When We All Get to Heaven?
There is a beautiful song in most, if not all of our congregations’ songbooks, entitled “When We All Get To Heaven.” This powerful and upbeat song describes in detail, the awesome, wonderful, and joyful event we will all supposedly experience when we see Jesus’ face. …but will we all, really…?
The reason I pose this question for our consideration is because the bible doesn’t seem to say that at all. In fact, it says quite the opposite. The word of God clearly states that “many” very religious and spiritually convicted people will not be joyful or enjoy anything akin to victory whatsoever when they see Jesus, but will instead, be in for a terrifying and soul-searing surprise! This, because instead of learning and doing God’s will, they chose to do what they thought was right while on earth, rather than humbly seeking, understanding, and fruitfully obeying, living, and teaching God’s will, word, and way:
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? ‘And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt 7:19-23).
And then, although it might be a somewhat surprising statement to some in the Lord’s church (who may have somehow convinced themselves that being baptized into His church automatically guarantees them a home in heaven no matter what), the bible is also clear that even for some baptized members of the Lord’s church/body, there could be anything but a joyful and victorious experience awaiting them when they finally get to heaven and see the Lord. In His divine, parabolic-form discourse on His soon-to-be-established church/ kingdom in Matthew 13, after describing in detail the events of “the end” in store for the world at large in verses 36-40, Jesus then goes on to apply the same set of circumstances to His one N. T. church or kingdom in verses 40-43:
Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
This final phrase is the same one Jesus used to conclude His message to all seven of the congregations of His church which He warned in Revelation 2 and 3 as well! We clearly see in those two chapters, that just simply becoming a member of Christ’s church, without continually seeking to humbly learn, live, grow, obey, serve and sacrifice in accordance with His holy word on a daily basis, was definitely NOT going to make it a day to rejoice when all of them got to heaven to see Jesus for sure! But how many in His church today appear to think that once they’re baptized, they’re all set? That they don’t have to do much else? How many in His church today refuse to really hear, understand, grow, take to heart His word, repent immediately, and/or act accordingly?
In 1 Peter 4:17-18, God takes this one step further by conveying that not only will some of those within the household of God perhaps be in for a huge and horrible surprise that day, but that if it’s going to be that way even for them, how much worse and/or harder will it be for those outside of His house/church?
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
Based on Matthew 7:19-27, perhaps a verse of that song should be re-written thus: “When we all get to heaven, what an awful day of horror that will be; for not all who see Jesus will be as glad as they thought they would be.”
Let us ALL, to a person, make sure that we are doing everything we possibly can, to learn, understand, live, love, grow, obey, serve and walk in the Father’s will, so that none of us are thus surprised… when we all get to heaven.