Jeff Weddle | @anti_itcher
Heaven seems like a pretty sweet place. Much better than earth. I want to go to there.
Several times over the years of listening to sermons, the idea is presented that there will be an entrance exam to get into heaven. God will ask you a question and you better have the right answer, or else no heaven for you!
Usually the question is along the lines of, “Why should I let you in?”
The preacher will then pontificate about his preferred answer revolving around his sermon’s theological point, now elevated to heaven’s entrance kind of importance. I am made to feel that repeating the preacher’s answer word-for-word is as sin-atoning as the crucifixion of Christ.
I’m an introvert. I really don’t like talking to people, especially people I don’t know, and especially if I’m put on the spot. Being asked a question with such weighty consequences terrifies me.
I can imagine totally freezing when heaven’s gatekeeper asks me The All Important Question.
“Jeff, why should I let you into heaven?”
“Um,” I confidently begin. “Cuz, um, like, there was this one time, when I, um, wait no, that’s works. Um, cuz of the Gospel and stuff.”
“Exactly what about the Gospel and stuff?”
“Well, like Jesus and the cross and things, and faith. Yeah, faith! I faithinged a lot.”
This fills me with dread. I know I’m going to forget my theological training. I know I’ll forget everything. There’s not a chance I’ll remember that preacher’s perfect answer.
Plus, knowing me, I’d be like the knight in Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail at the Bridge of Peril. My buddy will be ahead of me and will be asked “What is your favorite color?” And he’ll get immediate entrance through the pearly gates by saying “blue.”
“Oh, that’s easy!” I’ll say. “Let me go next.” I’d confidently saunter up to the gates only to hear:
“Let’s talk genealogies. In Genesis 10, who begat Ludim?”
“What? I don’t know that.” And I will then be tossed into the inferno.
I’m pretty sure this is how it’ll go for me.
Luckily for me, and perhaps you, there is no passage in the Bible that teaches that you will be quizzed to enter heaven. God already knows who are His; you don’t have to prove it at the door.
Unfortunately, now that you’re in heaven, you’ll be introduced to many great saints of the past, many of whom you won’t recognize.
“Hey there, I’m Japheth.” Some guy will say.
“Hey Jaypath. You’re like the son of Moses, er, someone Old Testamenty, right?”
Oh man, How embarrassing. I better get memorizing my genealogies.
Perhaps you’re one of those souls who don’t worry about such things. Everything I know from the Bible lets me know that no one needs to worry about this. But hey, worrying over such things is what a guy like me does. At least I’ll be ready.
By the way, it’s Mizraim. Mizraim begat Ludim. You can thank me for that in heaven someday.
Jeff Weddle is the husband of one wife and father of three kids. He is pastor of Rhinelander Bible Church in Rhinelander, WI. He enjoys reading, writing, guitaring, and although he does not enjoy running, he tends to do that a lot, too. You can contact him on Twitter at @anti_itcher or at his blog: AntiItchMeditation.wordpress.com.