—Treasure Beyond Measure

How to Go to Heaven

Many opinions are held concerning who will enter into heaven when their body is laid to rest, and who will be condemned to hell, and later to the lake of fire. Some say: "I am a good person; I'm going to heaven". Some say: "I go to church; I'm going to heaven". Some say that there is no heaven, "When you are dead, you are dead!" And some say that everyone is going to heaven.

Which is true? How can we know if we are going to heaven or not, or what must be done to insure our entrance? You must concede that if there is a place of eternal paradise and a place of eternal torment, then knowing the truth is of paramount importance. Where can we go to find the truth?

God created the world and all that is in it to his exact specifications. He created the sun, the moon, and the uttermost ends of the universe. He created the universe to be like heaven, that is, boundless, having no apparent beginning or ending. God created the universe in such a way as to make it impossible to see that he did.

What of life on the earth; did it just happen, or is it here by the command of God? The Bible tells us that God created all the life on the planet, but again, he brought life into being in such a way as to make it impossible to see that he did.

What about mankind; is man really any different than the other animals. Is man just a smarter version of a chimpanzee? The Bible tells us that God breathed into the body of a man and the man became a being of spirit, living in the body of an animal. Again, it is impossible to see how God put spirit beings, beings capable of being his very own children, into animal bodies. God placed us in these bodies so intimately that it is easy to think that we are our bodies.

Isaiah 45:15

Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Savior of Israel. (NIV84)

Did you ever notice in the Bible that after Jesus was resurrected, he only appeared to those who already believed in him? This is the way it is. This is the way that God determined it would be.

I have heard people arrogantly say: "If there is a God, let him do a miracle here and now, and then I will believe." People who say this are mistaken. Loving God does not depend upon God frightening us, but upon the revelation of his true nature.

My dear reader, please consider that God reveals himself in the manner in which he does, because he wants what he wants. God has intentionally hidden himself, so that he can reveal himself to those people who will seek him in their heart, because in their heart they want what is right. They want peace, joy, gentleness, goodness, and kindness.

Let us look at Jesus. God could have manifested himself on the earth in all his glory and might. He could have appeared in the temple in Jerusalem in glowing splendor. He could have seated himself on Israel's throne and established his reign, and all his enemies and the enemies of Israel would have melted before him. (This is in fact what the Jews expected.)

If God manifested himself in this manner, what would have been the result? Would the people of the world come to him because they truly loved him? Remember that God can do anything and he does what he does, because it brings about the end that he desires.

God wants people to come to him, and enter into a marriage-like union with him, because they have come to know what he is truly like, and they love him.

God chose to reveal himself without any pomp or splendor in the person of Jesus Christ. If you carefully look at Jesus, and listen to his words, and watch him react in the world, you will see exactly what God would say and do. You can come to know God by reading the Holy Bible. And through knowing him you can come to love him, for he is truly loving and kind.

John 14:8-10

Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."

9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, "Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. (NIV84)


Colossians 1:15

He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (NIV84)

What we see in Jesus is the same as with the creation of the universe, and of life on earth, and our own spiritual selves hidden inside our animal bodies. God has hidden himself, so that he can reveal himself to any who would seek him, prompted by the love and faith in their hearts.

Please let me show you a clear example of what I mean.

Luke 24:1-3

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (NIV84)

Jesus' body had been placed in a tomb, and the tomb had been sealed, and a Roman guard was watching so that no one could come and remove the body. Now consider that God could have done things any way he wanted. He could have left the tomb sealed and had the solders roll the stone away for the women, revealing the empty tomb. Surly this would have been more exciting, more conclusive. But God always gives the person who doesn't want to believe an easy out. Please consider what this means. It's very important. God is calling those who want to believe. God wants those who want him. Is this so strange? Do you not want the same? Don't you want a spouse who delights in the real you; who wants to be with you, because they love the real you? Also consider that if the Bible was fictitious, that is, concocted by men to create believers of a false religion, why would it be forever telling a story that is so incredibly easy to disbelieve?

Even the origin of the scriptures themselves is hidden, because God chose that they be written by the hand of man, instead of some holy text coming down out of heaven, which God would certainly have done if he wanted to.

No, God chose to hide every piece of conclusive evidence so that it would be impossible for anyone to come to know God through their own effort. So why would he do that? Why hide himself when what he desires is for us to come to the knowledge of the truth?

Mostly it is because he desires not to frighten people into submission, but to woo us into a loving relationship with him, because we truly want goodness. It is like the story of the wealthy man who pretends to have no excess money so that he can find a wife who loves him and not his money. God has revealed his true self in the person of Jesus Christ, so that we can see him and love him and put our faith in him and enter into God through faith in Jesus Christ.

But what of Buddha or Mohammed? They are good men, you might say. What if I follow them? Do they lead to heaven?

