Heaven: The Entrance Exam
Candidates must pass an entrance exam before being accepted in institutions ranging from a private elementary school to law school or medical school. In most cases there will also be a final exam. The Bible says, “...it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment... (Hebrews 9:27). The final exam will be severe. The apostle John described it in these terms:
“And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12-14)
The final exam will be administered when men and women stand before God for judgment. Every human being will answer to his Creator individually and personally. There are only two available eternal destinies—heaven and the lake of fire.
According to the Bible, people do not need to do anything to enter the lake of fire for eternity. Every human being who has not passed the entrance exam to heaven is already in transit to the lake of fire. The apostle Paul described them as “...those who are perishing...” (2 Corinthians 4:3).
The final exam will be...final! There will be no appeals. There will be no second chances. There will be big surprises for some people. Many devoutly religious people will fail the final exam and be sentenced to eternity outside of God’s presence in the lake of fire. These are people who claimed to believe in God and devoted much of their lives to religious activities. However, God will not receive them into heaven.
"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:22-23).
Every human being must pass an entrance exam in order to enter heaven. The Bible makes it clear that God has established specific requirements for entry. Jesus Christ said,
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3).
To explain that statement, He said,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
John the Baptist taught,
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36).
Those statements from Scripture indicate that God requires a person to experience spiritual birth and to believe in God’s Son to gain entrance to eternal life.
Many people believe it is impossible to know in this life whether or not one will enter heaven and eternal life. Yet, the Bible says,
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
God’s Word teaches that it is possible for you to know that you will experience eternal life in God’s presence before you die. That knowledge comes as a result of taking—and passing—the entrance exam.