Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 19, 1970

Heaven. . . And How To Miss It

Donald R. Givens

There is a place called heaven. Heaven is not a myth nor fairy-tale. The inspired apostle Peter says, "unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." (I Peter 1:4) I desire such an incorruptible inheritance. Do you? But "desire" or "wishes" alone will not make it a reality.

One can miss heaven. What a tragic and terrible but nevertheless factual thought. The Old and New Testaments were written for our learning and admonition and example. In this article we want to examine some negative examples — some ways in which you and I can miss heaven.

First of all, we can miss heaven by following the way of Cain. His works were evil (I John 3:12). He was jealous and envious of his brother's righteousness but did not determine to become righteous himself. Rather, filled with bitterness, he slew his own brother. The "way of Cain" as stated in Jude 11 is the way of human reasoning. To him, his own ways were as good or better than God's ways.

Secondly, we can miss the joys of heaven by following the example of Lot's wife. In Luke 17:32 we are reminded by Jesus Himself to "remember Lot's wife." (The account is found in Genesis nineteen.) The wife of Lot disobeyed a plain command of God; she had no respect for His simple instructions. She looked back at the city of Sodom and became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). Do you "look back to an old life of sin" as though you desired to return to it? Or are you perhaps still in such a "Sodom of sin?" Come out of it and do not miss heaven.

Thirdly, we can miss eternal life in heaven by imitating Absalom. This handsome young man craved the favor and glory and praise of man. (See II Samuel 15;ff) He badly desired earthly power and would resort to evil means to obtain it. He was exceedingly vain. He tried to fight against a servant of God, his own father King David. We can miss all the wonderful glories of heaven by courting the glory of man. "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10).

Fourthly, we can miss heaven by doing as Judas did and being what he was. He loved his money (and others) more than he did his Lord. Judas was willing to betray the Saviour for silver. He was too anxious to get worldly gain. (Remind you of anyone you know?) Read carefully and prayerfully I Timothy 6:6-10 and 17-19. Do not betray Christ Jesus today by selling Him down the river for the worship of materialism.

There are multitudes of other ways and examples given in both testaments showing how you and I can miss heaven. Guard against them all. Rather imitate the splendid examples of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Job, Stephen, Paul, Timothy, Aquila and Priscilla and above all else: Jesus our Lord. "For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps. "(I Peter 2:21).

Do not miss heaven. If you miss heaven — it matters not what else you may have gained. And if, by God's grace and your obedience, you gain heaven — it matters not what else you may have lost.

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