Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
This is a very important question. As should be the case, we should be interested to search and reason on the scriptures to find the right answer. The biblical answer may not be in line with the usual answers circulating in the world. First of all, we ask: what does the Bible say about the creation of the earth and of mankind? Genesis 1:26-31; 2:15-17; 3:22-24; Psalms 115:16; Ecclesiastes 1:4; Isaiah 45:18 when reasoned upon, lead us to know that God created the earth as an everlasting home or habitation for mankind. Adam was created to live for ever but under the guidance of God. Man was not meant to direct his steps (Jeremiah 10:23). As we know, death entered the world through Adam, Romans 5:12. God, in his love and mercy, did not abandon his purpose to fill the earth with mankind. Right there in Eden, a prophecy regarding this was uttered, in Genesis 3:15. Jesus Christ proved to be the promised seed of the woman that will be the deliverer of obedient mankind from slavery or bondage to sin and death. Also, Jesus is the seed of Abraham through whom God will bless all the earth, I.e, through whom the curse placed upon man in Genesis 3:17-19 will be reversed. That the Bible still held out the promise of everlasting life for righteous mankind on the earth can be seen from Proverbs 2:21,22; Psalms 37:9-11, 22,27,29,34; Matthew 5:5 etc. However, this promise of everlasting life on earth will be brought about through the instrumentality of what the Bible calls God's Kingdom. A serious study of the Bible reveals that God's Kingdom is the government that God purposes to set up in heaven, under Jesus as the Head. That Government will crush and put an end to all human kingdoms, and rule the earth for ever. It will be a world government, and the Bible tells us what benefits will accrue to those humans who qualify to live under that rulership. Please read Daniel 2:44; 7:13,14; Isaiah 9:6,7; psalms 46:8,9; Revelation 21: 1-4; John 3:16; 17:3. But What is the need for this arrangement for the kingdom? When Adam and Eve chose to obey Satan, rejecting God's commandment, what they did was akin to rejecting rulership by God, and voluntarily putting man under rulership by Satan. In other words, humans have been under Satan's kingdom or government. No wonder the world is so wicked and unfit for healthy living! Surely, rule by man over man, especially under the overall control of Satan, has brought untold hardship to mankind. The good news is that Satan' world ( note: not the earth, but Satan's rulership) is overdue for destruction and God has promised to put an end to it by means of his own kingdom, which will usher in an era of peace, justice, righteousness, eternal life and happiness . It is by means of the kingdom under Jesus Christ that God's promise to Abraham will be fulfilled. Now, this is where the hope of going to heaven comes in. God, in his wisdom and love, has purposed that Jesus Christ will not rule alone as King or ruler of God's kingdom. Bible understanding under the guidance of holy spirit has revealed that the Seed of the woman as well as seed of Abraham is composite; that is, are made up of principal (primary) and subsidiary (secondary) components. Comparing Genesis 3:15 with Romans 16:20 and Revelation 12:13-17 on the one hand, and Genesis 22:18 with Galatians 3;16, 26-29 show that Jesus is the Primary seed of the woman as well as the primary seed of Abraham; however, there exists a secondary part of the seed - these are referred to in Galatians chapter 3:26-29 as : SONS OF GOD; THOSE BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST; ABRAHAM' S SEED; HEIRS ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE "For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female - for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to the promise." That Jesus will have corulers with him in the rulership of God's kingdom is seen from Daniel 7:18, 21 ,22 and from Jesus' words in Luke 12:32. Those that Daniel refer to as "saints of God" are the same people as "the little flock" to whom " it has pleased (God) to give (them) the kingdom)". comparison of Luke 12:32 with John 14:1-4 reveal that these are the ones that Jesus was going to prepare a place (in heaven) for, and he will come and take them to be with him. Apostle Paul was inspired to write as follows regarding these" saints of God" or " little flock" in 1 Corinthians 6:1 -4: "When any of you has a legal dispute with another, does he dare go to court before the unrighteous rather than before the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to settle trivial suits? Do you not know that we will judge angels? Why not ordinary matters! So if you have ordinary lawsuits, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? It is these people that make up the "Israel of God " of Galatians 6:16; they are also the ones referred to by Jesus in the parable of sheep and goats in Matthew 25:31-46 (ESP vs 40&45) as " my brothers", and also the "bride" of Christ. To summarize, the reason for opening the way to heaven is to enable the saints of God, or the little flock of Christ's followers , to go to heaven to be with Christ, and they are going there to be corulers with Jesus. The government that they will form will rule over the earth, ; the government will bring peace, justice , happiness and everlasting life to its subjects. By this arrangement, God's original purpose to fill the earth with righteous, obedient, happy humankind for ever will be fully realized.
