I often visit the site, “BibleAbout.org”. It’s a pretty cool site because people can go there and post any question they might have about the bible, the Lord or Christianity as it relates to the culture. The question can then be answered (usually within relatively short order, I might add) by the dedicated writers of the site. So someone recently posted the question,
“Will my loved one make it to heaven?”
Man, that is such a powerful and honest question. Lots of people will claim to know the exact answer to that question. Here’s what I have to say about it.
I always find comfort in knowing that King David sinned, in a horrible way; yet God still considered him a man after His own heart. King Solomon, likewise, fell to the temptations of the human flesh. But, God also saw him as a man who faithfully followed His ways. Moses was a murderer, for heaven’s sake! And still, God considered him worthy of praise and honor among men. Peter denied the Lord three times and decided to return to a life of fishing after our Lord’s crucifixion. But Jesus still looked to him to lead the way into Christianity. Paul was responsible for the deaths of so many early Christians, as Saul. But the Lord met him right where he was, on the road to Damascus, and changed his heart right there. That change redeemed him, in the eyes of our Lord.
The failures of these great men of the bible actually grant me comfort. “Why” you might ask? Well…I’m a regular screw-up (lol). Seriously! I try my best to live by the living word but I’m not a perfect man, by anyone’s stretch of the imagination. I do love our Lord, and I have a real fear and respect for Him. Remembering the failures of the great men remind me of God’s grace and mercy. Now I do try not to sin on purpose, nor do I advocate doing so. But we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (That’s my Romans 3:23 plug). Its in our human nature. But knowing that God will judge me, not based upon my actions alone, but on the condition of my heart toward Him, gives me peace. It means despite my human flaws, God loves me right where I am. And if I simply give Him my heart and follow Him wherever He leads me, salvation is my prize.
I don’t know if a Christian who commits suicide is capable of entering God’s rest. Once upon a time, I would have answered that question with an enthusiastic and religiously charged, “HECK NO!” But the more I learn of God’s grace and mercy, the more I accept the reality that I do not know the mind of God. Who is to say that He would not accept that fallen heart?
Last night, my kids and I read the story of the Man of God and the Old Prophet who deceived him into disobeying the word of the Lord (see 1 Kings 13). God punished the Man of God, by allowing a lion to attack and kill him. The Man of God had just pronounced judgment on Jeroboam as instructed by the word of God! And then, he turned around and healed Jeroboam, after the evil king attempted to raise his hand against this Man of God! He did everything the Lord told him to do. But a lying old prophet comes along and tricks him into disobedience, and he (the Man of God) gets punished, while the liar is allowed to not only go home to his children, but also prophesy the Man of God’s punishment?!
I do not understand the mind of God. But I know that He is for me. So, its okay for me to not have all the answers, because my trust in Him is all that I need. My hope is that…the person who asked the original question finds comfort in the knowledge that God judges according to His mind, considering the condition of the heart for each individual. Who are we to say who deserves heaven and who does not?