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Heaven Would Not Be Heaven If You Went There

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

      “I’m a good person. I am sure I will go to heaven.” Are you really a good person? Let’s see what the Bible has to say about that.

 

Liar

 

      Have you ever told a lie? Come on now, be honest. I am sure you have told some whoppers, along with lots of little white lies.

      When you were a kid, you skipped out of school to go to your baseball’s team’s Home Opener, but you told the teacher you were sick. And today, you do the same, but it is now your boss that you lie to about it.

      Someone asks you how she looks in her new dress, and you tell her she looks nice, when in fact, you think the dress looks downright gaudy.

      Someone makes you angry, so you spread a false rumor about them. Or you listen in when a rumor is being spread about someone, then spread the rumor more yourself.

      You mess up at work, but put the blame on someone else. Or worse, the police question you about a crime, and to deflect the investigation from yourself, you point the finger at someone else.

      Just one such lie makes you a liar. What does the Bible say about such lies?

 

      16“You will not give false testimony against your neighbor, [giving] false testimony” (Exodus 20:16).

         11‘You* will not steal, you* will not lie, you will not bear false witness each [against] his neighbor” (Leviticus 19:11).

       4An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue (Prov. 17:4 NKJV).

 

      What does the Bible say about liars like you?

 

            44“You* are from your* father the Devil, and the desires of your* father you* want to be doing. That one was a murderer from [the] beginning, and he has not stood in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he tells a lie, out of his own he speaks, because he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).

 

      Notice that Jesus says those who tell a lie are following in the steps of the Devil.

 

            8But we know that [the] Law [is] good, if anyone makes use of it lawfully, 9knowing this: that law is not laid down for a righteous [person] but for lawless and insubordinate [people], for ungodly [people] and for sinful [people], for impious [people] and for profane [or, worldly] [people], for killers of fathers and for killers of mothers, … for liars, for perjurers, and if anything else is in opposition to sound teaching, 11according to the Gospel [or, Good News] of the glory of the blessed God, [with] which I was entrusted (1Tim 1:8-11).

 

      Notice how lying and perjury are considered just as sinful as murdering your parents. That is how seriously God condemns lying. That is why the Bible says to “Stop lying to one another” (Colossians 3:9). But it gets worse:

 

      20If anyone shall say [or, claim], “I love God,” and shall be hating his brother, he is a liar; for the one not loving his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to be loving God whom he has not seen? (1John 4:20).

 

      You cannot love God and hate someone. That makes you a liar.

 

            8But to the cowardly and unbelieving and sinful [people] and [people] having been corrupted and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all the liars, their part [will be] in the lake, the one being burned with fire and sulfur [or, brimstone], which is the second death.” [cp. Gal 5:19-21]

 

      So far from going to heaven, the Bible declares that liars like you will go to the lake of fire. And notice that liars are classified with murderers. But you say you are not a murderer. What does the Bible say about that?

 

Murderer

 

      Have you ever gotten angry with someone for little or no reason? Someone cuts you off in traffic, and you whip them the finger, while calling them a few choice words.

      Someone spreads a rumor about you, so you get angry and retaliate with a rumor of your own about them.

      Someone gets a promotion at work that you think you should have gotten, so you are angry at both the person and your boss.

      The littlest thing goes wrong, and you get angry about it.

      What did Jesus say about such anger?

 

            21“You heard that it was said to the ancients: “You will not murder,” but whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. [Exod 20:13; Deut 5:17] 22But I say to you*, every[one] being enraged at his brother [fig., friend, neighbor, or compatriot] without cause will be in danger of the judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘O empty-headed fool!’ [Gr., raka] will be in danger of the High Council, and whoever says, ‘O silly [Gr., moros] [person]!’ will be in danger of the hell [Gr., gehenna] of the fire [or, the fiery hell]. (Matt 5:21-22).

