Aaron Pennington – Queen Creek Campus Pastor
Not to be confused with “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” My guess is you clicked on this post after seeing the title, and you were probably thinking one of two things. You either were appalled or concerned that I was representing poor theology, or you were excited because you have always wanted to believe that all people go to heaven. Does everyone go to that “better place” as we like to say when people pass away? One thing we all have in common is that one day we will all close our eyes for the very last time, but will we all open them to the outstretched arms of Jesus? Let me use a scenario that has played itself out here recently in the media. Last week we all grieved for one of the funniest comedians that ever walked this earth. Robin Williams has put a smile on the face of most Americans and probably had you laughing so hard that you snorted…or maybe that was just me. When we heard the news of him being dead, many of us did not want to believe it, especially the possibility that he would have taken his own life. Those who spoke on his behalf including other celebrities and family members had nothing but nice things to say about Mr. Williams. One family member even mentioning that he was now standing at the “pearly gates,” to which others piped in talking about him being in that “better place.” I mean come on, if anyone would be in heaven it would be Robin Williams…right? Everything in us wants to believe that good people, funny people, nice people, get a free golden ticket. What about that neighbor who mowed my lawn, or my coworker who brought me food when I was in the hospital, or better yet every basketball coach for the University of Kentucky….I digress. I honestly don’t know if Mr. Williams or any of the deceased University of Kentucky coaches are in heaven or not, I pray they are. However, I do know what would have been required of them to get there. Our world wants to make heaven this final destination for everyone, because it makes us feel better… I can understand that. But, is there a way we can know for sure? What is required of someone so that they can be assured they will be in heaven? To answer that let me turn it over to someone much more qualified than I.
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. (Jesus)
John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (Jesus)
Romans 6:For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord. (Apostle Paul)
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. (Luke)
In a world that is constantly trying to consume and dismiss the things of God, we must continue to speak the truths that God has made so clear for us. In our attempt to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) we often times lose the “truth” in our hopes to get the “in love” part right. If we don’t give people the truth, I am pretty sure we aren’t loving them the way God intended us to. So, yes let us continue to speak the truth in love, but please speak the truth.