Yesterday, we talked about the glory of heaven and of God’s people. We saw all the wonderful things that will be in heaven.
But there is one thing that cannot be a part of heaven: sin.
And anyone who lives in defiant sin cannot be a part of God’s people or share in their inheritance. That was true in the Old Testament days (see Leviticus 18 for example). And it is certainly true in the New.
Why not? Why can’t God be more “tolerant?”
Heaven is a place with no more death, mourning, crying, or pain. (21:4). But if God allows sin into heaven, all those things will come flooding into heaven along with it. Just look at this world, and you’ll know what I mean.
I don’t know about you, but I want no part of that.
So God says,
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters, and all liars, — their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (21:8)
Nothing impure will ever it (the new Jerusalem), nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (21:27)
And yet again,
Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters,and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (22:15)
Note something here: It’s not just the murderers that are kept out of heaven.
It’s everyone who lies.
It’s the idolaters: all those who put anything ahead of God in their lives.
It’s the sexually immoral. Those who engage in any kind of sex outside of a marriage relationship between a man and woman.
It’s anyone who has ever done anything shameful and deceitful.
But most importantly, it is the unbelieving: those who refuse to put their faith in God. Who refuse to put their trust in Jesus and his work on the cross, and instead follow their own path.
None of these can ever enter heaven.
Do any of these things describe you? Then you can’t go to heaven.
Unless your name is written in the Lamb’s book of Life. Unless you have repented of your sins and given your heart to God.
Like I said before, your eternal destiny is based on what’s written in one of two books. One book is the Lamb’s book of life, and the names written there are based on Christ’s finished work on the cross.
The other is the book of all our deeds. Not just the good. But the bad. All the bad. And the problem is, it is not the good things we do that keep us out of heaven. It is the bad. Just one bad thing on your record is enough to keep you out of heaven. And no one has just one bad thing written on their record.
So if you want to get to heaven based on your deeds, you’re never going to make it. You can only make it if your name is also written in the Lamb’s book of life. And your name will only be written there if you give your heart to Christ, making him your Savior and King.
The apostle Paul wrote this:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
What will you choose? Won’t you choose Christ today?