Recently, ABC News conducted a survey, the results of which focused upon how many people believe they will end up in heaven. Almost 9 out of 10 Americans think they are going to achieve that wonderful reward. Muslims believe in Heaven. Mormons believe in Heaven. Mormons believe that there are 3 levels of heaven, in fact. The highest is celestial, the next highest is terrestrial, and the next highest is telestial. Even the telestial kingdom is much more beautiful than what we experience on earth. Having more than one level of kingdom helps answer the question, how is it decided if someone is good or bad? It is not as easy as it seems. However, that is why God is the only one who can judge us. Because He is the only one who has read the entire story of our lives, rather than just the chapters we choose to share with ourselves and other people.
The King James version of the Bible decrees that the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Some interpret this to mean that those who think they will be going to heaven will not be. And perhaps those who do not think they will, will because of their humility. The smart person might be tempted then to say they don’t think they will get to heaven, given this particular scripture. However, it is more than just paying lip service to the idea. A person has to genuinely be in tune with their spiritual deficiencies to the point where they cannot imagine that they will exist in heaven. I have read that we will deny ourselves from existing there because we will feel guilty (for those for whom this applies).
One question I have considered is this: if we knew absolutely that we were NOT going to heaven, would we still try to do good for the mere sake of doing good? If a person can answer a sincere yes to that question, then I think they are on the right track because it seems to me that we should not do good because we think it will help us get to Heaven but because it makes the lives of our fellow human beings somewhat easier.
Another thing I have considered is that if we think someone is not going to Heaven for whatever reason, the very thought of that should make us miserable. We should not blithely consign someone to eternal punishment that is too horrible to imagine, for whatever reason. If we do such a thing, then that indicates that we are not spiritually sensitive. If hell is so horrible, then we should not want or expect anyone to be there.
Earlier, I said that we might feel uncomfortable when Judgment Day comes and we might suggest ourselves that we do not believe in Heaven. There are several things that we experience in our daily lives that might make us feel that way. If we get impatient or angry quickly, then maybe we will feel guilty. If we desire harm to come to those who have done wrong to us, then maybe we will feel guilty. And if we desire to do bad for the sake of doing bad, because we want to rebel, that might also make us feel guilty when that important day comes.
Remember, we need to do more than believe. After all, the devil believes. If it were enough to believe, the devil would be on his way to heaven. I don’t know anyone who thinks that is going to happen!