How Do You Get into Heaven?
From Gospel Translations
How do you get into heaven? You don’t get into heaven by faith alone. You get justified by faith alone. You get into a position where God is one hundred percent for you by faith alone. And in order to get into heaven, that faith must bear the fruit of love. Pursue the holiness without which you will not see the Lord. Put to death the deeds of the body, and you will live!
We should not speak of getting into heaven at the last day, through the last judgment — when all of our lives are assessed for whether there’s been any transformation confirming the reality of the faith which alone justifies. We should not say you can live like the devil and get to heaven. You can’t.
There is a holiness without which we will not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). Essential to the Christian life and necessary for final salvation is the killing of sin (Romans 8:13) and the pursuit of holiness (Hebrews 12:14) — mortification of sin and sanctification in holiness. And what makes that possible and pleasing to God? These next two sentences are absolutely crucial for you living the Christian life in a way that pleases the Lord. What makes it possible for you to kill sin and pursue holiness — which are essential for going to heaven?
We put sin to death and we pursue holiness from a justified position where God is already one hundred percent for us by faith alone. You are in that position where God is one hundred percent for you by faith alone, and from that position, you now put sins to death and you now pursue holiness from that position.
Here’s the second sentence that’s all-important: if we try to put sin to death and pursue holiness from a position where we’re not fully accepted — not fully forgiven, not fully righteous in Christ, where God is not one hundred percent for us, maybe only ninety-five percent for us — then we will be putting sin to death and pursuing holiness as a means of getting to heaven.
That is the Galatian heresy. Therefore, we are justified. We are put into a position where God is one hundred percent for us by faith alone — a position in Christ where no accusations sticks, no condemnation holds, no separation ever comes. Brothers and sisters, we have been shown the solution to the world’s greatest problem. You know it. We have entered paradise. We have stood on our head for joy. Have we not? Or haven’t you? I hope you have or will.
Everything’s changed. Savor it and show it to the world. They need it more than anything, and you will not have wasted your life.