Skip to comments.Is There an ĎA-Listí in Heaven?
Posted on 11/17/2013 7:49:23 AM PST by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
In a letter to newly planted churches in the Roman provinces of Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia, the Apostle Paul explained how lost souls might receive the gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ.
If, he advised, you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Many, if not most, of us have received the gift of salvation; have the promise of everlasting life.
We look forward to heaven, which the Book of Revelation describes as having twelve gates of pearl and streets of pure gold.
We can hardly wait to take residence in the mansions that, according to the Gospel of John, the Lord Jesus has prepared before us.
But many, if not most, of us will find heaven very much different than we are expecting. We mistakenly believe heaven will be egalitarian; that all who are saved will enjoy the same standing in the hereafter.
But thats not what the Word of God teaches. It promises us it warns us that heaven is a meritocracy.
That, while our salvation guarantees us a place in heaven, our works on this side of eternity determine what exactly that place will be in the hereafter.
Indeed, the Lord declared, I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
The Book of Matthew tells us the Son of Man will sit on the throne of His glory. That before Him all the nations will gather. That He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
That He well set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on His left. That those on His right hand will inherit the kingdom prepared for them. And that He will say to those on His left, Depart from Me, you cursed.
Those of us who are saved are the Lords sheep. An inheritance awaits us, everyone. But everyone does not have the same inheritance awaiting.
For some devote their lives to being good and faithful servants. To standing in the gap for the Lord. To fulfilling the Great Commission. To fighting a good fight, finishing the course set before them, and keeping the faith. To suffering persecution in the name of the Lord, even unto death.
There is laid up for those saints crowns of righteousness. They are on heavens A-list.
And it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things God has prepared for those who love Him.
Those who truly love Him are those who let their light so shine before men, that they might see their good works, and glorify the Father which is in heaven.
As to those of us who do not lead such a purpose-driven life, who do not labor in the Lords harvest fields bringing the lost to Christ, who do not feed the hungry, offer drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and minister to the prisoner, there is a place prepared for us, too, in eternity.
But let us not delude ourselves that we can do little or nothing in service to the Lord and enjoy the same rewards earned by such great men (and women) of God as Abraham, Moses, David and Esther or John the Baptist, the Virgin Mary, the Apostle Paul and St. Peter.
Papias of Hierapolis, who authored five books on Christian oral tradition, who said he received the sayings of the apostles from those who accompanied them, taught that there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundred-fold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold.
The first, wrote Papias, will be taken up into the heavens. The second, will dwell in Paradise. The last will inhabit the city. Everywhere, he explained, the Savior will be seen, according as they shall be worthy who see Him.
Salvation earns us a place in the city, with its splendor beyond anything we have seen or experienced in this fallen world.
But more is required of those who will spend eternity in paradise, with the delights far beyond the splendor of the city. And much more is required to be deemed worthy of an abode in heaven, where God, the Father, sits on His throne, and His Son, Christ the Lord, sits on His right hand
Thats why the Lord, Himself, advised us, encouraged us, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, but store up treasure in heaven, where our good works will be eternally rewarded.
This sounds more like the Quran.
Forget what Paul said. What did Christ say?
While the Air Force is still out on the golf course.
Forget what Paul said. What did Christ say?
“..Forget what Paul said...”
How do we know what Christ said without Paul?
That’s why you must have greater faith in Paul than Jesus so that you may think you are believing what Jesus said.
What Paul said is what Christ said. Why would anyone want to forget that?
Read Matthew 20 for the answer.
Actually, that has to be the other way around : )
As to Heaven's hierarchy, it's as difficult to imagine a forlorn longing for better, unattainable portions (and beyond time) were one to barely arrive there at all, clawing at the door jam and smelling of smoke, "as though by fire."
Eternity is a long time to mill about, even in the Big Lobby.
Be ecstatic and gleefully thankful to be a backbencher in heaven.
I will carry water for Moses, John the Baptist, the Apostles, etc...any old time....every time for eternity just for the mercy of being let in!
The depth of passion and gratefulness that I feel for this unwarranted “gift” is impossible for me to express. I cling to His promise like a life preserver in a flood.
