This post is one in a series of posts on a Bible study I am doing titled Heaven by Randy Alcorn and Dave McCleskey. The focus of this study is to get a Biblical view of what heaven is really like.
After yesterday’s study over the reality of hell, I’m ready to start thinking about good things again! Today’s study asked this question – “Can you know you’re going to heaven?” Is it possible that we can know that we know that we know that our eternal destination is heaven? What kind of assurances do we find in the Bible? I’d like to summarize what my study was about today, which was a strong “yes” to this ever-so-important question.
Alcorn begins today’s study by talking about the Lamb’s Book of Life – in Revelation 21:27 it says “Nothing impure will ever enter [the city], nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” It seems weird to think about, but from a Biblical standpoint, it would appear as if God keeps meticulous records. And these records are used to determine who enters the city (heaven) and who is turned away. Alcorn tells the story of a singer who was asked to sing at a wedding for the daughter of a very rich man. The wedding was extravagantly beautiful, and the banquet that was to follow promised to be the same. The singer and her husband walked up to the doors of the banquet hall, and a man was there looking up peoples’ names in a record book. The singer and her husband’s names were not in the book, because they had not RSVP’d as they should have, and they were turned away and led back to their car, where they had to go home. Alcorn compares this story to us as we arrive to the gates of heaven – the Lamb’s Book of Life will be opened, and our names will be searched for. If our name is found, we will enter. If not, we will be turned away.
So is there a way to ensure our name is written in this book? Thankfully, yes there is – we must RSVP. God has invited us to his house, but we must RSVP in order to be allowed inside. How do we do this? Just accept the invitation.
Because God is holy, and sin cannot be in His presence (see Habakkuk 1:13), the only way to enter His presence is to be washed clean of your sin. Unfortunately, there is no way to do this yourself. You can’t do enough good – even if you did all the good in the world, you would also inevitably sin at some point, and that one stain is enough to keep you out of God’s presence. The only way to be cleaned of your sin – to be forgiven – is to swap places with Christ. Christ is willing to take on your sin if you are willing to recognize it and repent of it. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). All we have to do it confess that we have sinned and see our sin for what it is, and Jesus does the rest. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Christ offers this as a gift, and He invites us to accept it. All we have to do is accept the gift, and our RSVP is sent, and our name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. When they look at our record, all they will see is Jesus. We’re in.
Click HERE to see the next post in this series.