Will You See the Kingdom of Heaven? Answer These 6 Questions to Find Out
I Haven't Always Been a Loyal Chrisitian
In fact, there was a period of time that I practically shouted to the world that I didn't believe in God. Not because I didn't want to believe. But, because I couldn't understand, if there was a God, the wonderful, loving, peaceful God that people talked about, why this world is in such disarray. Why is the world so cruel? Why are there senseless murders, starving children, homeless people, and so much violence? So many questions, but I didn't have any answers. If there is a God, I asked myself, why wasn't He doing anything about it?
It wasn't until I began reading the Bible that I started to understand. I began reading God’s Word. I began to follow Jesus. I still don’t have all the answers I was looking for. I do have the understanding of free will and that those questions will be answered by our Lord when we meet Him in Heaven. But, how do I know if I'm “good enough” to make it to Heaven?
During a conversation with my sister about this exact topic, we both worried that, even though we think we are good Christians, what does God think? Do we measure up to His standards?
What the Bible Says
The Bible tells us that to be received in Heaven we must love and follow Jesus. We must also love one another as we love ourselves. Love is, however, a huge word and it covers a lot of ground. I had to ask myself if I loved others as I love myself. If I were to be completely honest, I have to admit the answer is a big fat NO! Sure, I felt like I loved everyone. I told myself that I love everyone. But was I showing it? Did I make everyone feel loved? Again, the honest answer had to be no.
There were also other questions, based on biblical principles, that I indeed needed to ask myself, if I plan (and I do) on making it past the pearly gates. Here are 6 questions that you should ask yourself if your goal at the end of this life is to meet our Maker:
Do you listen when God speaks?
Or do you push Him away, giving into your own inner voice?
I admit this one is probably one of the hardest things to do. One might wonder “How do I know if God is talking to me”? For me, it’s almost simple, yet, so hard. We are human and we want things in life. Sometimes we want something so bad that we do whatever it takes to get it, even if that “inner voice” is saying no. That inner voice is God. Have you ever noticed that the thing you think you want the most ends up being the worst mistake of your life? If you had listened to God (that inner voice), that mistake wouldn’t have been made. God knows best. God knows what we want verses what we need. Listen to Him and your life will be much easier and happier.
Do you love others before yourself?
Or do you tell yourself that you do, yet continue your own selfish ways?
It amazes me that many Christians walk around preaching God’s Word to others, yet do very little of what they’re preaching themselves. A perfect example of this is when you see posts on social media sites of disturbing pictures of abused animals, starving children, and the homeless. Yet, when asking these same people to donate to organizations to help those same causes, every single one of them turns away.
My sister, with her huge heart, had to practically fight to start a soup kitchen at her church. So badly she just wanted to help feed some hungry people. Such a great act of kindness. So simple to do. Yet, so hard for some people. Post a picture of a starving child on social media and you’ll get a million likes, shares or tweets. Ask for donations to help feed that child and nobody wants to like or share or tweet.
My sister inspired me to get involved and also help. No more saying I will help (when I have time, when I have the money,etc.) No more excuses! Not only am I determined to help the hungry, but the abused and the abandoned, as well. When my sister told me that 1 in 6 Americans go hungry I was alarmed. I couldn't believe that, in this country, so many people have less than enough to eat each day. Billions of dollars spent on war, space shuttles, etc. Yet, we have American citizens fighting to fill their stomachs.
The hunger statistic inspired me to write an article. The article was posted on social media to all my friends and followers and my sister shared to all her friends (she doesn’t Tweet). Thousands of people saw the post. The article, after 3 weeks in publication, has received a hair over 60 views! How many Facebook friends liked, commented or shared? Zero.
Because I , like my sister, am determined to help others (as Christians and just as fellow human beings) I began designing one-of-a-kind coffee mugs for charity. I began Mugs for Charity (a Facebook fan page) to sell the mugs with the intent of 50% of the profits going to good causes. I invited all of my Facebook “friends”. My sister invited hers. To date: 28 page likes. Mugs sold: 1 (my sister’s order).
I’m ashamed of our human race. I’m ashamed that so many so-called Christians turn their back on helping others. Love and help others. Such a simple request from Jesus Himself. Why is everyone so selfish? I have little to give. I give anyway. What about you? Do you really love others, unselfishly?
To me, this is the most important message from Jesus Christ. Love one another. Help One another. Yet, for so many, it's a very hard thing to do. For some, riding in a $40k vehicle and eating steaks for dinner, it's easy to simply turn the other way. Who wants to see hunger? Who wants to see abuse and abandonment? Nobody, of course. But, what if Jesus had walked away from us during our time of need?
Mugs For Charity
Is Jesus most important in your life?
Or do you live your life and then ask for help after you've screwed up?