       Therefore, being angry at someone and calling them names is the same as murder. And we already saw that murderers will go to the lake of fire, not heaven. Moreover, the Bible says, “A hot-tempered man prepares [fig., stirs up] conflicts” (Prov 15:18). Thus you have stirred up strife with your anger. That is why the Bible says we are to put off all anger:

             31Let all bitterness and rage and anger and clamor [or, angry shouts of dissatisfaction] and slander be removed from you*, [along] with all malice (Ephesians 4:31).

             8But now you* yourselves also put off [fig., cease from] all these [things]: anger, rage, malice, blasphemy, [and] obscene language out of your* mouth (Colossians 3:8).

 

      But you have not done so and thus stand condemned for your anger, being equivalent to a murderer.

 

Adulterer

 

      Are you an adulterer? Have you ever cheated on your spouse or significant other? No? Well, have you ever looked lustfully at someone you were not married to? If so (which I know you have, so don’t lie about it), then you have committed adultery.

 

            1"I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? (Job 31:1; NKJV). 

            27“You heard that it was said: ‘You will not commit adultery.’ [Exod 20:14; Deut 5:18] 28But I say to you*, every[one] looking on a woman in order to lust after her already committed adultery [with] her in his heart. 29But if your right eye causes you to stumble [fig., to sin], pluck it out and cast [it] from you, for it is better for you that one of your body parts perish and not your whole body be cast into hell [Gr., gehenna]. 30And if your right hand causes you to stumble [fig., to sin], cut it off and cast [it] from you, for it is better for you that one of your body parts perish and not your whole body be cast into hell [Gr., gehenna]. (Matthew 5:27-30).

 

      Notice that even in ancient times when the Book of Job was written, it was recognized that just looking lustfully at someone was wrong. But Jesus takes it to a new level and says it is equivalent to adultery. He even says that extreme measures should be taken to guard against this sin. Otherwise, you will be cast into hell fire.

      The reason Jesus equates anger with murder and lust with adultery is that such negative inner feelings lead to outward sinful actions:

 

            19For from the heart come out evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies (Matthew 15:19).

 

      The mention of fornications leads to the next point.

 

Fornicator

 

      To be clear, fornication is “sexual intercourse between people not married to each other” (Oxford Dictionary). Have you ever committed this sin? Have you ever slept with someone you were not married to, which is to say, have you ever engaged in pre-marital sex? If you are currently married but were not a virgin when you got married, then you committed this sin, even if you married the person you had sex with. And if you are not currently married but have engaged in sex, then you have committed this sin. That makes you a fornicator. What does the Bible say about fornicators?

 

      9You* know that unrighteous [persons] will not inherit [the] kingdom of God, do you* not? Stop being led astray [fig., being deceived]; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers ... will inherit [the] kingdom of God (1Corinthians 6:9).

            5For this you* are knowing: that every fornicator or unclean [or, impure] [person] or covetous person (who is an idolater), does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God (Ephesians 5:5).

             4Marriage [is to be] honorable [or, respected] among all, and the marriage bed undefiled, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge (Heb 13:4).

 

      Notice that fornicators are condemned just as much as adulterers are. That is because they are the same sin. Both are offenses against the person you either will or already have married, and both are an affront to God.

 

Thief

 

      Have you stolen anything? Something large, something small, it doesn’t matter. If you took something that did not belong to you, then you are a thief. And if you conned something out of someone, that is theft as well, as is cheating on your taxes, as that is stealing from the government. Any theft makes you a thief. What the Bible say about thieves like you?

 

            15“You will not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

       11‘You* will not steal, you* will not lie, you will not bear false witness each [against] his neighbor. … 13You will not wrong your neighbor, you will not rob [him]. And by no means will the wages of your hired laborer sleep [fig., remain] with you until the morning…

      35You* will not do injustice in judgment, in measures, and in weights and in scales. 36There will be to you* just balances and just weights and just liquid measure (Leviticus 19:11,13,35,36a).

 

      Notice theft, lying, and perjury are all lumped together as being equally wrong. Notice also that not paying a fair wage is considered to be theft. Moreover, defrauding someone by not giving them the full amount of a product is also theft. Basically, any dishonesty in financial matters is theft.

 

            19For from the heart come out evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies (Matthew 15:19).

