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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Going to the Father, #5
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27)
What if it is true that going to Heaven does not change our personality? What if we go to the part of Heaven (or Hell) occupied by people who behave as we do and we are not allowed to go anywhere else? Will you be satisfied if such is the case?
Does it state in the Scriptures that going to Heaven will change our personality? Is it only our tradition that states we shall be changed in personality when we go to Heaven?
We must keep in mind that the New Testament never once promises us that if we accept Christ we will go to Heaven. Receiving Christ "saves" us (if we continue in Him). Being "saved," however, is not speaking of going to Heaven but of preservation in the Day of the Lord.
The New Testament deals with the issue of preservation in the Day of Christ and with eternal life—never with "going to Heaven." So if we are a Bible-believing person we must adjust our hope in terms of what the Scriptures teach, not what our traditions teach.
There is some evidence from those who have had visions of Heaven that we pass into the spirit realm in much the same spiritual condition that we leave the material realm. We cannot be sure, from the Scriptures, what difference believing in Jesus has on where we go when we die.
We do know that if we wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb, if we cleanse our personality by means of the authority and power of the blood, we will pass into the Presence of God when we die.
But an abstract assent to theological facts concerning the Lord Jesus apart from a radical change in our behavior brings nothing of benefit in the spirit realm. Today people "accept Christ" but do not repent. Therefore they receive neither eternal life nor a guarantee of where they will go when they die.
Multitudes of people "make a decision for Christ." But many of these do not make a decision for Christ concerning each problem of each day. They point back to the time when they "made a decision for Christ." But from that time forward (sometimes for thirty years) they have decided for Christ in few situations and circumstances. They make their daily decisions according to their worldly ways, their fleshly appetites, their desire to bring glory to themselves, not according to the will of Christ.
Such never have truly "received" Christ nor do they put their trust in Him each day.
We must at some point in our life make a decision to receive Christ. We must continue to make that same decision every day of our life on earth or we may be cut out of the Vine.
The Book of Hebrews is an exhortation to experienced Jewish saints to press toward the rest of God. These Jews had been persecuted for the Gospel and had accepted the suffering joyfully. Now they were neglecting their salvation. They were not assembling as frequently as before and were being chastened by the Lord that they might be partakers of His holiness.
To be continued.