But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself. (Phil. 3:20-21)
There is a gentleman I know who’s traveled to more than 100 countries.
He can even look back to playing small roles in numerous Hollywood movies and TV shows.
He is esteemed amongst his colleagues, and he’s gone on grand adventures the likes of which many of us will never see.
There isn’t a whole lot left for him to put on his Bucket List of things to do before he dies.
And that’s going to heaven.
It’s God’s grandest adventure of them all.
This “super trip” is well within the grasp of all of us.
It is free because the price has already been paid.
It’s just waiting for us.
All we have to do is be ready for it.
Going to heaven is on my bucket list.
Is it on yours?
Is There Really A Stairway to Heaven?
Heaven is more than a Hollywood movie fantasy.
It’s more than a fable.
It’s more than a song.
Back in my younger days, when I thought of heaven, I thought of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”
But it was just a popular rock song with obscure lyrics and no substance.
As I matured, I realized, “The only “Stairway to Heaven” is Jesus Christ.”
Let’s take a look at what God’s Word says about:
- What it takes to get to heaven
- When you get to go there
- What awaits you in heaven when you arrive
To start with, you have to believe heaven and hell exist.
If you don’t, your next step is to get right with God because WE ARE ALL GOING SOMEWHERE after we die.
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
You may be late for work, but you won’t be late for this appointment!
Heaven is a place that awaits believers in Jesus.
Hell is the final stop for those separated from God.
1. What Does It Take to Get to Heaven?
First and foremost, Jesus Christ holds the key to heaven.
Plain and simple, there is only ONE WAY to heaven, and that is through Jesus, the Son of God.
Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
The Apostle Peter told anyone who would listen that Jesus was the only way to be saved and enter heaven.
“Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
God has exalted Jesus above all others:
“Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name.” (Phil. 2.9)
The Apostle Paul explains it this way in Romans 6:8-9:
“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.”
In the Apostle John’s vision on the island of Patmos, he said:
“When I saw Him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.’” (Revelation 1:17-18)
In other words,
[bctt tweet=”Jesus holds the keys to EVERYTHING, in and out of this world.”]
But what about the Jews, God’s chosen people, you may ask?
As Jesus told the Samaritan woman (John 4:22), “salvation is of the Jews.”
Born of a Jewish mother, Jesus is the salvation of all.
This is important.
Jesus came for both the Jew and the Gentile. (Romans 10:12)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
As noted earlier, the price to get into heaven has been paid in full.
You get your boarding pass when you admit you’re a sinner, repent, and turn your life over to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Eternal life in heaven is a gift of God’s grace. You can’t pay to get in. You can’t work to get in. (Ephesians 2:9).
Only Jesus gets you in because He redeemed us.
He bought our freedom when he ransomed all of mankind by taking our collective sins upon Himself on the cross.
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
That sacrificial act on the cross brought us back into fellowship with our Father.
Even if we could pay the price ourselves we could never afford it.
“Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice.” (Psalms 49:7-8)
2. When Do You Get to Go to Heaven?
Indications are that as soon as you die.
To be out of the body is to be with Christ Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:8: “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
The Apostle Paul notes in Philippians 1:23-24:
“For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.”
We will exchange our mortal bodies for incorruptible bodies. (1 Cor. 15:53)
And what of those who are still alive? All I can say is get ready, because nobody knows when Jesus will come to get his people:
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15: 51-52)
3. What Awaits You in Heaven When You Arrive?
First of all, I love this beautiful promise from God:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
The Bible tells us the streets are paved with gold, according to the visions of the Apostle John.
“And the 12 gates were 12 pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” (Rev. 21:21)
Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for us.
He tells us this in John 14:2.
“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?”
We will be worshiping and praising God with friends and family… and tons of people we don’t know.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” (Rev. 7:9)
We are in God’s realm now.
Who knows exactly what it will be like?
But here is a hint.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)
John’s visions in the book of Revelations give detailed accounts of heaven.
John was given a glimpse “through an open door.” To read his description, go to Rev. 4:1-11.
More descriptions of heaven abound in Rev. 21:10-27:
Heaven might seem far off, but it’s as close to your heart as your relationship with Jesus.
You don’t have to book a cruise, buy a plane ticket, or even pack your bags!
All you have to do is have faith and believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
And wait for his return.
No one knows when He is coming.
Will you be ready?
Have you placed heaven on your bucket list?