             28The one stealing let him no longer be stealing, but rather let him be laboring, working the good [thing] with his hands, so that he shall be having [something] to be sharing with the one having need (Ephesians 4:28).

 

      Notice that not working is wrong, and if you work, you should be sharing with the poor. Therefore, there are many ways a person can be a thief, and you most certainly fit at least one of these. The Bible is clear on your fate:

 

      9You* know that unrighteous [persons] will not inherit [the] kingdom of God, do you* not? Stop being led astray [fig., being deceived]; … neither thieves, … nor swindlers will inherit [the] kingdom of God (1Corinthians 6:9,10).

 

Blasphemer

 

      Have you ever blasphemed God? No? But you have taken his name in vain, have you not? Come on now, you know you have written “OMG” at some point or exclaimed what those letters mean. That is the epitome of taking the LORD’s name in vain, and that is blasphemy. If you have ever uttered words like God, Lord, Jesus, or Christ in a flippant manner or used these words as curse words, you have blasphemed God, and that makes you a blasphemer. The Bible has much to say about blasphemers like you:

 

            7“You will not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD your God shall not cleanse [or, acquit] the one taking His name in vain [i.e., in a disrespectable or blasphemous way]” (Exodus 20:7). 

            12And you* will not swear an oath unjustly by My name, and you* will not profane the name of your* God. I am the LORD your* God (Leviticus 19:12).

             15And speak to the sons [and daughters] of Israel, and you will say to them, ‘Whatever person shall curse God will bear his sin himself. 16And [the] one naming the name of the LORD, by death, let him be put to death. Let all [the] congregation of Israel be stoning him with stones; whether a stranger or a native, let him be dying in the [or, for] naming the name of the LORD (Leviticus 24:15,16).

       6“Listen! It has been written before Me; I will not be silent until I shall repay into their bosom, 7their sins and [the sins] of their fathers,” says the LORD, “Who burned incense upon the mountains, and reproached Me on the hills. I will repay their works into their bosom” (Isaiah 65:7).

             19For from the heart come out evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies (Matthew 15:19).

             5Therefore, put to death your* members, the ones on the earth: fornication, impurity [or, immorality], lustful passion, evil desire, and the covetous desire [or, greed], which is idol worship, 6because of which [things] the wrath of God is coming upon the sons [and daughters] of disobedience, 7in which you* also at one time walked about [fig., conducted yourselves], when you* were living in them. 8But now you* yourselves also put off [fig., cease from] all these [things]: anger, rage, malice, blasphemy, [and] obscene language out of your* mouth (Colossians 3:5-8).

 

      Notice that the wrath of God is coming upon fornicators, lustful people, angry people, and blasphemers like you.

 

What Does This All Mean?

 

      Given all of the above, you are a liar, a murder, an adulterer, a fornicator, a thief, and a blasphemer. Just being one of these is enough to keep you out of heaven, but you are all six!

      Moreover, if God were to let you into heaven, then He would have to let all the other liars, murders, adulterers, fornicators, thieves, and blasphemers into heaven. And if heaven is filled with lying, murdering, adulteries, fornications, thievery, and blaspheming, how would it be any different from earth? Heaven would not be heaven; it would be ruined by your presence and the presence of all of these other liars, murders, adulterers, fornicators, thieves, and blasphemers.

      But there is a way out of this dilemma that God has provided for you. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for your sins, to pay the debt you owe God for being a liar, murder, adulterer, fornicator, thief, and blasphemer. Thus He can let you into heaven, since your sins are paid for.

      But His grace doesn’t stop there. When you confess you are a liar, murder, adulterer, fornicator, thief, and blasphemer, God will change you, make you into a new person, a person whose heartfelt desire will no longer be to lie, murder, commit adultery or fornication, to steal, or to use God’s name in vain. Your desire will instead be to please God. All you have to do is to confess these sins and to trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and God will change you.

