Day 4- The Travel Requirements: How Do I Get There?
If there is anything these last two years have changed for us, surely it is the relative simplicity of domestic and foreign travel. Now instead of requiring just a valid passport and boarding pass to get on a plane, most of us must provide medical tests and receipts to ensure passengers’ safety. Not only that, but many of us must check to see if our destination has provided new restrictions to visitors, follow up on the validity of our reservations, and account for all sorts of changes to our plans. This doesn’t even include all the packing and organizing we must do before we set off. In reality, travel often starts months before we get anywhere due to the significant planning needed.
Likewise, as we consider our journey heavenward, we would be wise to ensure we have met the travel requirements God has set out for us. Thinking about eternity is certainly not a task we should put off until it is convenient (Acts 24:25); that time may never come. We must think about it now. The good news is that God’s Word could not be clearer about how we get to Heaven.
The entirety of the Bible centers around the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was the once-for-all sacrifice that reconnects fallen sinners with the holy God. It is our separation from God and our inability to meet God’s holy standards that will keep us out of Heaven, but by God’s grace, His Son Jesus met God’s holy standards for us and brought us back to God.
So, what do we need to go to Heaven? We need to be saved from our sin and reconciled to God. And what do we do to be saved? The Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas that question too; they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household”
(Acts 16:31). “Is it really that simple?” you may ask. Yes, it is.
If we want to spend eternity with God in Heaven, we just need to let go of our own doings (our shameful sins and our prideful good works) and believe what God says (Titus 3:4-7). We need to believe what He says about us and what He says about who Jesus is.
When God calls us a sinner who has fallen short of God’s perfection, we honestly say, “Yes, Lord, I have sinned.” When God tells us that He has sent His perfect Son Jesus to save us from our sin, forgive us, and give us eternal life, we honestly say, “Yes, Lord, I believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He lived a perfect life, died on the cross to rescue me from the penalty of my sins, and rose from the dead three days later to give me new life.” Once we accept God’s free gift of salvation, our hearts are changed and made ready for life in Heaven (Hebrews 10:22). And once we are saved, death itself becomes a doorway to true life; no longer is it something to be dreaded or feared, but anticipated with joy (1 Corinthians 15:56-57).
All the planning was done for us by a God who loves us more than we can comprehend. All the cost required to take us to Heaven He has paid; everything is included, and nothing has been left for us to pay. All we need to do is accept His gracious invitation, and live looking forward to the day when Heaven’s doors will fling wide open and we will hear Christ’s voice welcome us home.
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52,54-57, ESV)