Who Is Going to Heaven?

LORD, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?

He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoreth them that fear the LORD.

Psalms 15:1-4, KJV


The question "who is going to heaven?" has been one that men have asked since the time of the creation. It is clear from reading the Bible that God has had specific things that men were required to do for each of the three specific eras that men have lived in since the time of our creation. On different occasions during the time spanning from Adam and Eve through the giving of the Law with its Ten Commandments - men have named this the "Patriarchal Age" - God spoke directly to men and women to let them know what He wanted. During the second era, the "Mosaic Age", God put in writing the laws and requirements by which the descendants of Abraham and Isaac (the Jews) were to walk before Him. He did not leave the rest of the world's population to be lost during this time, as the New Testament revealed that the Gentiles (non Jews) who did by nature what was right were acceptable to God.


In the the third and final era, the Christian Age, God revealed that all men would be saved through His only begotten Son, Jesus, and that all men would now be subject to one set of standards through the end of this physical world. But whether the laws were given orally to the various people, or carved in stone, or revealed in the New Testament and to be taken off of the pages of God's holy Word and written on the hearts of men and women, God's standards were basically the same. Though the specifics in the way men and women entered into a covenant with God and in the way that they were to  worship Him during these three distinct eras, the basics of loving God and our fellow man have never changed.  


And while the way to eternal life has always been clearly revealed by our Creator, there are few places in Scripture wherein the answer to the question "How do we get to heaven?" is given so simply and yet so eloquently as it was in the 15th Psalm that we read above. What does God require? That we live the right way before Him. That we speak the truth. That we don't speak or act harmfully against our neighbor. That we understand the difference between right and wrong and as a result we hold the ones who do God's will in honor, while at the same time holding those accountable who do not live according to God's rules.


David, through inspiration, is revealing that God really does have standards and He really does require that we uphold and maintain them. God reveals through David's writings that there really is a right way to live and, by necessary contrast, a wrong way to live. These are such basic concepts that they  probably shouldn't have to be stated, but God knew that men would struggle with even the basics so He had them repeated often throughout each age of mankind. 


And the bottom line has been made very clear through every era that man has lived since the Creation: Live well and walk in obedience to God's commandments, motivated to do so by your love for both God and man, and you will do well. You will not only get to live with God now, but for all eternity. But, should we reject His ways and fail to repent of doing so in the span of this life that God has given us, then the offer of dwelling with Him will no longer be available. It's a simple and fair standard that has not changed since the beginning. 


The only question that remains to be answered then is "will we live by it?" For those who do will surely be in Heaven forever. It will of course be by the grace of God and the sacrifice of our loving Savior, but we have always had our part to do. The good news is that our part is quite pleasant. And as God had David reveal in the passage above, it's really not at all that complicated... it just has to be done!