Matthew Henry famously said, “It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our last day.” Truth is, most people spend their days thinking and preparing for everything else but Heaven.
To which John Tillotson warned, “He who provides for this life but takes not care for eternity is wise for a moment but a fool forever.”
Gary Larson, creator of The FAR SIDE cartoons, had a unique take on Heaven. In one, he captured one of the common misconceptions about Heaven. There’s a man with angel wings and a halo, sitting on top of a big cloud doing absolutely nothing; his expression a mixture of boredom and frustration. The caption says: “Wish I’d brought a magazine.”
Many people will tell you they want to go to Heaven someday, but their knowledge of what Heaven really is and what’s necessary to get there is virtually non-existent. Others have so many messed-up ideas about both, it would take eternity just to unscramble it all.
For example, a lot of people think they can earn their way into Heaven. Just do enough good things, and as long as your good stuff outweighs your bad stuff, you’re in.
Not so fast.
I heard the story of a man who died and went to Heaven. St. Peter met him at the Pearly Gates and said, “Son, here’s how it works. You need 100 points to get into Heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I’ll give you a certain number of points. When you reach 100, the gates open and you enter in.”
“He who provides for this life but takes not care for eternity is wise for a moment but a fool forever.”
“Okay,” the man said. “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.”
“That’s terrific,” said St. Peter. “That’s worth three points.”
“Three points?” the man said. “Well, I went to church all my life. I was a faithful tither and I also served as a deacon.”
“Awesome!” said St. Peter. “That’s worth a point.”
“One point?” the man said in exasperation. “Well, I helped start a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.”
“Fabulous!” St. Peter said. “That’s good for two more points.”
“Two points?” the man said, totally frustrated. “At this rate the only way I could get into Heaven would be by the grace of God!”
St. Peter nodded and said, “Bingo! 100 points! Come on in son!”
If you want to know more about Heaven, I recommend three incredible resources: The BIBLE, HEAVEN by Randy Alcorn and THE CASE FOR HEAVEN by Lee Strobel. All three will help you know what it takes to get there and what it will be like once we do.
Here’s a clue: You won’t be looking for a magazine.
© 2021. Barry L. Cameron
Barry Cameron is a devoted father and husband, bestselling author, dynamic communicator, and Senior Pastor of Crossroads Christian Church. Crossroads has a gorgeous, 150-acre campus in Grand Prairie, Texas. More than 8000 people call Crossroads their church home. Barry’s latest book, The Road to Financial Freedom, came out in the fall of 2020 and is available on Amazon. It’s another game changer for individuals and families who want to fix their finances once and for all.
Barry and his wife, Janis, have three children: Katie, Matt and Kelli. A daughter-in-law, Lindley and a son-in law, Johnny. They also have two grandsons, Will and Levi. Their family has been completely debt free since November 15, 2001.
Crossroads Christian Church has been debt free since November 9, 2008.