John was sitting on his chair enjoying the company of his family when he heard a knock at his door. He arose from his seat to see who was there. When he opened the door his senses were confronted with the overpowering odor of what appeared to be a homeless man, disheveled, clothes filthy and torn, with a crazed look in his eye.
Instinctively, John said, can I help you? The man reached down to the knob on the screen door and tried to open it. John held fast to the inner knob and lock, refusing to let the door budge. The man said, “I’m Bob. There’s a nasty storm outside. Can I come in and eat your food, watch your TV, sleep with your wife, and stay here for a while?
Naturally, John would not let him in.
How would you react if someone like that came to your door? Chances are, you wouldn’t let him in either. That being the case, why do some people insist that God must let them into his heaven though they live their lives with not a thought toward God in the world?
Consider this: John’s son comes to the door with a friend who has seen better days. “Dad, I know Bob doesn’t look like much, but he knows he’s a mess. He’s my friend and I want to help him out. I can’t leave him out in the storm. Can we come in and let him clean up and get a hot meal? I’ll be responsible for him.
John looks Bob over once then looks at his son. He says, “Any friend of yours is a friend of mine.” He unlocks the door, opens it, and beckons, “Come on in.”
Here’s a simple truth about getting to heaven. People get to heaven not by what they’ve done, but by who they know. It wouldn’t have mattered if Bob was clean and presentable. John didn’t know him. Why should he let him in? It was only because John’s son, Bob, knew him that his father was ready to accept him. So too, only through knowing Jesus can anyone get to heaven. Without Jesus we are spiritually filthy, disheveled, filled with sin and sinful intentions. Why should God let us in when we live in such sin! But, thanks to Jesus, Bob has hope of entering not only heaven, but of entering into a relationship with the Father himself.
What are you expecting from God? Do you think you can live your whole life without a thought toward God and expect he will let you in to his heaven? The answer is, yes! You can, if Jesus—God’s Son—takes you with him. Without Jesus we are forever left out in the storm.