Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 16, 2013 4 comments

“Will I go to heaven?”

That is probably the most common question people ask regarding what’s after this world. And on the heels of that question, the next is, “How do I know for sure?”

Imagine a world where everyone will go to heaven, guaranteed. There is absolutely no question that all people everywhere and in all times will live in heaven with Jesus forever. Wouldn’t that be great?

Well, yes and no. Yes, assurance of salvation is a wonderful, priceless gift! But is a gift truly a gift if everyone receives it? What if it’s your birthday and you get the present you’ve always dreamed of - but so does everyone else who decided to show up at your party? Wouldn’t you feel less special if everyone received the same gift regardless?

God wants to give us the gift salvation. He truly does - to each and every person on earth! But He can’t give us that gift unless we believe that it is Him, and Him alone, who saves us.

Universalism is like everyone at your birthday party receiving your prized present. Universalists, who may or may not claim that title, believe that everyone will go to heaven. Period. No questions asked. No particular belief necessary. Are you a good person? You’re going to heaven! Are you a bad person? You can go too!

The Bible is very clear that although God desires that all will be saved, it will not happen that way. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 states:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

God desires that every single person come to know Him and have a relationship with Him. But, there is only one way to receive this gift: through Jesus. In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Paul elaborates on that in Romans 1:16:
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

Universalism is the belief that all people will be saved. However, the Bible clearly gives us the truth - all people who believe will be saved! You can’t just show up at the party; it needs to be your birthday, and it’s your birthday every day when you believe in the precious gift of salvation through Jesus.


Ted said...

A coroner in our county took an interest in the views and last words of the deceased via the survivors. After 30 years and hundreds of deaths, not a single person believed they were going to hell. Is heaven and hell a human belief or an actuality?

Katie said...

Ted, thanks for reading the blog!

The Bible is clear that not everyone will be saved, so something different has to happen to those two groups of people. People who believe in the Truth of Bible believe that there are two separate places, commonly referred to as heaven and hell, though the Bible has multiple words for what we consider to be "hell." Each person will spend eternity in one of them.

Like you stated, nobody wants to believe that they're going to hell. But our opinion of where we want to go doesn't necessarily allow us to go to heaven; heaven is for those who believe in Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and God is the judge of that.

ted said...

She(the coroner) concluded that our beliefs about the afterlife reflect our basic desires(reunite with our loved ones, happy hunting ground-Indian, worshipping God, etc.) The writers and creators of the Bible probably were well aquainted with Greek concepts of a rewarding heaven with the gods or a punishing stint in Hades. Could the concepts of heaven and hell be a way of encouraging believers to follow religious beliefs?

Katie said...

Our desires may well affect what we believe about the afterlife, but just because I believe something doesn't make it true. I could believe all I want that gravity doesn't exist, but that won't make me go floating off the earth! A person who doesn't believe that heaven/hell exists won't stop them from actually existing. Does that make sense?

I do agree that the ideas of heaven and hell do often influence a person's belief, but a true faith in God must be more than just "fire insurance." The fear of hell is not enough for a person to change their entire lifestyle from the ways of the world to God's ways.