left margin
Clarifying Christianity
(Click a topic)
   Heaven    Angels     Church     Cults     Creation/Evolution
    Reading and Understanding the Bible      Bible Search
    The Bible's Subjects     Bibles In Various Languages
    The Source of Life    Search (Netscape)    Search (IE)
    The Trinity     Baptism     FAQ     Dinosaurs     Science
    Proving the Bible     Losing Weight     Statement of Faith


left margin

Who Gets To Go To Heaven?



left margin

What Most People Think

There may be as many opinions on who gets to go to heaven as there are people. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

Everyone becomes an angel and goes to heaven when they die.
Whoever obeys the Ten Commandments will go to heaven.
Whoever goes to church will go to heaven.
Whoever does more good things than bad things will go to heaven.
Whoever believes in God will go to heaven.
Whoever has not killed anyone or done anything really bad will go
to heaven.
Everyone in a Christian household will go to heaven.

These opinions may seem OK, but they are all wrong.

“If none of these are correct, who gets to go to heaven?” you may ask. The answer is simple. The people who get to go to heaven are the ones who “get right with God” by beginning a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, understanding how to “get right with God” became unclear as organized religion developed over the centuries. (Removing the various “changes” added by organized religion is one of the primary reasons for the existence of this site.) Although “religious people” have been telling others how to go to heaven for a long time, what they say can be distorted by their opinions. That is why it is vital to go back to the unchanging foundation—the Bible. For example, the apostle Paul refuted the false teachings of his day and told everyone how to “get right with God” using the first century version of the Internet—a letter. This letter is recorded in the Bible as the book of Galatians, and is available for all of us to learn from today.

Although it will take a few minutes to explain how you can get to heaven, we hope you believe that learning how is worth a few minutes of your time. Click on the link below. You will soon learn that the real way to get to heaven has nothing in common with the opinions listed above.

Click here if you want to learn how to get right with God and go to heaven If you want to learn how to “get right with God” and go to heaven, click here.

This information is based completely on the Bible, and can be verified by reading the Bible yourself. We provide proof that the Bible is the only source of truth elsewhere in this site.

Click here if you want to learn how we know the Bible is true If you want to learn how we know the Bible is true, click here.


left margin

What Do You Mean I Can’t Get To Heaven My Way?

Yes, a few people out there will use the “get right with God” link, read everything, and still think they are OK just as they are. We will humor you and tell you why the other “methods” of getting to heaven will not work. By the way, we discuss cults and false religions (a separate issue) on a different page.

Everyone becomes an angel and goes to heaven when they die.

This opinion is wrong for at least three reasons:

  • Not all angels end up in heaven.
  • People and angels are different.
  • The Bible never states that people turn into angels.

Clarifying note: Certain angels that sinned have already been cast into hell. Read 2 Peter, chapter 2, verse 4 to see that. Being an angel is no guarantee of getting into heaven.

Although the Bible describes some angels as having the appearance of “men” or having “human form,” the text makes it obvious that angels are not people. Further, no place in the Bible says that one member of creation changes into another. This is true for animals, people . . . and angels too. To learn more about angels, please see our angels page. If you think that animals change into people, or people will change into angels—which they do not—see our Creation Versus Evolution page. Nothing in creation changes from what it starts out to be. You probably make a pretty good human, and God will keep you that way.

Whoever obeys the Ten Commandments will go to heaven.

This opinion is wrong for at least three reasons:

  • The Bible never states that obeying the Ten Commandments will get you into heaven.
  • The Ten Commandments are about 0.06% of the Bible (Exodus chapter 20, verses 3-17—later repeated in Deuteronomy chapter 5, verses 7-21). If that was all people needed to know, the other 99.94% of the Bible would not have been written.
  • Even the best people can not keep the Ten Commandments.

Clarifying Note: Although we have met a number of people who think they have always obeyed the Ten Commandments, a few questions typically reveal that they have broken most of them hundreds of times each. For example, most people broke the commandment “honor your father and your mother” at least once as a sassy child. People then realize that by the time they finished their teenage years, they broke that Commandment hundreds of times more. If your parents are still living and you ever criticize anything about them, you are still breaking that commandment. We could continue with examples from the other commandments, but the point has been made. People who examine themselves truthfully discover they have broken most of the Ten Commandments at some time in their lives—and if you break one once, you are lost.

