Face it. The day that each of us will step into eternity may come sooner than we think. In preparation for that moment, we need to know this truth—not everyone is going to heaven. How can we know for sure that we are one of those who will spend eternity in heaven? Some 2,000 years ago, the apostles Peter and John were preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to a large crowd in Jerusalem. It was then that Peter made a profound statement that resonates even in our post-modern world: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Even as it was then, in today’s “all ways lead to heaven” climate, this is not a politically correct message. There are many who think they can have heaven without having Jesus. They want the good promises of glory, but they don’t want to be bothered by the cross, much less the One who hung and died there for the sins of all who would believe in Him. Many don’t want to accept Jesus as the only way and are determined to find another path. But Jesus Himself warns us that no other path exists and the consequences for not accepting this truth are an eternity in hell. He has told us plainly that “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36).
Some will argue that it’s extremely narrow-minded of God to provide only one way to heaven. But, frankly, in light of mankind’s rebellious rejection of God, it’s extremely broad-minded for Him to provide us with any way to heaven. We deserve judgment, and instead He gives us the way of escape by sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins. Whether someone sees this as narrow or broad, it’s the truth, and Christians need to maintain the clear, untarnished message that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ.
Many people today have believed a watered-down gospel that does away with the message of repentance of their sins. They want to believe in a loving, nonjudgmental God who requires no repentance and no change in their lifestyle. They may say things like, “I believe in Jesus Christ, but my God is not judgmental. My God would never send a person to hell.” But we cannot have it both ways. If we profess to be Christians, we must recognize Christ for who He said He is—the one and only way to heaven. To deny that is to deny Jesus Himself, for it was He who declared, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
The question still remains: who will actually enter into God’s kingdom? How can I guarantee my eternal destination? The answer to these questions is seen in the clearly drawn distinction between those who have eternal life and those who do not. “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). Those who believe in Christ, who have accepted His sacrifice in payment of their sins, and who follow Him in obedience will spend eternity in heaven. Those who reject Him will not. “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18).
As awesome as heaven will be for those who choose Jesus Christ as Savior, hell will be that much more awful for those who reject Him. Our message to the lost would be delivered with more urgency if we understood what the holiness and righteousness of God will do to those who have rejected the full provision of forgiveness in His Son, Jesus Christ. One cannot read the Bible seriously without seeing it over and over again—the line is drawn. The Bible is very clear that there is one and only one way to heaven—through Jesus Christ. He has given us this warning: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
There is only one way to heaven and those who follow that way are guaranteed to get there. But not everyone is following that way. Are you?