• By John Hicks

Why do you want to go to heaven?

Before you answer, let's dig into some things first.

First we will look into God’s Word to define Heaven and will easily see anyone would want to go there.

Then we will discuss Hell as it should go without saying that no one really should want to go there but we do need to define it in order to see the complete picture from God’s Word.

We will see that there are two basic reasons why folks want to go to heaven.

The Bible explains what the correct motivation is for someone who goes to heaven. We will definitely take a look at that.

We will then look into how awesome God is...This is imperative in order to define what the proper motivation is regarding those who enter heaven for eternity.

At the end we will need to examine ourselves and check what our motivation is...

First, let’s see what the Bible says about heaven. The Bible tells us a lot about heaven but it also says for the most part, you aint seen nothing yet...

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Here are a couple of scriptures that give us a glimpse into heaven:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:1-5

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. Revelation 22:1-5

Heaven is life everlasting...

In John 3:16 we are told it is everlasting life:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Heaven is beyond our wildest imaginations and will definitely be the ultimate destination. Eternal peace and rest is waiting for those who wait upon the Lord. We cannot truly understand all there is about heaven due to us living in this fallen world but God has blessed us with enough of a description that we can be assured that it is a place like none other.

Then there is that place of eternal torment called Hell. Most of us know it’s a bad place but some may not so we will look at a few scriptures so they can be aware. As mentioned earlier, this is necessary in order to gain a full contextual understanding of all potential destinations after one dies. After all, without discussing heaven and hell the gospel message is not complete.

In 2 Thessalonians 1:9 we see it is everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.

In Revelation 20:15 we see it described as a lake of fire.

In Matthew 13:50 we are told it is a furnace of fire where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

In Mark 9:47-48 we are told it is hell is fire once again, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

So it’s safe to say that no one really should want to go there and It makes sense that folks would want to go to heaven instead where God "shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain". We have the assurance of a very blessed place awaiting us after we pass from this life.

Now there are two specific reasons why folks want to go to heaven. The first is simply selfishness. Hear me out on this as I will explain. Most folks are not aware that they have fallen prey to this. I know I did for many years of my life and still tend to slip into a state of selfishness when I have no right to do so.

I looked at heaven as a get away from the all the pain that I have dealt with in this life. I have had over 20 broken bones, 10 surgeries including three knee surgeries and a completely torn achilles tendon that required repair. I also have partially torn my left bicep as well as many other sprains and injuries. I am a literally riddled with pins, scar tissue and calcium deposits and the pain at times is pretty intense. All of this on top of dealing with all the pain and suffering that occurs in basic every day life, escaping to a paradise such as heaven is really enticing for someone like me. But I had to come to the reality that I am in better shape and have a better life than many others on this earth and my motivation for heaven really needed to be more.

The self-focused mindset myself and many others have is associated with the need to be pain free and have pleasures afforded to us be it through entertainment or any of the many other carnal pursuits. In short it is a desire for all around happiness. Most if not everyone likes to be happy. This is the basis of motivation for many people today, just as it was in Jesus' time and just as it was for me. People feel that they are justified in being happy and seeking after that happiness above everything else.

In John 4:48 Jesus said... Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

In John 6:26-27 Jesus said... Ye seek me...because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth...

Many seek Jesus for all the wrong reasons such as for the signs and wonders and to get their bellies filled.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 2 Timothy 3:2-4

The fact of the matter is, we were all created for His good pleasure...not the other way around.

Let me clarify something here... I am in no way saying that it's the motivation of the person that grants entrance into heaven because only Jesus can provide that. I am saying that one who is truly blood bought will have the right motivation that the Bible speaks of.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:11

This is where I need to introduce and explain Humanism and why it is so dangerous.

Humanism is just a modern fancy term that essentially means a life based on selfishness. Humanism is a philosophy of life that declares that the end of all being is the happiness of man. The reason for anyone’s existence is for their happiness. Salvation as per humanism’s terms is achieving as much happiness as one can out of life...

Humanism or selfishness is the prevailing sin of the world and, yes, even in the church. Many Christians today need to repent of this sin just as much as the world does. I certainly had to.

You see Christianity claims that "The end of all being is the glory of God” but it is Humanism that says, "The end of all being is the happiness of man."

I borrowed a bit from Paris Reidhead as he gave an extremely concise explanation of humanism in his sermon titled “Ten Shekels and a Shirt” back in 1965. Listen to this following quote from Paris Reidhead’s sermon, ten shekels and shirt back in 1965.

“I believe that the only ones whom God actually witnesses by His Spirit are born of Him are the people, whether they say it or not, that come to Jesus Christ and say something like this: "Lord Jesus, I'm going to obey you, and love you, and serve you, and do what you want me to do, as long as I live, even if I go to Hell at the end of the road, simply because YOU ARE WORTHY TO BE LOVED, AND OBEYED, AND SERVED, and I'm not trying to make a deal with you!"”

If you have not already listened to Ten Shekels and a Shirt I highly recommend that you do so at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDQC45_RA2c

It should be clearly evident if you are at all familiar with the Bible, that there is a fundamentally vast difference between serving God and serving your own self. A student of scriptures knows that one cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13).

Here are some scriptures that highlight the fact that many seek praises for themselves and that they prefer to serve themselves instead of serving God.

Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. John 12:42-43

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. Romans 1:21-25

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

The Bible tells us what the motivation is for someone who ends up in heaven. Not just someone who just thinks they are going but some who actually makes it there.

This is the biblical reason why a true believer would want to go to heaven.

A believer is motivated purely by the fact that God is there. They are not consumed by the pursuit of their own happiness but instead they seek to please their Creator. They are consumed with God’s Spirit and not their own. They know that God will supply all the joy that they would ever need without them ever having to seek it. They please Him and He takes care of the rest.

A true believer realizes without a doubt that God is truly awesome!

Here are some passages that should get us excited about how awesome God is.

For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Deuteronomy 10:17-18

O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Psalm 8:1-9

We must not forget that God created everything from nothing as recorded in Genesis and when God told Job about the mighty things He created such as the behemoth and the leviathan. God created all things and for His good pleasure. We are blessed that He has revealed these awesome truths to us and that He has provided for us salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.

How awesome is our God?


Now it is time to examine ourselves. This is a call to examine our own motivation with scriptures to help.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Matthew 19:21

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15-17

The Biblical definition therefore of a true believer is one who submits to living in such a way that it reflects that he or she were was created in God’s own image. They will live a life that mirror’s that of our Lord’s. He gave His life for us thus we give our lives for Him. God will always provide the increase without us having to seek after that on our own.

Hereby perceive we the love of God , because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18

And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Mark 10:44-45

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. Romans 14:8

In Mark 8:34 Jesus said... Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

The Bible makes it very clear that if our motivation in going to heaven is focused on God and not ourselves then we would be like Job and would one day, just like him, see God face to face.

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

And though after my skin worms destroy this body , yet in my flesh shall I see God:

Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. Job 19:25-27

When one seeks heaven with the genuine desire to see God face to face so as to worship Him because He is the one true almighty God then no doubt that person will hear these words from his Creator as he enters heaven...

... Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:23

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