Trusting in Jesus isn’t easy. As humans, we do not know what the future holds, He does. When faced with a tough situation, we tend to pray for help, yet, react to that situation in our own way instead of letting Jesus lead the way. I admit, I have not always put Jesus first. Sometimes, I think I’m putting Jesus first only to realize later on (and always after I've made a complete mess of the situation) that I had not.
How many times have you skipped reading the Bible because you were just too busy? I know I am guilty of it. Jesus is never too busy for us. How can we ever repay Him? Can we repay Him for His love? For His kindness? Yes. I believe we can simply by doing as He asked. Love one another. Be kind to one another. Help one another. When we do that, we allow Jesus to come first and to shine through us.
Are you friendly, giving, and helpful to everyone?
Or do you save those attributes for those you personally know?
Unfortunately, I lack in this area considerably. I’ve always been shy on the inside and although anyone I know will say I’m not shy in the least, they don’t know how I feel inside. Maturity has allowed me to be more open and less shy, but I’m not always as friendly as I should be.
Last summer my husband welcomed our new neighbors. I say my husband because I, embarassingly so, avoided them. You see, the new neighbors are hearing impaired. That’s horrible to say, I know. I have nothing against anyone and I love everyone the same. But, the shyness in me is uncomfortable with it.
When the new neighbors were seen in their backyard, my husband immediately went over to them and introduced himself (he’s friendly in that way). When I heard my husband repeatedly ask, “What?”, because he couldn’t understand their speech, I immdiately ran to the front of the house to avoid the situation. I am ashamed. I feel horrible. Yet I continue to avoid them at all costs, instead of being a good Christian woman and welcoming them, no matter how uncomfortable I feel.
We all have uncomfort zones. Social situations aren’t easy for everyone. God understands that. I continue to pray for myself to get over that uncomfortable feeling around people that are different than I.
One Way to help others and to help get over my insecurities is by volunteering for causes that are important to me. Creating and selling coffee mugs is my way of giving kindness and love by donating half of my profits to charities. In doing so, I feel that I am helping lift someone else's burdens as Jesus instructed us to do.
Do You Repent Your Sins?
Or do you believe you rarely, if ever, sin?
Acknowledging your sins is a necessary deed before you can even begin to ask for forgiveness. Often times, we don’t recognize when we’re sinning, therefore, we don’t repent. I have heard God-fearing people state they do not sin, yet they turn around and sin right in front of me. Maybe they’re not reading their bible. If they were, they would know what they are doing is a sin.
I know of a church whose parishioners believe it is sinning by socializing with sinners. When they see people who are from outside their church they refuse to look them in the eyes. They keep their head to the ground, avoiding all visual contact. Really? Is not a Christian a follower of Christ? Did Christ not mingle with the sinners?
16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:16-17
Not sure if you’re sinning? Read the Bible. Read God’s Word. Don’t believe what others tell you. Believe what He tells you. Each of us is held accountable for what we believe. When you stand in front of the Lord and He asks why you continued sinning without asking forgiveness, are you going to say, “Well, Lord, my Pastor (Minister, Priest, etc.) told me it wasn’t a sin. It’s his fault?" Hmmm. I wonder what His reaction will be.
Do you go to church each Sunday Solely to Worship our Savior?
Or do you say that you do, but then turn it into a social engagement?
I stopped going to church. The gossiping, cliques, and backstabbing in God’s House was just too much for me to handle. I can go back to High School for that kind of social interaction. And it’s not just one church. I have visited several churches, just to find the same atmosphere of gossiping, cliques, and backstabbing. I suggest all church members everywhere take a good look at how you treat others and how you act in a place of worship. If you have after-church fellowship, use it to socialize in the Lord. It’s not a time or a place to whisper about someone else’s Sunday clothes, why so-and-so hasn't been to church lately, or anything else that doesn’t have to do with the Lord and why you are at church in the first place.
It's truly a sad world when one feels offended by going to church. The Lord's House is not place for every day chit-chat. It is to worship our Savior and join together in His name. If you must gossip: first, save it for the beauty parlor or men's club. Second, and most important, read your Bible. Gossiping is a sin. Yes, we all do it. But in church?
Nobody is perfect. We all know that and so does God. He doesn't expect us to be perfect. However, if you’re honest with yourself, and you've answered these questions honestly, only you can attempt to right the wrong. Do I know if you’re going to Heaven? Of course not! Do I know if I’m going to Heaven? No. But, I do know that if I try to be a good Christian and I do what I can to love others and obey God’s Word, I have a pretty good chance.
Open your eyes to the world around you. Take a stand and help others. Even if you have little to offer, give anyway. If you're truly interested in being a good Christian, apply the rules of a Christian: Jesus first, Others second, Yourself brings JOY and everlasting life.