They say heaven is a place where life never ends. Many look forward to the day when they will enter a place where all their dreams will be fulfilled, and at last they will have peace. The sad reality is that not everyone will be able to enter that eternal place.
When Jesus spoke of heaven, he often called it “the kingdom of God” – yet He mentioned it as a place very close to earth. Once, when asked by religious leaders when the kingdom of God would come, He answered by saying “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). This thought itself was quite revolutionary for its day – that the possibility that heaven’s glory could exist inside of a person. Yet when we examine His words, we can better understand its meaning.
As Jesus says, the kingdom of God is able to be seen within a person. This is possible, not because of the righteousness of any one person, but because heaven dwells inside of us as a reality of God’s presence.
Since we see that heaven itself is both a present reality and a coming kingdom, we have a hope that is based on the words of Jesus Himself. Those who have the truth of His words inside of us are also able to share this with others. As a result, the light of the kingdom of God is able to bring more people to accept His words and enter into His heavenly abode.
For those who follow the instruction of Jesus, He gives an important instruction about the heights of heaven. According to His words, He says “for I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). In other words, the only way to enter heaven is to have a righteousness apart from ourselves, not based on self-worth, but one that comes from God.
So to enter heaven, a place where there is no sorrow, no pain, no fear, no shame, no evil; but only the everlasting presence of the God who created us to be with Him and His people, we ought to heed the words of Jesus and place our trust in Him, from who true righteousness comes, the Source of Life that never ends and who gives life that can never be taken away.