X

Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Why Doesn't God Let Everyone into Heaven?

Since the foundation of the world, God has been on a mission to reconcile two unchangeable, yet seemingly contradictory, attributes of His nature. On the one hand, God is perfectly holy. There is no sin allowed in His presence. Yet on the other hand, God is perfectly loving. He loves us so much that He would give anything to have us in His presence (John 3:16). God doesn’t want “any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NASB). Yet at the same time, the wages of our sin “is death” (Rom. 6:23).

So here we are, inexorably sinful, born into sin; and when left to our own devices, we continue to sin. Our hearts are “deceitful . . . and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9 NKJV). Yet God loves us and wants to be with us. But He simply cannot let our sin go unpunished. Such an oversight would be a violation of His law, a compromise of His perfect justice and absolute holiness.

What all this means is that apart from some divine rescue plan, we are shut out from heaven. Because how can God punish our sin and still love us at the same time? How can He be perfectly holy and true to His Word, yet fully loving and accepting of us at the same time with all our faults, sins, and failures? The answer is found in His blood covenant made on the cross.

WHY THE CROSS? WHY PUNISH US AT ALL?

The brutal death of Jesus on the cross has caused many down through the ages to wonder why death was required at all. Why did God have to punish sin in the first place? How is it fair that God has allowed us to be born into a fallen world through no decision of our own? None of us told our parents to bring us into this world, so how is it “just” for God to ask us to struggle through life until we find Jesus when it wasn’t our decision to be here in the first place? And how is it “love” that so many people wander through life without ever finding Jesus at all and end up in Gehenna, the Second Death, as a result?

By divine design, God the Creator cannot simply open the doors to heaven and let everyone in. That would violate His standard for holiness and corrupt His divine design with sin. When you think about it, would you want to worship a God who didn’t demand perfection? Would you want to spend all eternity in a heaven where evil and sin were allowed? If your answer is no, then by your own standard, your sin would separate you from the perfect and holy God you desire.

The truth is, on our own we are incapable of righteousness. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6). In the desert, God presented His commandments to the Israelites, and they had the pride to actually believe they could do everything He asked (Ex. 19:7–8). The truth is that we deserve the wrath of God as punishment for our sin. Yet, Christ Himself came in our place to break down the wall of separation that stands between our sinful flesh and God’s holy nature. The only way to put to death the declaration of war made in the garden between our sinful flesh and God’s holy nature was for God Himself to become flesh and to die.

Jesus chose to die for our sin, opening the door for us to choose to become the “righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21 NKJV). God didn’t kill Jesus on the cross. You did, and I did; we did. And we have to take personal responsibility for it. Jesus died in our place, as the penal substitute for our actions, for our sin. Beware of distancing yourself from the suffering of the cross like Pilate who washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood” (Matt. 27:24). To blame the cross on someone else is to rob it of its benefits and its beauty. Instead, accept the blame.

The cross of Jesus Christ is for you, for all of us, and because of us, it is a beautiful picture of God Himself—Jesus Christ—offering up His life and accepting the death we deserve. The beauty of the cross is that we don’t stop at the place of mourning because Jesus died in our place. We can move beyond mourning to celebrate that Jesus is now alive again, and when we believe, we are alive in Him!

Taken from Destined for the Cross: 16 Reasons Jesus Had to Die by Randy Clark. Copyright © 2020 by Randy Clark. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

Show Guest Bio: 

Can God change your life?

God has made it possible for you to know Him and experience an amazing change in your own life. Discover how you can find peace with God. You can also send us your prayer requests.

We encourage users who wish to comment on our material to do so through our CBN Facebook page.

Loading Webform

Can We Pray For You?

he cares for you booklet

Get FREE "He Cares for You" teaching sheet

Build up your faith as you mediate on inspiring Scripture verses of how much God loves you

Get more than a Sunday sermon. Get to know others seeking God’s guidance and wisdom for life.
We are here to help and encourage you! Send a prayer request now, or call 1‑800‑700‑7000
Can God change your life? God made it possible for you to know. Discover God's peace now.
Get Email Updates
Donate