exams

Entrance exam for heaven

On an Internet discussion board, a high-school valedictorian with a 1510 SAT score said he didn’t have any trouble getting into Harvard.

He probably did not have any trouble.

But, it is difficult for ordinary people to win admission to an Ivy League school. The standards are high. Many people are just not going to make it.

There will be some people who just will not enter heaven. Eternal life will pass them by because they are not willing to devote themselves to the things God believes are important.

After the Rich Young Ruler of Matthew 19 walked sadly from Jesus, the disciples had a discussion sparked by something Jesus said. The Master said, “And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,” (Matthew 19:24 NKJV). The disciples said, “Who then, can be saved?”

Jesus told them in the following verse (and this is my translation), “From the perspective of men this is impossible, but from God’s perspective all things are possible.” Why is that true?

Some people will just not obey Jesus as they should. The Rich Young Ruler would not. Jesus told him what was required. He declined to do what Jesus said. As long as men rebel against the word of Christ, they have no hope of going to heaven.

One of my favorite lessons from Gospel preachers is one I have never heard. It was written by Gus Nichols and I found it early in my preaching in his book. It was called, “The Dividing Line.” Nichols made the case that there are dividing lines some men will not cross to receive eternal life. Baptism is such a dividing line, he wrote.

In Matthew 7, Jesus said, “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” (Matthew 7:21 NKJV). That is the true dividing line.

For many people, getting into heaven will be even more difficult than for some high school students to enter Harvard. But, it will not be a matter of test scores. This entrance exam will be scored on whether or not a person will do what Jesus said.

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John Henson

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, John Henson has been a husband for 40 years and a preacher for about half that. He currently serves as the preacher for the Dibrell Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee..

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5 thoughts on “Entrance exam for heaven

  1. John… Once jotted down a quote from a brother in Christ: “Many today are under the guise that if one is truly sincere, heartfelt, and well intentioned in their devotion to God, then whatever is undertaken in the name of God is acceptable.”
    However, we must devote ourselves to God and also…obey the doctrine of Jesus Christ…..

  2. This was wonderful, very well said. My husband has an upcoming sermon – three in fact at two different congregations. Our church is helping to fill the pulpit at another congregation. Would you mind if he used this in one of his sermons? It would so help him out. This is very inspiring.
    Thank you so much,
    Joanie

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