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If You Died Today, Would You Go to Heaven?

That is a question that should cause anyone to stop and think. There is no assurance that we will not die today. Therefore we should inquire diligently to find out what will happen to us after death. The most trustworthy place to look would be the Bible, the inspired Word of God.

When we search the pages of the Bible we find that there were several men who went directly to Heaven. "Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Gen. 5:24). "Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II Kings 2:11). The thief on the cross died and immediately went to be with Jesus Christ in paradise (Luke 23:42, 43). Stephen saw the Lord Jesus in heaven waiting to receive his spirit, as soon as he died a martyr's death (Acts 7:54-60). The Apostle Paul said, "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (II Cor. 5:8). Again Paul said that when he died he would "depart, and be with Christ, which is far better" (Phil. 1:23). Speaking of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible says, "we which are alive and remain shall be caught up... to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:17). It is very clear that some do go to Heaven immediately after the death of their body.

The truth of this causes us to wonder what is required in order to go to Heaven immediately after death. Our first thought might be that people who are especially good or holy would go directly to Heaven. That would seem to be true when we look at Enoch and Elijah, for they were unquestionably real men of God. But then we come to the thief on the cross. He had lived a bad life, was being executed as a criminal, and had nothing to commend himself to a holy God. Stephen had taken his stand for the Lord and was the first Christian martyr. But then we come to the Apostle Paul. He had persecuted the church, consented to the death of Christians, and called himself the "chief of sinners" (I Tim. 1:15). After his conversion, he still found that when he wanted to do good, evil was present with him (Rom. 7:21). And it is a matter of fact that all the Christians who will be caught up to be with the Lord Jesus at his second coming, do presently have a sinful nature, and are not always pleasing the Lord.

Now we are forced to the conclusion that God does take people to Heaven who do not deserve to go there. That encourages us, for we are certainly not deserving to go to Heaven. We are more inclined to think that we ought to go to Hell. How can God save us and take us into Heaven? As we search the pages of the Bible we find that there is a way. God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14) in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus lived a sinless life because there was no sin in Him (I John 3:5). He allowed men to crucify Him and and on that cross He became sin for us (II Cor. 5:21). He took the penalty for sin and died FOR US (I Cor. 15:3). After making Himself a substitute for us, He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Now we begin to see how God can take undeserving sinners into Heaven. It is through the perfect work of the great Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ.

One question remains to be answered. How can the great work of Christ be effectively applied to me? The answer must come from the Bible. We are told to "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31) because that "through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:43). Again we see, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12) and "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13). There it is, and it is available to all who will trust the Lord Jesus Christ, calling upon Him for salvation.

Will you pray right now and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to save you? He will change your destiny from Hell to Heaven. He will forgive all your sins because He is God in the flesh and "who can forgive sins but God only?" (Mark 2:7). He will give you the gift of eternal life and surely take you to Heaven when you die (Rom. 6:23 and John 14:3). Now, let me ask you again—If you died today, would you go to Heaven?

Author unknown. Copied for WholesomeWords.org

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