-When We All Get to Heaven, words by Eliza Hewitt, music Emily Wilson, 1898
So which is correct: When we all get to heaven or will we all get to heaven? The first is the name of a traditional hymn and the second is a question that hasn't been answered yet. The hymn is one of glory describing what it will be like for we Christians if we make it through the Pearly Gates. The second is the question which we must answer by our commitment, or lack thereof, during our earthly life to Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.
I ponder this question this morning because so many of our mainstream churches today talk about peace and love and, of course, the modern day buzzword of social justice but in so doing they are missing the key ingredient to our salvation. For make no mistake about our salvation, it is determined by our faith. We must believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the only perfect man who walked the earth as a God and man and yet suffered the most horrific death of all to give us the opportunity to live eternally. And while there is plenty of evidence, should you want to believe, of his existence, the ultimate truth that you are expected to reach is one based upon faith not science.
Sadly, some of us will not truly believe at the end of our life on earth. Oh, we might say we do and we might live a decent life and try and treat others well, but without the commitment of faith to Him, a faith strong enough to put Him first in our lives, we will not succeed and will not inherit His Kingdom at his side when all is said and done.
So how can we make our faith alive so that we will totally accept the truth of Jesus, not just an appearance. First, we must humble ourselves before Him by opening our heart to Him and asking both for His forgiveness for our sins and His help in keeping us on the straight and narrow. For some this is easier than others. Some might be "blinded by light" as was the case of the Apostle Paul when he was on the road to Damascus to arrest believers for the High Priests of the Temple. For others it is a more time consuming experience, gradually building upon itself until the Holy Spirit fully infects the individual with the peace and understanding of Jesus Christ and who He was as a man and is as God.
We can accomplish this by a combination of prayer, worship and study of His word. It is a cumulative thing, the more we do it and open ourselves to it, the wider our heart opens to accept His love and grace. And while the faith that is thus developed is the source of our salvation if we achieve it, we will, as James the brother of Jesus writes in the Book of James, spend our life working for Jesus in all that we do.
Surrender your heart and soul to Him and you will be saved. Refuse to do so and you will not. It is really just as simple as that. It is all up to each of us as individuals using the free will that God granted. And so will not all get to heaven unless we respond accordingly.
Where do you want to spend your Eternity? Seated in Heaven in the Glory of the presence of the Father and His Son, our Savior, or in an eternal pit of death from which there is no escape? The choice is yours. Make it wisely and live forever. Hallelujah!