There are a lot of people today who think all you need to get to heaven is to believe in heaven as if that alone is saving faith. That is not saving faith. We hear it all the time, even in the movies, things like “My mom died but she believed in heaven so she’s alright”. Well, it’s a good thing that she believed in heaven but did she also understand and believe the Gospel? Did she believe Christ?
Believing in heaven cannot save anyone. Belief in Jesus Christ is what saves us and if we believe Jesus we believe the Gospel message. And that message is this: 1) All mankind is sinful by our fallen nature. God is a just and holy God and therefore He will not tolerate sin, accordingly all sin is punishable by death. 2) Consequently, we are all destined for eternal suffering unless our sins are atoned for (paid for) and we cannot pay for our own sins or save ourselves no matter how hard we might try, no matter how many good works we do or how “good” of a life that we think we live. 3) Thankfully, through His death on the cross and His resurrection, Jesus Christ who is the Son of God and God Himself has (in His infinite mercy and grace) paid the full penalty for our sins. By becoming a perfect sinless sacrifice for sin, Jesus has gained us a full pardon and has restored our relationship with God, giving back to us that which was previously lost at the fall of man. 4) This salvation is a free gift that is available to everyone everywhere who is willing to believe and receive it by faith. 5) Those who believe receive Christ and will be with Him in heaven for all eternity. Those who do not believe with find themselves forever in the lake of fire. (For Scripture references and more information on the Gospel, please read the Bible, beginning in the New Testament with the book of Romans or for starters see the articles: Did You Know? or Are You Saved? at truthguard.com).
Now before I go on, let me say this: As scary as the lake of fire sounds, denying it or not believing in it won’t make it go away. Someone can deny gravity if they want to and they might even be able to convince themselves that it doesn’t exist. But nevertheless gravity remains a deadly force if they jump off a building. They are not going to suddenly float safely in mid air because they don’t believe in gravity. Contrary to what amounts to a popular occult belief, what we believe or fail to believe does not in any way change or alter reality.
In the same way, if someone claims to believe in heaven but yet they deny Christ, reality is not going to suddenly change for them where upon their death they will be admitted to heaven according to their unfounded desires. On judgment day God is not going to say, “Oh well I see what you believed and your opinion is so important that I am willing to change everything to suit you and so we’ll just go with what you want instead of the spiritual laws that I have established.” No. We are not the masters of the universe and our beliefs do not govern reality. Our job is to go to the Bible and find out reality and align our beliefs with what is true, and the Gospel is true.
Also, there are some people who are the exact opposite. They do not believe in heaven yet they claim to be Christians or at least “saved” in their estimation. But the question is saved from what and to end up where? If someone does not believe in heaven they are not likely going to believe in hell either. If they do not believe in hell, they will not likely fear that there are any real consequences for their life after they die. And, the Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. No fear of God - no wisdom, and the Gospel cannot be understood or accepted without wisdom.
Also those who deny heaven would not be able to fully believe in Jesus even if they wanted to. This is because heaven, as part of our reward, is a basic underlying part of the Gospel message and again one must believe the Gospel message in order to be saved. It is not possible for someone to deny heaven yet still believe the Gospel. Why?
The Bible says:
But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Heb 11:6
This means that we must believe that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Obviously heaven is a major part of that reward. Belief in God as our rewarer is not optional. Although belief in God as our rewarder is not a direct requirement for salvation, this concept is inextricably intertwined with salvation and therefore inescapable if one is truly saved.
So in conclusion, denying heaven yet claiming to believe in Christ or believing in heaven while denying Christ are very dangerous roads to walk on.
- Paul Howey