I have a question for you. Where in the Bible does it say people go to heaven? With basically those words. In other words, a definite statement of fact. I know the answer but haven't met very many people that seem to know what is in plain text in their Bibles. Thanks, Jim
I went to a "soul-winning" Bible College years ago and our major goal was in telling people how they could "go to heaven" for free. We studied and memorized and quoted all the verses over and over again, and one of the things that disturbed me was the lack of "heaven" verses. Oh, we found a verse that spoke about an inheritance being reserved in heaven (1 Peter 1:4), and a verse about Jesus going to prepare a "place" for us (John 14), and a few verses in John and 1 John that spoke of receiving eternal life ("everlasting" in the KJV), and verses that spoke of having all spiritual blessings in the "heavenlies" or "heavenly places, and about "treasures in heaven", "looking to another country" ... but apart from "cross-referencing" parts of verses and combining them or taking verses way out of context there are no verses that refer to "going to heaven" in the way we have come to preach it in our evangelistic meetings.
For years I preached the "What must I do to go to heaven?" message even though I wondered why it wasn't more clear in the words of the Bible. One of my buddies made a cynical comment one day about how our doctrinal statements were more clear than the Bible. At the time I simply thought he was being sarcastic, and I didn't tell him that I had some reservations myself, but those words definitely stuck with me.