FAQ: Heaven and the End Times

I believe we are in the final days of our time on the earth. Who’s we? We who have realized we’re sinners in need of a savior. We who have repented of our sins. We who have believed that Jesus Christ is Lord and have called on Him to forgive our sins. We who have been washed clean in the blood of Jesus. We who have accepted this free gift of salvation. If you feel you’re not included or you’re not sure you’re in this group of people and want to be, go ahead. Join us now. In an earnest prayer to God, admit that you’re a sinner. Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus. Confess your sins to Him. That’s it. That’s all you have to do to secure your heavenly inheritance. Now, some people have a lot of questions about making a life-altering decision like this. Here are some I’ve recently come upon. These are real questions that people asked regarding the afterlife:  
  1. How good do you have to be to get into heaven? The man goes on: I mean, I’m basically a good person. I give to the poor. I’m a doctor. I don’t swear. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I go to church. My kids go to a religious school. I love my mom and dad. I love my kids.  Answer: You’ll never be good enough. Nobody is good. A question was asked to him. Have you ever lied? To which he answered, yes. Everybody has. Well, that makes you a liar. Have you ever stolen something? To which he answered, probably, yes. Well, that makes you a thief. Have you ever looked on a woman with lust in your heart? Answer, yes. That makes you sexually immoral. These things are what the Bible says will keep you from entering heaven. We’ve all done these things. You, me, everybody that has a beating heart is guilty. In other words, there’s nothing you can do to earn salvation. You can be good and do good for the rest of your life, and it won’t be good enough. The Bible says, All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) There is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin. (Ecclesiastes 7:20) There is none righteous, no, not one. (Romans 3:10) Anyone who thinks he’s good enough to make it to Heaven on his own merit is only kidding himself—and he will miss out on God’s greatest gift. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
  2. How much do I need to pay? Answer: Nothing. It’s a free gift with absolutely no strings attached. You’re saved purely by faith in Jesus. Simply accept the fact that you couldn’t possibly pay enough to get into Heaven, and then humbly accept God’s free gift.
  3. Are there any sins that are too bad for God to forgive? Answer: Yes. But only one. Willfully refusing to accept God’s forgiveness is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. God can’t forgive this sin. Because God has given everyone a free will, He will not override that decision. Any other sins are forgiven. ANY.
  4. What if I refuse now and then change my mind? Answer: Because God is not willing that anybody die and go to Hell, he will give grace to people who change their minds. There might be more chances but there might not be. So why take that risk? Today is the day of salvation. Now is the time. You don’t know what might happen later. You could die before you stop reading this post. Or Jesus could come back, and then it will be too late. The Bible says, Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2) For you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. (James 4:14)
  5. Why do I have to pray to Jesus and not to God? Answer: Jesus, God’s Son, is the One who paid for your sins by dying on the cross for you. He took on all your sins and died for them so you wouldn’t have to! The Bible says Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, I am the door—into the kingdom of God. He continues: If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved. There is no other name”—no name but Jesus—“under Heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) “There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5) And Jesus Himself said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
  6. If God is love, won’t he accept me anyway? Answer: No. God is love, yes. And He loves you, yes. But the requirement is what’s required. He will not accept you unless you accept Jesus Christ as your savior. You will not enter into heaven any other way.
  7. How do we know we’re in the end times? Answer: The final things that the prophets said would happen when the end is near, have happened. Nothing else need come to pass before Jesus comes down from heaven to rescue His church.
  8. Since the word Rapture isn’t in the Bible, is it really true? Answer: Yes. The word, Rapture, isn’t in the Bible, that is true, but neither is the word Bible. As I was doing research on this word, Rapture, David Hebert, in his 2006 thesis on the Rapture of the Church says, “It (rapture) does not appear in the text of the Bible; however, it comes from the Latin word rapere, meaning “rapid” and the Latin word rapiemur, meaning, “we shall be caught up.” This word was taken from the Greek verb harpazo, meaning, “to seize upon, spoil, snatch away or take to oneself,” especially used of rapture (Acts 8:39; 2 Cor. 12:2, 4; 1 Thess. 4:17; Rev 12:5). Harpazo is translated “caught up” or “caught away” the five times (out of thirteen) it appears in the Bible relating to rapture. The other eight times it is translated, “to forcibly seize upon, snatch away, take to oneself or use force on someone.”
  9. When is the Rapture going to happen? Answer: God is the only One who knows. Not even Jesus knows. But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36)
  10. Are things ever going back to normal? Answer: No. If you’ve got eyes and ears that function, you can see and hear that the world has been in a gradual decline since it was created. What is normal? The answer is, the garden was God’s normal, His original, His perfect world, and it only lasted a very short time. So, I suppose this is normal. For now.
There are so many more questions you may have that are left unanswered. If so, leave it in the comments below or provide your email address if you’d like to discuss it further. I’d be happy to, as I want you to be sure you’re going to heaven when you die or when Jesus comes for His church!  

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Suzanne Sommerville

Life Blogger

Christ-follower, daughter, mom, Mimi to 6 grandchildren, teacher, writer, and musician

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