If you follow them you will end up where they are, that is, in the grave. There is only one man, sent from God, that arose from the grave and ascended into heaven. Only one man who entered into life sinless, and walked before God holy and righteous, so that death had no power over him.

John 14:6

Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.' (NIV84)

The things of God are subtle, granted, but everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. Everyone knows, down deep in their heart, that they should do right.

Romans 1:18-20

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (NIV84)

You see my reader, it all comes down to what you want. Do you want what is right, just, honorable and true? Do you want peace, patience, kindness and gentleness? Do you want selfless love, and joy? Do you want to be received by God as his very own child? Do you want heaven?

If heaven is what you want then enter into the kingdom of heaven now, through a loving relationship with God's Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. The benefits of righteousness can be had now, if you will trust in God and live holy and righteous before him. Surrender your self-lordship and acknowledge that God is good, holy and true, and then submit to him as your Father. Say in your heart: "O Father I have sinned and have led a rebellious life. I have not lived my life with regard to you, that is, with regard to pleasing you. I know I have done wrong, and I know that you have sent Jesus to show me the way I should live. I know that Jesus bore on his body the penalty for sin, so that if I submit to him and trust him you will raise my body from death and I will get to live with him and you forever. O thank you Father. Praise you. For you are truly patient and kind. Thank you Father."

There is only one God. God, the Creator, has revealed himself, and his plan, through the nation of Israel and through his Son, Jesus Christ. If the religions of the world have the appearance of holiness and spiritual wisdom it is only a deception. Jesus is who he is, and salvation can only come through an intimate and loving relationship with him. Jesus is the only person to be laid down in death and yet live. For on the third day he arose from the grave--never to die again. Follow that man and you shall do the same, otherwise, like all others death will swallow you up.

Please stop now and consider all this. Consider the importance of having a correct understanding of Jesus Christ and his eternal kingdom. Consider the offer God has revealed to you. If you jump to the conclusion that the Bible is not the Word of God, and so, you reject its explanation of things, does that change the truth? Is the truth only the truth if you accept it? Of course not. The truth is the truth even if no one accepts it.

Jesus Christ is a revelation of the truth whether or not you accept him or believe in him. And Jesus cries out to you: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

I am not suggesting that you join the Christian religion. I hate religion, Christian or any other. I am encouraging you to consider Jesus Christ, the real person, who lived as an example to you of the life that pleases God, and who died and was raised again so that through a real, personal, relationship with him, you can enter into life with God. Jesus freed you from the power of sin which leads to death, so that by faith you can live a sinless life, in holiness and purity, as God's son or daughter.

This is what the Bible is all about. It is not a matter of going to church. It is not a matter of religious observance. It is a matter of living before God in truth. It is a matter of a loving relationship between you and God. A continual communion with God through the Spirit of Christ. A relationship where God is always with you, showing you the truth of what you are experiencing. He is with you, and in you, and is continually expanding you through a revealing of his intimate self to you. As you delight in God, he delights in showing you more of himself, and this all results in you becoming more like him. You are growing up to be like your Father--as it should be. This is Christianity.

Now this is important; I don't want you to misunderstand, I believe in going to church. I go to church, but going to church is not the end. I am God's son, not because I go to church, but because God has called me, and revealed himself to me, and has raised me up from death, and has given me his life. I go to church to give and receive encouragement. I come together with my brothers and sisters to share my delight in God. I fellowship with my family members, because I love them. Perhaps one of my brothers or sisters is in need of some help. We need each other. The strength of one member supports the other. The wisdom of one can guide the other.

I am good at searching out the reasons why things are true. I am good at explaining them to others, but I am very shy. If a new visitor comes to church I am poorly suited to make them feel welcome. The Lord uses me to do one thing and another to do the other. Together we do what individually we could not do. We are a body. But church is not the end--my real, personal, love relationship with my husband, Jesus Christ, is the end. This relationship is with me whether I am in church or at work or at play. The Lord is the beginning and the end.

What I am saying is that God has hidden himself, so that he can reveal himself through the path that he created. The world is his and everything in it. He has done what he has done for his reasons. It is impossible for us to find God in any manner other than the one he chose. If a person chooses to reject his path, that is, Jesus, then that person is really rejecting God. God is a person; he is not mother nature; he is a person. He has a will, and has revealed himself in the world through his Word, the Holy Bible.

The Lord says to you: "I am who I am. I do not waver in the wind or change with the times. I have sent my Son to the earth to reveal me to you. Look at him and listen to him. I love you more than you have capacity to understand. I love you and desire that you love me more than the world. If you love me, and come to me, I will never send you away. You will be with me where I am--forever. Come."

Acts 17:24-31

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 "For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, "We are his offspring.'

29 "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone -- an image made by man's design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead. (NIV84)


Revelation 22:14-16

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16 'I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.' (NIV84)


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