Do We Deserve Heaven?
A man arrives at a small country home. The exterior is weathered from years of neglect. The hour is late, but his presence has been requested.
He enters and notices how the scent of moth balls lingers in the dimly lit room. On a hospital bed in the family room lays a frail elderly woman.
The woman speaks barely above a whisper to greet her guest, “Hello, Preacher.”
They know each other quite well. They reminisce about the good times they have had at church socials and summer Vacation Bible School. He was even once a student in her Sunday School class.
He feels at ease because, even though her time draws near, she surely, if anyone, has a place in Heaven.
But the tired woman begins to reveal her uncertainty about her departure from this earth.
The preacher then asked, “When you get to Heaven and you are asked why you deserve to be there, what are you going to say?”
The sweet elderly lady clutches the preacher with her cool trembling hand. She pauses for what seems a very long time.
Then she replies, “I don’t know. I don’t deserve to be in Heaven. I worked hard for the Lord but I don’t believe I have done anything worthy of the gift of Heaven. What am I to do now?”
With a reassuring hand the preacher looks her straight in the eyes. He says, with a loving tone in his voice, “None of us can do anything to deserve Heaven, that is why God sent Jesus.”
“Jesus paid our passage to Heaven. God allows us to go if we simply ask Jesus to come into our heart and live.”
“With Jesus living in our heart we are ready when our time comes to die.”
She replies, “I am not ready. I can’t remember a time I ever asked Jesus to come in my heart and live. I was baptized and I have lived a good life. But, I am not prepared to die. I must remedy that right now.”
With tears streaming down her face and reassurance in her voice she ask Jesus to do what she couldn’t do on her own, provide passage to Heaven.
Nothing we do short of accepting Jesus’ gift of salvation will get us to Heaven. Without the transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ living in us a baptism certificate is as useless as a fire insurance policy in Hell. I pray we never forget that.
“For by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9