      This change might be dramatic, or it might occur slowly overtime, but you will inevitably change. And when you die, you will be glorified, with all remaining desire to sin being cleansed. Consequently, your presence in heaven will not ruin heaven, but you will be right at home in glory:

 

      4This [One] bears our sins and suffered pain for us, and we accounted Him to be in toil and in misfortune and in mistreatment. 5But He was wounded because of our iniquities and was softened [fig., bruised] because of our sins; [the] discipline of our peace [was] upon Him; by His wound[s] we were healed. 6All we as sheep were led astray; [every] person was led astray in his [own] way, and the LORD gave Him up for our sins (Isiah 53:4-6).

 

            26Now while they were eating, Jesus having taken the bread and having given thanks, broke [it] and began giving [it] to the disciples. And He said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27And having taken the cup and having given thanks, He gave [it] to them, saying, “Drink from it, all [of you], 28for this is My blood, the [blood] of the New Covenant, the [blood] poured out on behalf of many for forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28).

 

      1Consequently, [there is] now no condemnation to the [ones] in Christ Jesus, [who] do not walk about [fig., conduct themselves] according to [the] flesh, but according to [the] Spirit…. 5For the ones being according to [the] flesh set their minds on the [things] of the flesh, but the [ones] according to [the] Spirit [on] the [things] of the Spirit (Romans 8:1,5).

 

      11And these some [of] you* were! [or, And such were some of you*!] But you* yourselves were washed [fig., purified], but you* were sanctified, but you* were justified [or, declared righteous] in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [or, by] the Spirit of our God! (1Corinthians 6:11).

 

            17Therefore, if anyone [is] in Christ, [he is] a new creation; the old [things] passed away; behold, all [things] have become new! 18And all these [things are] of God, the One having reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and having given to us the ministry of that reconciliation, 19how that God was in Christ reconciling [the] world to Himself, not imputing their transgressions to them and having put in [or, having committed to] us the word of that reconciliation (2Corinthians 5:17-19).

 

      27And just as it is laid up [fig., destined] for people to die once for all time [or, only once], and after this [comes] judgment, 28so also Christ, having been offered once for all time to bear [or, take away] the sins of many, will appear a second time without [reference to] sin to [bring] salvation to the ones eagerly waiting for Him! (Hebrews 9:27,28).

 

            21Because, for this [reason] you* were called, because Christ also suffered on our behalf, leaving behind an example for you*, so that you* should follow in His footsteps, 22who “Did not sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth,” [Isaiah 53:9] 23who being verbally abused, was not returning verbal insults, suffering, was not threatening, but was entrusting Himself to the One judging righteously; 24who Himself carried our sins in His body upon the tree [or, cross], so that having died to sins, we shall live to righteousness; of whom “by His wound[s] you* were healed.” [Isaiah 53:5] 25For you* were like sheep being led astray, but now you* were turned back to the Shepherd and Overseer of your* souls (1Peter 2:21-25).

 

      1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth went away [fig., had disappeared]. And the sea is not [any]more [fig., the sea no longer exists]. 2And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having been prepared like a bride having been adorned [for] her husband.

      3And I heard a loud voice out of heaven, saying, “Look! The tabernacle of God [is] with the people, and He will tabernacle [or, dwell] with them! And they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them. 4And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not be [any]more [fig., death will no longer exist], nor sorrow, nor crying, nor will pain be [any]more [fig., pain will no longer exist], because the first [things] passed away.”…

            27And by no means shall any defiling [thing] and [anyone] doing an abomination and a lie enter into it, but only the ones having been written in the Scroll of Life of the Lamb (Revelation 21:1-4,27).

 

      Don’t ne left outside. Trust in Jesus today, and your name will be written in the Scroll of Life.

 

References:

      Oxford Dictionary. As found on Microsoft Word 365.

      Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture verses are from the author’s Analytical-Literal Translation of the Bible (ALT). Copyright 1999-2016 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).

      Scripture verses marked NKJV are from: The New King James Version.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publisher, 1982.

Books and eBooks by Gary F. Zeolla, the Director of Darkness to Light

The above article originally appeared in Darkness to Light newsletter in 1994.
It was posted on this website in July 1, 2017.

Forgiveness and Salvation

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