Mark reporting Jesus’ words on “earning it”
The Parable of the Vineyard Workers
1For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Now that says it all.
I caution you to not brag on your works, or even seeking to make them known to others. I caution you to not extort others to “do more” as it leads to vanity, “one upmanship” and legalism as with the Pharisees.
Jesus is not a fan of the lads jockeying for position all the time....if fact he condemns it. Still, they never learn.
Learn. The values and vanity of this world...even worrying about who will first to last in Heaven are childishness to the Lord.
A bit more about not worrying over and A-List in Heaven.
I don’t want to run the club. Don’t need to. I know the owner personally. He will always let his friends backstage.
“33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.”
I don’t know any other opinion ever found a foothold among bible-believing Christians. Yet, there it is.
What did He say?
Anything that contradicts what Paul said? Where is it?
Paul was an apostle of the Lord. His words are pretty authoritative. IMO
No it doesn’t.
Salvation is free to all.
Rewards are just that. Rewards for faithful service.
Some of us will live in the Beverly Hills of Heaven; others in the slums (still better than anything we can imagine, IMO)
And then there are the lost, who just won’t make the cut, so to speak.
CD quoted Jesus Christ in his first post. What’s your point about Paul?
Unless you don’t rely on secondary sources for your knowledge about a certain individual, then, by simple logical deduction, without greater faith in those conveying you the information about that particular individual, you cannot have faith in that individual.
Amen! I "call" being the shepherd for the various flocks in the fields:) After such a busy and noisy life here, give me the solitude of sitting out there with the Lord's flocks.
The Quranic heaven is just as you describe.
If heaven has a “Beverley Hills” section and also the slums, then heaven won’t be free from envy. If there is no envy in heaven, then there is nothing special about a “Beverley Hills” section, and if so, then there is nothing special about your “rewards”.
The comment about Paul was a poke in the eye to Evangelicals. Roman Catholics know they can’t declare Paul a heretic because they “canonized” him as a saint centuries ago. But those epistles just seem to get in the way of their Roman tradtion of works based salvation.
So some have to use the “What did Jesus say?” statement to dismiss the remainder of the Gospels. It is great to note they never say “What did Jesus DO—Actions?” If we put together what Jesus Christ said and DID (crucified, died, buried, Risen from the dead now seated at the Right Hand of the Father), then Paul makes a lot more sense.
We are doomed to failure if we do not read the Gospels in the Light of the Cross and Empty Tomb. We take away those ACTIONS, then we are left with Sinai II the Law more perfectly spoken and lived by God Himself coming in the flesh. But Jesus Christ Truly God and Truly man DID shed His Blood for us and DID rise again from the dead three days later. And that is the “hermeneutic” Paul uses in his epistles.
“There are many mansions in my Father’s house.”
Sir, you perhaps are in error on this. Who ever said to have faith in Paul over Jesus Christ. No one.
It seems you may have words to enlighten us. Your post said “that you may think you are believing what Jesus said.”
I take that as you know what Jesus said and know what He meant. I am not reading minds, just trying to see if you can enlighten us further on your comments.
**Salvation is free to all.**
OSAS is a falsehood.
**Salvation is free to all.**
But not all people want to be saved. They like their lives of wickedness and atheism.
Sir, the above is error. I know the Qur'an quite adequately. There is only one "reward" guaranteed and that is dying for jihad. Everyone else must "sweat it out" in their theology and hope allah is having a good day.
If you cannot trust the messenger, you cannot trust the message.
No, you have to accept the gift. But that is all you need to do to be saved.
To move out of the slums, more is required of the Christian.
And as I said, there are those you either don’t bother accept the gift of salvation, or positively reject it. They will not wind up in heaven.
Sir, have your read the Gospels and the Acts and the epistles? If so, what is the unifying agent for all NT writings?
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Or perhaps Sir you reached this thread in error and were seeking the atheist and alien abduction thread?
Here is a serious question:
Suppose Bob personally evangelizes and brings 10 people to Christ in his hometown. And suppose his brother Sam funds the distribution of 100 Bibles thru an evangelical charity that will, therefore, bring an additional 1000 people to Christ in China.
