In another article (152) I asked the question: On a scale from 1 to 100, how sure are you that when you die you will go to Heaven? The question is critical because it forces a revealing answer. There are two kinds of people who will say that they are 100% sure of heaven when they die, and there is one kind of person who is less than 100% sure. You and I fit into these three categories somewhere and our eternal destiny hinges on where we fit.
Before we address this issue, let me remind you that we are in this thing called experiential existence for the long haul. When we became people, we became subject to existence forever. There is no way out. Suicide can't get us out; it can only change the details of our experience. There is no way out. As creatures of God, we will either experience His blessing for eternity, or we will experience His wrath. His blessing is new life in a new body, in a new City, and in a new Kingdom. His wrath is the unending experience of fire, weeping, and gnashing of teeth forever. Therefore, the answer to the question that we asked last time has a critical place before us because it reveals to us where we are in relation to the blessing or wrath of God.
Now, let us consider briefly the two kinds of people who are 100% sure that they are going to heaven when they die. The first of the two is 100% sure and 100% wrong and in for a 100% rude shock at death. This is the person who thinks that heaven will be his/her reward for living a decent life in this world. The teaching that heaven is for people who have lived decently is the biggest lie that ever hit planet earth and will actually condemn the vast majority of humanity. So, the first kind of person who is 100% sure of heaven is the person who is self-righteous and has no sense of his/her own deep sinfulness. This person is totally selfish and seldom sees it because to admit it is to admit they deserve hell.
The other person who is 100% sure of heaven is the person who believes that Jesus died for his/her sins. Because sin is what keeps people out of heaven, Jesus' death for sin makes heaven sure to those who believe Him. Because there was no flaw in Jesus, either in His life or in His death for sin, there is no basis for a person not to be 100% sure of the result of His life and death: Heaven, for those who believe His promise of life through His death.
Then, there are all the other folks in the world who are somewhere between 0% and 99% sure of heaven. These people are not likely to get to heaven because the percentage of their confidence reveals where their faith is. For example, take the person who believes that Jesus died for our sins, but also believes that his/her salvation is dependent upon something they must continue to do. This person will be somewhat sure of heaven, say 75%. This percentage may vary, but the fact is that the faith is divided between Jesus and one's own behavior. A divided faith is no faith at all. Jesus doesn't accept people who refuse to trust Him fully. There are myriads of these rejects around today. They say they trust in Jesus, but they also say that it is their behavior that is critical. These are hell-bound.