Whoever goes to church will go to heaven.

This opinion is wrong for at least three reasons.

  • The Bible never states that attending church will get you into heaven.
  • Since churches disagree with one another, how do you know you are in the correct one to get you into heaven?
  • If going to a restaurant does not turn you into a hamburger, why do you think going to a church will turn you into a saint? (Yes, that was supposed to be humorous, but the concept is completely valid.)

Clarifying Note: We have seen people who go to church each week and promptly fall asleep. If they are openly bored with God, will He still invite them into heaven anyway? We do not think so. What if the church they are attending is actually a cult or a false religion? If that is the case, they are in trouble.

Don’t get us wrong—an important part of this site is dedicated to helping people find a good church. Still, going to church will not get you into heaven.

Whoever does more good things than bad things will go to heaven.

This is also called “balance scale” judgment, and is one of the most common wrong beliefs. This opinion is wrong for at least three reasons:

  • The Bible never states that doing more good things than bad things will get you into heaven.
  • God is so holy (perfect and sinless) that “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” to Him (see Isaiah chapter 64, verse 6). Do you think giving God a pile of filthy rags will cause Him to bring you into heaven? We don’t.
  • Going to heaven (or “being saved”) is a free gift of God. He made it that way so nobody could boast that they made it to heaven by their own good deeds. (See Ephesians chapter 2, verses 8 and 9.)
Whoever believes in God will go to heaven.

This opinion is wrong for at least three reasons:

  • The Bible never states that believing in God will get you into heaven, and confirms that such is the case in James chapter 2, verse 19.
  • Satan (the Devil) believes God exists. In fact, he talks with God in Job chapters 1 and 2. Yet, he is not going to heaven—he is going to be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (hell). This is recorded in Revelation chapter 20, verse 10.
  • Angels that sinned were cast into hell—and they knew God. Read 2 Peter, chapter 2, verse 4.

Sorry, believing in God is not enough to allow you to enter heaven.

Whoever has not killed anyone or done anything “really bad” will go to heaven.

This opinion is wrong for at least three reasons:

  • Although murdering someone is one of the best ways to help you go to hell, the Bible never states that not murdering anyone will get you into heaven. The same is true of not doing “lesser” crimes.
  • In the Bible, there are at least two murderers that went to heaven: Moses and David.
  • There are some people who never killed anyone (or did anything else “really bad”) who still went to hell (hades). Read an example in Luke chapter 16, verses 19 to 31.
Everyone in a Christian household will go to heaven.

This opinion is wrong for at least three reasons:

  • The Bible never states that being part of a specific family will allow you to go to heaven.
  • You are not physically born a Christian like you are born a citizen of a country. To become a Christian and go to heaven (enter the kingdom of God) you have to be “born of water and the Spirit.” This is different. See John chapter 3, verses 1-8.
  • The Bible states that some members of a family will go to heaven while others sleeping or working next to them will not (Matthew chapter 24, verses 40,41 and Luke chapter 17, verses 34,35).

Being the member of a family is not the way to get into heaven.

OK, So Now What Do I Do?

Now that you realize why these other ways to go to heaven will not work, you need to recheck the information attached to the “get right with God” link. Otherwise, the grim truth is that when you die you will end up somewhere you never intended to end up, where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”


left margin
Home Next

Copyright © 1998, 2007 by Clarifying Christianity (SM).
Printed copies of this article may be circulated if the article is reproduced in its entirety, along with this copyright notice. You may not charge for, request a donation for, or seek reimbursement from anyone for such copies. Links are OK. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

All information contained in Clarifying Christianity is a resource for questions dealing with Christian issues. It is not to be taken as Christian counseling. Seek a qualified Christian counselor for help with all such issues. If you choose to work with a Christian counselor, it is your responsibility to ask pertinent questions before you begin, to assure yourself of their qualities and abilities.

34