How does one get to Heaven?

Some think if they donate enough to charity, spend enough time volunteering, are nice and don't commit any major crimes, they'll get to Heaven. In other words, if they are "good" they'll get in. How hard is getting into Heaven?

An illustration

Let's put it this way. Let's say Earth and Heaven are separated by a large canyon illustrated below:

This is how far the average person could jump in an attempt to reach Heaven:

Not far. What about the pope, church leaders and theologians? Using the same illustration, their jump trajectory is in orange:

Somewhat farther. What about the disciples and apostles of the Bible? Their jump is the green line below:

Even they fall short.

Why is this?

Why does everyone fall short? The answer is sin separates us from God(Isa. 59:2). God is so holy and perfect, anything less than perfect cannot be allowed into Heaven. No one is worthy, and all have fallen short of the glory of God(Psa. 51:5; Rom. 3:23; 5:12). We deserve to be punished for our sins and don't deserve Heaven. We cannot earn our way in(Matt. 19:25-26; Acts 4:12), and no one is "good" enough. There was only 1 person who ever lived who was worthy to get in.

Only faith can save us

Jesus took the punishment we deserve(Acts 2:23; Rom. 5:6-11; 2 Cor. 5:21). Faith in Jesus(John 3:16-18; Eph. 2:8) gives us salvation.

His work on the cross allows us to get from Earth to Heaven.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9 NLT

So do works matter?

What about all the charity donations, helping others and other work? Do they matter? They absolutely do as faith without works is meaningless(James 2:14-24). Works will also result in eternal treasures in Eternal Heaven. This site will discuss this topic more in the future.

Last updated 10/2/2010

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.