purified by the fire that changes them from the inside out.
Having a personal relationship with God implies that you are being changed from your old ways into a new creation. This new creation is striving to be like Jesus. Does this mean God expects you to be perfect? Of course not. He understands that we are still in our sinful flesh and succumb to the temptations of sin. This is why repentance is so great. He convicts you, you seek forgiveness, make things right, and keep moving forward. What God does expect is for you to be set apart (made holy) from the world. This means that you do not indulge in the same sinful practices you once did or that the world condones. It also implies that you do not think the same way as the world does and you are rooted in Christ.
Being saved is not a one-step process just like forgiving is not a one-step process. You cannot claim to forgive someone and mull over the offense. You also have to let go of the offense. You cannot claim to be saved and exhibit no change at all. I am sure many of us have heard, “We have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved.” So, how do you know God’s will for your life?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Letting God transform you is key to knowing what His will is for your life. The process is called sanctification, in which believers are being made more Christ-like. When the Holy Spirit indwells the believer, He starts to convicts them of their old ways that were not godly. Former sins such as lying, cheating, pornography, masturbation, etc. are no longer desirable. He starts to renew your mind. God starts to put new desires in your heart that are good, pleasing, and perfect. Knowing that the gate to Heaven is narrow and not everyone who professes Christianity will enter should encourage you to take your relationship with Jesus more seriously. God does not want to see anyone perish but He does require you to stay close with Him, listen to His voice, and obey the Good News. The book of 2 Peter is great to learn more about this concept.
2 Peter 1:3-4
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
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