Those who are led to read John 14:6, John 3:16-17, John 3:3, John 5:24, Romans 10:8-13, and Ephesians 2:8-9. They are the ones who will authentically accept the free gift of eternal life granted to everyone who makes that confession / profession of faith in Him. They will belong to Him forever and NOTHING can change that. Eternal security is theirs.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?" The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me." They also will answer, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?" He will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. c.f. Matthew 25:31-46
Two main verses answer this question. The first is John 6:47. These assuring and promising words of Jesus state that by believing in Him, one has everlasting life, meaning salvation and entrance into heaven. Believing in Jesus requires knowing something about Him. For example, all of Israel looked forward to the coming of the Messiah/Christ and a Savior. When the Samaritan woman understood that Jesus knew all about her, she concluded He had to be the Christ, John 4:16-19, 25-26, 29 as He had told her, John 4:25, 26. Many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of her testimony, John 4:39, but more believed from hearing Jesus themselves. John 4:42. People learn who Jesus is through different ways. John 1:29-51 tells how several came to believe that Jesus is the Christ. The whole gospel of John gives reasons to believe in Jesus, John 20:30-31. The seven signs or miracles in his gospel show the Lord’s power and provisions to needy people, John 2:1-11, 4:46-54, 5:1-9, 6:1-14, 16-21, 9:1-7, 11:1-45. The manner of His conduct and the content of His messages show He is worthy of acceptance. In today’s spiritually uneducated and unchurched world, a powerful message to present is that Jesus died for our sins. He was our substitute, and thus He is the One to believe in to have eternal life, John 3:16. When one believes, there is no condemnation, Romans 8:1, and sins and iniquities are remembered no more, Hebrews 10:17. The believer is born again, I Peter 1:23, redeemed, II Peter 1:18, 19, and is a new creation, I Corinthians 5:17. This one lives because death has no more dominion over him, Romans 6:9-10, and nothing can separate him from Christ, Romans 8:38-39. God is able to keep one from falling and to present him faultless before His presence, Jude 1:24. The believer is secure in Christ. The other verse is Revelation 20:15 which states anyone who is not in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire. The Book of Life is spoken of in Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 15, 21:27. (In many versions, Revelation 22:19 has “book of life,” but manuscript evidence supports “tree of life.”). See also Luke 10:20, Hebrews 12:23. The lake of fire is mentioned only in Revelation 19:20, 20:10, 14-15, 21:8, always in the context of future days. Revelation 20:11-15 describes the Great White Throne judgment when the dead appear before God. They did not believe – there are no believers in this group. They are the “rest of the dead” of Revelation 20:5. God will judge these dead out of the books that are going to be open, Daniel 7:9-10. These determine the level of punishment as hinted by different levels of sin, Matthew 23:14, John 19:11. Yet nothing in these books sends a person to the lake of fire. The Book of Life reveals everyone who will be in heaven. Those not in it will be cast into the lake of fire.
Well-meaning but spiritually blind leaders have suggested that we take “the best” from each religion, blend it with what is “best” in the Christian faith, and thus manufacture a synthetic faith that would be acceptable to everybody. But the Christian faith is exclusive in character; it will not accept any other faith as its equal or its superior. “There is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). --Warren Wiersbe Matthew 7:13-14 NLT: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." But the verse that really scared me into my cry to God to save me was John 3:18. "Whoever believes in him [Jesus] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." After that, my conversion experience, God Himself assured me that I could go to heaven. You can too if you go God's way! It's my passion in life telling others the way to eternal life.
It is a huge leap to quote a verse about eternal life and then talk about going to heaven. The bible talks about entering the kingdom, nowhere does it say “Go to”. It is quite understandable that people would assume that if you wanted to enter a gate that you first have to go there. Is this always true? When Britain entered the EU did they tow it across the channel? When Hawaii entered the United States did they tow it halfway across the pacific? When, just before the time of the gospels, Israel became part of the Roman kingdom, did they dig it up and take it to Rome? No because it came to them. You can enter an agreement without being there. In Rev. 21:3 we read that, “The dwelling of God is with men, and he will dwell with them”. Whatever has happened elsewhere in scripture, that is the end of the story. Both heaven and earth have been made new. Jesus told his disciples when he ascended that they could not go where he was going but he would return. Why was this? I believe the reason can be learnt from the British monarchy. Heaven is described as God’s throne and the earth is his footstool. The spiritual throne of the kingdom is in Westminster Abbey. Who lives there? No one. The civil throne is at Buckingham palace. Do the royal family live there? No. If you are there for a reward or something you sit feet and knees together and elbows tucked in which is fine for a while, but could you live like that? God is perfect and can live that sort of life indefinitely, but he knows full well that we could not. We need to be able to kick off our shoes and spread out once in a while. Whether it is just for now or forever, I am content to worship at his feet.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.