IS EVERYONE GOING TO HEAVEN?
All people would like to think they will pass into a better world when they
leave this one. But the Lord tells us that bliss does not await every
individual who passes into the great beyond. He tells us that all will not be
saved. He said, “Wide is the gate. and broad is the way, that leadeth to
destruction and many there be which go in thereat: because straight is the
gate and narrow is the way. which leadeth unto life, and few there be that
find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).
All religious people are not in the narrow way that leads to life, for he
said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in
thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many
wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them. I never knew you: depart
from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23).
It will be shocking to many religious people in the day of judgment to find
that they will not be saved, but probably equally shocking to find that they
have never even been members of the Lord's church. Many would be insulted if
they were told that they are not even in the Lord’s church, because someone
has said that they are. Preachers of all churches refer to themselves as the
Lord’s churches, but it only requires an honest heart for anyone who reads the
Bible to learn that the Lord built only one church. His church is not made up
of religious denominations, but of individual members who are bound together
by a common faith in Christ through obedience to the same commands that he
gives to all people.
There is only one way of getting into the Lord’s church, but people do not get
into all denominations alike. One denomination requires one thing for
membership in it, and others require other things. The Bible tells us about
“the church, which is his body” (Ephesians 1:18–23). And since the church “is
his body,” the way into it is the way into Christ.. The Scriptures again tell
us that we are “baptized into Christ” (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27).
Therefore, when the denominations refuse to baptize people “into Christ” “for
the remission sins,” as the word of God says, they are keeping them out of the
church of the Lord and out of realm of the saved, for the saved are all in the
church which Christ died for, the church which He built (Acts 2:47; Ephesians
5:23). No one is a member of the church of the Lord who has not been baptized
“into” Him even though the person might be a prominent member, even a leader
in a “church” that is very popular among men.
Many will not be saved because they will not do the will of the Father. Jesus
said, “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in
heaven” (Matthew 7:21–23). They are self-willed and some even have a “zeal
of God but not according to knowledge” and “establish their own
righteousness,” but sadly are still lost and need to be saved (Romans 10:1–3).
Even when some people are shown what God’s word teaches they refuse it and
will do what THEY LIKE. This is the very reason many will not be baptized for
the remission of sins. They don’t want to. They want salvation on their own
terms, not God’s. Although the church that you read about in the New
Testament simply sang in worship to God without using mechanical instruments
(1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Most denominations
use instruments of music attempting to worship God, because they like them
and they want to .
Even though the Lord’s church never dabbled in politics, secular education and
entertainment, many modern churches have gone into all of these trying to
please the people and draw bigger crowds. They go in for these things, not
because they’re found in the New Testament, but because they want them. They
let women take an active role in public worship, because they want to. They
call their preacher’s “reverend” and praise an individual as “their pastor,”
because they want to. All of us need to lay aside our preconceived ideas and
prejudices, study God’s word with an open, appreciative and accepting mind,
and learn to love the Lord and obey His will. Jesus said, “If ye love me,
keep my commandments” (John 14:15), and “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall
abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in
his love” (John 15:10). Our plea to all today is to seek the will of the Lord
and serve Him as He wants.