The very word ‘making’ heaven suggests a scaling through, a narrow escape or ‘victory at last’ sort of endeavor. Despite the notoriety associated with this expression amidst believers, it is a non-scriptural phraseology and as such is subject to personal or private interpretation. If it were to be a verse in the bible, we would only need do proper its exegesis, giving it contextual explanation and examining the intent of the writer. However, it is not all non-scriptural phrases that are unscriptural; we will thus examine the connotative meaning of this expression to its speakers and correlate it with scriptures if there be a corresponding scriptural truth.
Often we hear preachers exhorting brethren say, ‘will you make heaven?’, ‘if the Lord Jesus comes now or death happens, are you sure you will make heaven?’, ‘only the Lord knows how many of us will make heaven’. Some go further to scare brethren with the coming of the Lord saying things like, ‘brethren, this is the time of grace, when the Lord Jesus comes, mercy will be withdrawn, it is judgment!’. Yet some would go further in their imaginations, claiming some heaven and hell encounters or judgment day sighting in which a minute fraction of believers eventually made it! All these and similar expressions either have their root in a faulty understanding of a scriptural text, sheer ignorance or demonic deception. The most important clause being that they are addressing believers in Christ.
THE CONNOTATIVE MEANING
Those who use such expressions mean that a great judgment day is coming in which a man’s fate of going to heaven or hell will be determined by how pleasing his works are before God. Some insinuate this uncertainty of fate applies to believers only as every unbeliever will not make heaven. This understanding birthed the belief that the last action before death, whether holy or sinful, determines a man’s (believer’s) fate, heaven or hell. It is believed that confession of sins and asking for forgiveness would have obliterated the previously perpetrated unholy acts. Failure to do that for any sins before death will ensure the landing of such a believer in hell. Yet, some expects that the fickleness of God’s mercy might eventually save that believer (they see as sinner).
This admittedly is a confluence of erroneous understanding that cannot be effectively sorted out in a piece of writing like this. Those errors defect from basic understandings of the Christian faith fundamentals like The New Covenant, Salvation, Righteousness, Redemption and Eternal Life among others; pulling them out string by string will be a treatise. I will therefore simply state the truth against which those understanding can be gauged. Most of these misunderstandings are from the misinterpretations of the words of the Lord Jesus in the gospels and the contents of the book of Revelation, also a basic disregard for the superior provisions of The New Testament in relation to that of The Old.
LOCATING THE LOT OF THE MAN IN CHRIST IN SCRIPTURES
It is important to note that in addressing believers, the epistles are the doctrinal materials written to believers in Christ, the Old Testament materials were inspired historical and prophetic writings for our learning and to witness of Christ, they are NOT written TO us. [John5:39; Rom15:4; 1Cor10:11]. The New Testament calls the first testament old, and that it has vanished away, so its provisions do not apply to us believers in Christ. The New Testament began not just in the four gospels, but AFTER the death and resurrection of Jesus [Heb9:16-17].
The gospels were written for unbelievers to believe in Christ, they were not written to believers [John20:31]. The book of Revelation is prophetic and uses a lot of symbolism that would need be rightly interpreted while maintaining consistency with other books of the bible [2Cor13:1]. The epistles were written TO believers in Christ expounding unto them what their faith holds for them. Jesus spoke earlier that the Spirit that will come after his resurrection will guide believers into all truth [John16:12-13]. This, the Spirit expressly accomplished in revealing to the apostles and was communicated to the churches of God, as the epistles [Eph3:4-5; Col1:26].
The epistles especially those of Apostle Paul use great plainness in communicating these truths such that we will need help to misunderstand it, or be incurably insincere[2Cor3:12; 2Pet3:16]. The scriptures being one in purpose and message with no contradictions, we can safely start from the unambiguous plain texts to gain proper interpretation and understanding of the less simplistic texts. For a believer to know his state therefore, he should start to look from nowhere else but the letters written to him as a believer – the epistles.
I CALL YOU BLESSED!
Written By Agboola Samuel
Feel free to join the chat, ask questions and also share your insights and resolutions.