Heaven: Tell Me About It – Part Two

How does a person gain admittance to heaven? I’m glad you asked!

Only citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven go there. Such citizenship is established here and now. In writing to the Christian community in Philippi Paul reminded them, “…our citizenship is in heaven…” (Philippians 3: 20).

Philippi was a Roman colony. People living there were by virtue of their residence citizens of Rome. They were expected to conduct themselves like citizens of the Roman Empire. They were expected to be loyal to their Emperor.

We who are Christians are citizens of heaven. Our conduct should be complementary to our citizenship. Our loyalty must be to our King of Kings.

Our colony on planet earth is a heavenly outpost. We are far from our homeland in the midst of an alien environment. As such, one of our responsibilities is to supernaturalize our friends and help them become unnaturalized citizens of the heavenly colony.

Our journey to heaven begins here and now with citizenship. A basic question is: “How do you get to be a citizen?”

“As many as received Him to them He gave the right to become the child of God” (John 1: 12).

To receive Him means to accept who He is, Immanuel, God with us. And to believe His Word as the guiding principles for life. It is a lifetime commitment.

Then to get to heaven you have to exit this physical body through a process called death. The timing of this exodus must be determined by God and not us. When it happens, it is a glorious and victorious moment for the citizens on the way home to heaven.

Even your bodiless spirit is given an angelic escort in that split second interval between leaving the body and arriving in heaven (Psalm 34: 7). Remember, Lazarus was “carried by the angels.”

You are immediately present with Jesus. He told the thief on the cross “today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

In His High Priestly prayer Jesus prayed, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You gave Me…” (John 17: 24).

This is an instantaneous event. There is no intermediate state for anyone. For “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5: 8).