Passage: Luke 23:39-42
How do I get to Heaven?
Some of the usual responses you will hear to this question are:
“Live a good life”
“Go to church”
“Believe in a Higher Power” or “Do the right thing by people.”
But are they right? Do any of these suggestions provide real assurance that you are going to Heaven?
With all this talk about Heaven over the past several weeks this is an important question to address, and the answer may surprise you!
Two criminals were crucified with Jesus on the day He died. Adding insult to injury, both join in with the angry mob and hurl abuse at Jesus (Matthew 27:44), but at some point, one of them has a change of heart – perhaps it was when he heard Jesus forgiving the crowd – so he rebukes the other criminal for his arrogance and the bitter sarcasm he has directed toward Jesus.
In other words, he repents. He openly acknowledges he is a sinner, that he has broken the law and is deserving of punishment. At the lowest point of his life, he makes a massive U-turn and looks to Jesus.
He then confesses, “This man has done nothing wrong!” In doing so, he declares Jesus to be innocent and publicly identifies himself with Jesus.
Finally, he puts his trust in Jesus.
“Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”
The criminal knows that Rome will not save him, so he appeals to a higher authority for mercy – God – through His Son Jesus.
And he is given grace in return.
This is all that’s required to get to Heaven.
You won’t get there by giving your money to the poor, praying, and reading the Bible, serving the community, or fighting for justice.
The criminal beside Jesus had none of those things, but what he did have – the only thing he had – was his life and he gladly placed it into the hands of Jesus.
Repenting of our sin. Confessing Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. Placing our trust in Him.
This how we get to Heaven.
How do you answer the question, “How do I get to Heaven?”