The Voice Of One Transcript

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Access Into Heaven

Whether or not we own up to it, one primary consideration that is common to all men is, getting into heaven. We may not readily accept this to be so, or may even say that we are not in the slightest bit interested, but when we are all alone, or, when we are faced with conditions that may lead to death, the thought of entering into heaven comes into our hearts. At such times we look back on our lives and wonder if we had done enough to grant us access into heaven.

Today, we want to address the issue of access into heaven. The question is, What really can you do to enter into heaven?

Some are sure that they will be accepted into heaven because they give an offering in church. One of the hallmarks of any church service is the giving of offerings. It is at this time that some people erroneously believe that they can be accepted by God because they are giving money to Him. Definitely this is not true! An offering is a gift to the Lord, through the agency of the church and is to be given freely, with no strings attached. It is not a payment for sin or some transgression. It is something we give out of a heart of love and gratitude to God, for the free gift of salvation which has been given unto mankind. Before a mans offering can truly be acceptable to God, therefore, he must first have handed over his life to God (2 Corinthians 8:5). An offering from a person still living in sin is never accepted by God; neither can it grant access into heaven. Cain, a son of Adam, was rejected by God, as was his offering (Genesis 4:3-7), because he did not do what is right! Today, it is the same thing being said by God: Do right and you will be accepted into heaven!

Others believe that their tithing would open heavens gate unto them. Tithing is the payment of a tenth of ones income to God. It is a mandatory requirement by God for the purpose of maintaining the ministers of the gospel who serve at the altar. As important as tithing may be, there are matters of justice, mercy, and faith that are more important and essential for entering into heaven. It is sad to see people who are dutifully tithing, but are not paying attention to the more serious issues of justice, equity and fairness; showing mercy to those needing it; and living by faith alone in God! As with giving of offerings, tithing does not mean anything if it is given by someone who is not living right before God, being fair to all, showing kindness, and living as God wants!

Some others believe that doing good deeds to people will open heavens gate unto them. Good deeds by themselves are not bad at all; however, they cannot qualify a person for entry into heaven. I know that many of us do really care for the sick, the homeless, the poor, the needy, widows, and so on. These are obviously wonderful and commendable things to do. For if God has blessed you, you indeed should transmit that blessing to the less fortunate around you and to the world at large; but it is certainly not a precondition for access into heaven. The condition of the person doing good deeds is equally important. If for instance, a person seeks to wash clothes and make them clean, he will have to use clean water with detergent; using dirty water, even with detergent will not make the clothes clean. So it is with good deeds. If the person doing good deeds is not himself good by Gods standard, such good deeds will not open heavens gate.

Some others still, believe that killing people in the name of God will grant them access into heaven. The God who said, Thou shalt not kill cannot turn around and accept people who kill, even if they claim that it was done in the name of God! For your information, Gods position on the matter of faith is that it must be accepted freely, and without coercion by anyone. For if you are compelled to accept God as your God, how does that make it a sincere acceptance? If you accept God out of fear of death, how can that be an acceptance that is acceptable to God? No! God wants everyone who accepts Him to do so freely and from his heart. You cannot be accepted into heaven if you contravene Gods word and do not repent of it before you die.

Then there are those who believe that going to church is what is needed to enter heaven. Going to church on Sundays, for bible study as well as for prayer meetings is very significant for the person attending such services, because it helps him to build his relationship with God. It however, does not grant a person automatic access into heaven! You see, there is a difference between attending a church service and having a relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ. For so long, many have believed erroneously that attending church is the qualifying approval for heaven, as well as the testimony of a transformed life. This is not true! The changes we so badly want to see in our lives and in the world will not come as a result of church attendance, but as a result of obedience to the word of God which we should have both read and heard in the course of the church service. To hear a message calling us to repentance, for instance, and then walk out of the church without as much as giving a thought to what was said, is the greatest height of hypocrisy, denial, and self-deception, all rolled in one! If our record on church attendance is anything to go by, then, by now, society should have been better off for it; but regrettably, our society is getting worse! And why is this so? The answer is not far- fetched. We simply are, in church, but not in Christ! It is being in Christ that brings about the changes in our lives, homes, and families, and, that positively affects society at large. If you have been attending church services to fulfil all righteousness, it is time you changed your focus to one that will see you make changes in your life through sincerity and honesty (John 4:19-24).

Maybe it is becoming a church leader that will get a person into heaven? Nothing can be further from the truth! We know that just like there are those who attend church but have no relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God; there are also those who are church leaders and ably titled, who are very far from God. No my friends, being a church leader is not the key to entering into heaven.

Then there are those who believe that being born into a Christian home is what will guarantee them access into heaven. This also is not true! Christianity is not something that is handed down by reason of being born into a Christian home. You must be born again! To be born again, you have to repent of your sins, and ask God for forgiveness; after which the gift of salvation is bestowed upon you. This then grants you access into heaven upon death. But that is not all! Since we dont die immediately we become born again, we need to maintain our relationship with God by being obedient to His every word. This is what flings the doors of heaven wide open for us to enter ineven our obedience to God and His word!

There is also the thinking that to believe that there is One God is all that is needed to enter heaven. Generally, people assume that all there is to entering heaven is to believe that there is one God. But this is not so. The bible says that the devil believes there is one God, and he fears and trembles! If all we had to do to access heaven is believe exactly what the devil also believes, then, what would make us any different from him? And the devil is not going to heaven! On the contrary, if we are to get into heaven, our belief in God, must be proven by our obedience to Him. Dearly beloved, we need to demonstrate more than a passive belief in God. Faith in God without displaying that faith in the way we live, act, and speak, is a dead faith! It cannot grant access into heaven! If we say that we believe in God, let us not only tremble at His word in reverential fear, but let us move on to live in absolute obedience to Him!

Beyond faith in God is the matter of believing that Jesus Christ is Saviour. This is as close as a person can get to entering into heaven. However, more is required, and that is that Jesus Christ is also the Lord of your life! This means that you subject every compartment of your life to His lordship. There is a saying, If Jesus Christ is not Lord of all in your life, then, it is most likely that He is not Lord at all over your life If Jesus Christ is not your Lord here on earth, He cannot be expected to grant you access into heaven; for He it is, who permits or disallows any man into heaven (Mathew 7: 21; Luke 6:46)! It is easier to say that Jesus is our Saviour, but difficult to let Him govern our lives. If we believe in God and tremble at His word, then, we must submit to Christ as God and Lord! Jesus Christ came to save the lost, take charge of their lives and affairs, and lead them back to the Father. Mans need for a saviour is as a result of his rebellion against God. Salvation through Jesus Christ seeks to bring man back to the place of surrender and submission to the authority of God! Once we allow Jesus Christ to be Lord in our lives, we are allowing the One who has the keys to the gates of heaven into our lives and our access into heaven is guaranteed!

Dearly beloved, it is not enough to go to church, give offerings, and pay tithes. It is not enough to be involved in doing good things in the lives of others. What is really important for access into heaven is that you are first and foremost born again; and then, that you are living as God expects you to, which includes submitting your life into the hands of Jesus Christ, Who is not just a Saviour, but also Lord. Unfortunately, there are those who say, There is no God, not just by their speech, but also by their actions and in their hearts. Are you one of them? I hope that you would change your mind and begin to confess, and live in a manner that says loudly, There is a God, and He is the Ruler of the whole earth. I believe that He is God and that He will one day judge the world; therefore, I surrender to His leading and direction, so that I can continue to enjoy the relationship I have with Him here on earth, unto eternity.

Let us pray!