Can we really know in advance where we’re going when we die? The apostle John, the same one who wrote about the new heavens and New Earth, said in one of his letters, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13, emphasis added). We can know for sure that we have eternal life. We can know for sure that we will go to Heaven when we die.
People who want to get to Florida don’t simply get in the car and start driving, hoping the road will somehow get them there. Instead, they look at a map and chart their course. They do this in advance, rather than waiting until they arrive at the wrong destination or discover they’ve spent three days driving the wrong direction. If you want to get somewhere, guesswork is a poor strategy. The goal of getting to Heaven is worthy of greater advanced planning than we would give to any other journey—yet some people spend far more time preparing for a trip to Disney World. Many books on Heaven seem to assume every reader is Heaven-bound. The Bible says otherwise. I owe it to all my readers to share with them God’s map to Heaven and offer them his Good News.
What You Need to Know and Do
To sin is to fall short of God’s holy standards. Sin is what ended Eden’s Paradise. And all of us, like Adam and Eve, are sinners. You are a sinner. That’s the first thing you need to know.
Sin deceives us and makes us think that wrong is right and right is wrong (Proverbs 14:12).
Sin has consequences, but God has provided a solution for our sin: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, loved us so much that he became a man to deliver us from our sin (John 3:16). He came to identify with us in our humanity and our weakness, but he did so without being tainted by our sin, self-deception, and moral failings (Hebrews 2:17-18; Hebrews 4:15-16).
Taken from "Can You Know You’re Going to Heaven?" by Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, 39085 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 206, Sandy, OR 97055, 503-668-5200, www.epm.org