Somewhere along the line they are implying that simply going to church is going to be a prerequisite to heaven, but then we read the Word of God and Jesus said we ought to search the scriptures because it is in them we have eternal life (John 5:39). And as we begin to search the scriptures for ourselves, we realize that confessing the Lord with our mouths and believing in our hearts is simply not enough to cause us to go to heaven, to make us ready for Jesus.
By Daniel M. Davy
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
As I listen to some people from time to time, they give the impression that simply having good intentions toward God and saying that they love God is enough to make them a candidate for heaven. It is enough to make them ready to meet the Lord when he does return. They say, “Well, we go to church.” Somewhere along the line they are implying that simply going to church is going to be a prerequisite to heaven, but then we read the Word of God and Jesus said we ought to search the scriptures because it is in them we have eternal life (John 5:39). And as we begin to search the scriptures for ourselves, we realize that confessing the Lord with our mouths and believing in our hearts is simply not enough to cause us to go to heaven, to make us ready for Jesus. Simply calling on the Lord is not adequate.
In Luke 6:46 notice Jesus’ remarks: “And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” So now we know that being right with God is more than just saying it with our lips, for in this scripture Jesus is saying we’ve got to do some things. It’s not just a matter of saying, “I believe.” Sometimes it really amazes me because to get into any kind of organization, even the most simple community facility, takes a lot of effort. However, when talking about going to heaven, people say it’s easier to get into heaven than getting into the Olympics, or it’s easier than becoming a member of some club.
They relegate heaven to something that is so simple that getting into, it is the easiest thing to do, but when you start looking at scripture, you see getting into heaven is one of the hardest things to do. People sometimes have become deluded into feeling that it’s too simple to get into heaven. That’s why a lot of people don’t even want to go to heaven—it’s too simple. When you go into a store and see something priced at $1.50 and you see a comparable item priced at $11.50, you immediately draw the conclusion that the higher priced item is worth more, and typically that’s true. Some people have the idea that getting to heaven is so easy that it really is not worth going there. Whereas, when you really get down to business, you see that getting to heaven is not an easy thing. Most people want to do the easy thing, so that’s why they say, “You want to know about getting to heaven? Oh, that’s so easy that you don’t even have to do anything. Just raise your hand, believe in your heart and then you’re ready for heaven.” I mean, that’s simply ludicrous!
Some of these people are honest and some of them are just seeking a way out. They say, “Well, we don’t really know what is right. We can’t really ascertain what is right because there are so many different religions; there are so many different churches with various names that we really don’t know what to believe or what we ought to do to get to heaven.” Some are honest, but others are simply trying to get out of living for God. But if we consider two of Jesus’ statements in John 7:16-17 [emphasis added], then we’ll see Jesus isn’t going to leave us any room for doubt. 16Jesus answered them, and said, ‘My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17If any man (or woman), will do his will (God’s will), he shall know of the doctrine…
So if anybody will want to know and do God’s will, they will know of the doctrine. So when you hear truth, Isaiah said you will hear a voice behind you saying this is the way, walk therein.” When we want to know truth, God is going to help us to know what truth is if we have a heart to do truth. In John 8:31-32 [emphasis added], Jesus said this to those Jews who were following him: