I don’t know why it is, but it seems as though everyone just assumes that when someone dies they go to Heaven. I saw a man not too long ago whose father had just passed away and when he was talking to us he said, (Speaking of his father) “He’s in a better place.” Why does everyone just assume that? And if you take the time to notice, everyone has their own “version” of what Heaven is supposed to be like as well.
For example, take Hollywood, you see in movies where when someone dies, they’re automatically in some sort of “heaven” (That does not exist) of the director’s choosing. You know, walking through tall grass with their family waiting for them on the other side of the beautiful scenery surrounding them or whatever it may be that the director wants to convey to the audience. Just forget the fact that their version of “heaven” is not Scriptural at all, and go with whatever you feel things should be like in the “afterlife,” as they sometimes like to call it.
The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 that “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” So, according to Scripture, the first thing we will experience is the judgment (Or judgment seat of Christ), where we will all give an account of our life here on this earth. Every idle word we have spoken (Matthew 12:36), every thought we have allowed to pass through our minds, and every action we have done in this life (Whether it was good or evil) will be laid open before the eyes of Almighty God (Who sees all things even today).
Not everyone that dies goes to Heaven. Jesus said in John 3:3, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” What does that mean to be “born again?” Well, that means you must be born of the Spirit of Christ anew in this life, with your sins washed in the blood of Jesus Christ through true repentance of your sins (I John 3:4) and faith in Jesus Christ, and Christ ALONE, for your Salvation. There is only one way to Heaven. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” Let me be clear, there is no other way.
The biggest mistake you’ll ever make in life, is to assume that you are going to Heaven just because of this reason or that. For example, people might say, “I’m going to Heaven because I was confirmed.” Or, “I’m going to Heaven because I was baptized when I was a baby.” Or, “I do a lot of ‘good works’ that far outweigh my bad deeds, so I’m going to Heaven.”
It doesn’t work that way. You cannot “earn” your way into Heaven by good works. Salvation is a free gift given to us by God through His Son Jesus Christ. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” You hear people often say after someone dies, “He was a good man” or “She was a good woman.” We need to remember that as the Bible says in Romans 3:10, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” Salvation is only of the Lord, and we must also remember that God’s standards are higher than our own. Let me explain.
Someone might be a “good person” to you, according to your fallen standards as a sinful man or woman, but not by God’s standards who is Holy, Righteous, and Pure. For example, if you are a liar, you may think you are a good man or woman because you are not as bad as a thief. If you are a thief, you might think that you are a good man or woman because you are not as bad as a rapist. If you are a rapist, you might think you are a good person because you’re not as bad as a murderer. If you are a murderer, you might think you’re a pretty good person because you’re not as bad as Adolph Hitler. It all depends on your standard of what goodness is. Our standard doesn’t matter at all – God’s standard does. Even Jesus said in Mark 10:18, “…there is none good but one, that is, God.”
We have all broken the Law of God and sinned (For sin is the transgression of the Law – I John 3:4), and we all have a need for a Savior. Don’t bet your eternity on your own good works or the fact that you went through confirmation. It is only by the grace of God, and through the blood of the sacrifice of Christ, and faith in Jesus, as you live your life in obedience to Him out of a heart of love, that you will find the real Heaven and have it be your home one day.