So this past Saturday I was at a Bible Study, and one of the things that kept coming up from someone was that they believe you have to be a good person to get to Heaven. They feel you need to do good works to get in.
But that’s not so.
You do not get to Heaven by your good works, but it is by the grace of God that you get into Heaven, through Jesus Christ.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9
As I was sitting there listening, God put this analogy into my head…
Heaven is like a huge gated community. While outside the gates you’re doing your good deeds (re: works). For every good deed you do you get a key to put on your key ring. Now you do these good deeds throughout your life, and one you come to the end of the road you may have many keys or a few keys. It all depends on the works you did throughout your life.
Now some will say they did many good deeds and are sure to get into Heaven, their key ring is bursting with keys so they know that one of their keys will unlock the gates to Heaven. Some of them even look down on the ones who have few keys, boasting about their many keys.
Anywho, the one with many keys starts sticking them in the gate one by one. None of them seem to be working, but no worries… he has many more keys to go right? Surely one of these keys will fit?
So he keeps trying one after another and none of them are working.
Now the man is starting to get a little nervous, sweating even. It’s been hours and hours trying all these different keys and he’s down to his last few.
Meanwhile, the man with a few keys never once tries to open the gates of Heaven with his few keys. Instead, he starts talking to the guards and then points to a man he knows. This man, named Jesus, tells the guards to let him through because that is his friend. So the guards let him through and Jesus welcomes him with open arms into Heaven!
Now back to the man with many keys, he tries his last key and nothing, nada, zip. It’s the end of the road. None of his keys could unlock the gates of Heaven.
But wait… he’s able to see through the gates. What’s that he sees? It’s the man with few keys. But how?!
Surely this man had more keys, so his chances were 1,000 times better right?
Hey… wait a second. The man with many keys sees the man with few keys taking out his little key ring and he starts unlocking things… it looks to be treasures! TREASURES!!! All of the keys are working.
The man with many keys can’t make any sense of it. Here he is outside of the gates of Heaven looking in… and the man with few keys is using all his keys to unlock the treasures on the inside.
So what went wrong with the man with many keys? Did he not do enough good deeds and collect enough keys?
Of course not! No matter how much he worked he would have never be able to work enough to get a key that opens up the gates of Heaven.
You see, the man with few keys knew something… He knew no matter how many key she had that none of them would open up the gates to Heaven. He knew the secret… and the secret is Jesus.
Jesus says: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20).
You see, Jesus is the ONLY way to open up the gates of Heaven.
Jesus IS the KEY
But the works you do here on Earth will be rewarding in Heaven.
But without Jesus you’ll never know what treasures are in store for you… You’ll have a bunch of keys, but no locks to put them in to.
Just remember, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9