Some people believe that everyone will go to heaven. But if everyone had to go to heaven and stay there for eternity it would be most miserable for many of them. Why? Because some people’s idea of a good time is a wild drinking party, a gambling room, a dance hall, a house of vice, or a night club.
1. When He returns, what kind of people will Christ take with Him to heaven?
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. Read Revelation 21:27. Here it is clear that nothing that defiles enters – only those written in the book of life.
2. Who of the righteous have already gone to heaven?
a. Enoch. He never died. Read Hebrews 11: 5 and Genesis 5:24
b. Elijah. He was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire. He could not be found anywhere. Read 2Kings 2:11-17.
c. Moses. Paul indicates in Romans 5:14 that death was broken by Moses. Deuteronomy 34:4-7 says that Moses died and was buried. Later Moses was raised from the grave. Read Jude 9. That he was restored to life is evident from his appearance on the mount of transfiguration. Read Luke 9:30, 31.
d. Those resurrected at Christ’s resurrection and who ascended with Him. Read Matthew 27:51-53,Ephesians 4:8, margin.
NOTE: The three Old Testament person were taken to heaven doubtlessly to give encouragement to God’s people that there would truly be a reward for the faithful. There redemption was dependent on the coming Redeemer’s work.
The last group are trophies of Christ’s actual victory over sin and the grave. But God’s people in general await the great general resurrection at the second coming. Like Enoch and Elijah, the living generation of the redeemed will be translated without dying (1 Thessalonians 4). Those who have died will be resurrected (1 Thessalonian 4).
3. To whom will citizenship in heaven be granted?
““Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 1:18-20.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord,Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21.
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. Read also Revelation 15:2, 3.
David asks the question, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?” He gives the answer in the next verse: “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,nor sworn deceitfully.” Psalm 24:3, 4. Read also Psalm 15. We can prepare for heaven by being like Jesus. Read 1 John 3:2, 3.