Angela Blair wrote in Reader's Digest several years ago about the neighborhood she lived in. She said that most of the people there went to the same church.
When a good friend of hers bought a house and moved into the neighborhood Angela teased her a good bit about her new home: right between the pastor's house and that owned by the chairman of deacons at their church. Angela told her friend, "Now you must really walk the straight and narrow," I said.
"On the contrary," she replied. "I expect to go to heaven on the updraft."
She was just being humorous, of course. But it’s astounding how many people think they’re “going to heaven on the updraft”—someone else’s relationship to Christ. When that Great Day comes, it will not matter who lived next door to you, who your relatives were, or even if your grandfather was a Baptist preacher. If you are kind to your fellow man, go to church every Sunday, or even if you give to the poor--that won't matter either.
The only thing which will matter is what you have done with Christ.
You see, the only reason we even know about Heaven is because the Bible tells us about it. Doesn't it make sense that we should read the Bible to find out how to get there? Doesn't it make sense that I can't get to Heaven on the updraft, or on my own goodness or merit? Doesn't it make sense that if I really want to go to Heaven, that I should follow the Bible's teachings for going there?
So yes, it always comes back to what we read in John 3:16--"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
So, you want to go to Heaven? It won' be on the updraft. It won't be because you're a good person or well-liked. Only by putting your faith in Christ and what He did on the Cross, surrendering your life to Him and living for Him will you ever see the Eternal City.
The Good News is that it can happen to you. By making a choice -- a decision -- to follow Him as Lord of your life, you can secure your eternity in Heaven. It's that simple.
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com