Who will have the greater Reward? Bob or Sam?
Is it now?
I don’t actually recall that I mentioned it, but I would refer you to John 6:37-40, and also 47.
If a man has everlasting life, but loses it, did he ever have “everlasting” life to begin with?
However, I’m not God’s private secretary, nor are you. You could well be right, but I’m not worried about it personally. I don’t intend to reject God.
You have yet to contradict what I said with logical arguments. When you do, I’ll respond.
What does OSAS have to do with "Salvation is free to all."?
Is not Salvation a Gift from God in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ Truly God and Truly man? Did not Jesus pay that price? Did not Jesus say if He sets us free we are free indeed?
OSAS has no bearing on this conversation.
**I dont intend to reject God.**
So glad to hear that you are not rejecting the transubstantiation of the bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ.
So glad you are not receiving the Eucharist.
Well, I disagree.
The Parable of the talents argues against it, for one.
Not for us to judge, is it?
Did it come from a Catholic, though? There are a number of persons I've read or read about that are very down on “Pauline” Christianity, preferring some kind of Gnostic, or sometimes “Petrine” version.
I am curious how heaven will maintain a class system as you imply and still be able to be ‘heaven’.
Yes, it is. I want to know whether to act like Bob or whether to act like Sam.
Obey the Bible — faith AND works.
Sorry Folks, only 144,000 get into heaven. They are already there. Now the “bumping begins” just like at the Indianapolis 500.
Now that I’ve made my sarcastic comment. Jesus gave us the gift of salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven, that is enough for me.
Who are any of us to answer that question? Isn't it one for God?
But my opinion is that it depends on how well they used the gifts that God gave them. Perhaps Bob has no money, but had a gift of persuasion, and lived a life that others wanted to emulate to serve God. Maybe hi service was 80% effective.
But maybe Sam was a go-getter, and raised himself to multi-millionaire status. Funding 100 Bibles was nothing to him. His effectiveness in using his gifts for the Lord was 0%. Remember the widow's mite.
I think in this scenario, Bob comes out ahead.
But I am making assumptions. Another would be that Sam was an invalid, that never got out of the house and lived on disablity. He saved his shekels till he had enough for the bibles, and did what he could for Jesus.
Bob, in the meantime, was so busy evangelizing, that he forgot to visit his own brother and help him out. Sounds sorta like our current President.
In this case, Sam is way ahead.
Or maybe they both did the best that they could with what they were given. I certainly wish that I could say the same.
For a Christian, you seem rather snarky.
Still, I believe in God and His Christ: I believe in miracles. I don’t believe in magic.
See. I can be snarky, too.
Oh, and we Baptists call it “the Lord’s Supper”
Once saved, we belong to Christ. Even if we wanted to leave, we are still part of His family. He disciplines those whom He loves.
There are many who understand the Gospel academically, but refuse to think it. Faith alone in Christ alone. Anything added to that faith voids that thinking for any salvific work. Instead remaining faithful in Him, does nothing to interfere with God blessing us by His grace with salvation, which is eternal.
Our inheritance is a predestined set of rewards, which are set in escrow for us until the bema seat of Christ. If we fail to perform good works by Divine Standards, then we will not be rewarded them.
Any good work not done through faith alone in Christ alone, is good for nothingness, and will not receive eternal rewards at the bema seat.
Neither will any person who has refused to ever exercise faith alone in Christ alone be able to escape eternal damnation by human good because those works independent of faith alone in Christ alone fail to remain perfectly holy in His Perfect Judgment and Perfect Righteousness. They must be atoned by the blood of Christ only through faith alone in Christ alone to qualify in the Book of Works.
So when did he eat with the apostles again for supper?
Catholics call the Passover meal with the apostles “The Last Supper.”
I believe most artists do too.
Just citing fact (the truth), not trying to be a smarty.
Some guy named Calvin said the same thing.
Is the above a claim that others have this problem or is it a personal revelation? Again, not trying to mind read, but are you asking us how to trust God?