THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
MAKING IT TO HEAVEN
1 John 3:1-3
We all want to make it to heaven, and to bring along as many
as we can with us. This is the rationale for our walk to holiness
and our work of evangelization. The question is: “Who
may go up the mountain of the Lord? Who can stand in his holy
place?” (Ps 24:3). What are the requirements?
it is for “the clean of hand and pure of heart”
(Ps 24:4a). With heaven as intended by God, “we shall
be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has
this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.”
(1 Jn 3:2d-3). We are to live pure. We are to strive for righteousness
and holiness. We are to be perfect just as our heavenly Father
is perfect. That is how we shall be like Him.
it is for one “who has not given his soul to useless
things, what is vain.” (Ps 24:4b). What are the useless
and vain things? These are the things of the world. We are
not to indulge in these, nor seek them out, nor find our consolation
in them. A holy person after all is someone who is set apart.
He is in the world but is not of it. He does not pursue what
the world pursues--money, power, pleasure, fame, career, honors.
These are vain and useless things, which we cannot take into
heaven, and which in fact might keep us from making it to
one does the above, “he will receive blessings from
the Lord, and justice from his saving God.” (Ps 24:5).
What is justice? It is giving to the other person what is
his due. What is due to us? It is salvation, which God went
to great lengths to win for us, to the extent of sacrificing
His own Son Jesus on the cross. Jesus won salvation for us
on the cross, and that is what is due to us. But we need to
accept that salvation, and manifest our faith in Jesus as
Savior and Lord by a life of holiness.
As we do so, we will receive blessings from the Lord. These
are the beatitudes. In what ways will we be blessed?
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:3). The poor in spirit are
those who recognize their complete dependence on God. They
do not seek wealth or power, which they consider the useless
and vain things of the world.
are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Mt
5:4). There is much to mourn in this valley of tears, but
our suffering should lead us to greater faith and hope in
God. It should lead us to entering more deeply into the
embrace of God, who is the only One who can truly give us
comfort and consolation.
are the meek, for they will inherit the land.” (Mt
5:5). The meek are not pushovers. Meekness is enduring injury
with patience and without resentment. We can only do so
if we have totally abandoned ourselves into the hands of
God, looking to Him for justice and vindication. Meekness
enables us to persevere in running the race, despite all
the negatives that come our way. Our resolve does not wane
but rather grows stronger.
are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they
will be satisfied.” (Mt 5:6). Righteousness is moral
conduct in conformity with God’s will. If we ardently
desire to do God’s will, then God’s grace will
be sufficient and the Spirit’s empowerment will be
are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Mt
5:7). Mercy is an attribute of God. We are told by Jesus
to be merciful just as our Father is merciful. Further,
we forgive others so God will also forgive us.
are the clean of heart, for they will see God.” (Mt
5:8). We are to live pure, so that we can go up the holy
mountain of the Lord.
are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of
God.” (Mt 5:9). Jesus is the Prince of Peace. When
we also work for peace in the world, then we can rightly
lay claim to being brothers of Jesus and children of God.
“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that
we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.”
(1 Jn 3:1a).
We can see that what we are to be is so markedly different,
nay opposite, from how people in the world are. Worldly people
go for riches, engage in revelry, are aggressive and domineering,
live unrighteous lives, show no mercy to others, have sinful
hearts, and wage wars. These are the useless and vain things.
In contrast, what the world shuns and disdains are what can
lead us closer to God and nearer to heaven.
When we finally make it to the mountain of the Lord, may we
find many others there, especially those we evangelized. That
would be quite an assembly, where there would be “a
great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation,
race, people, and tongue.” (Rev 7:9a). And we all, together
with the angels and saints, would be worshiping God (Rev 7:9b-11).
heaven at that time, there will be those who will stand out
and be noticed. “Then one of the elders spoke up and
said to me, ‘Who are those wearing white robes, and
where did they come from?’” (Rev 7:13). The Lord
will then answer, “These are the ones who have survived
the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and
made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev 7:14b).
We are now in the time of great distress, with powerful diabolical
worldly forces assaulting faith, family and life. There will
be oppression, persecution and the attendant suffering. But
“blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of
righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
(Mt 5:10). We want to make it to heaven? Then let us boldly
face the enemy’s assaults, allow our suffering to result
in greater holiness, and know that, just like Jesus, our death
to the world is our entry to eternal life.
need to endure and to persevere. And perhaps even shed our
blood for the cause of Christ. But again, we need to look
to the beatitude: “Blessed are you when they insult
you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against
you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward
will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets
who were before you.” (Mt 5:11-12). We will see those
persecuted prophets who went before us in heaven. Then we
can all exclaim: “Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and
thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever
and ever. Amen.” (Rev 7:12).
“Such is the generation that seeks him, that seeks the
face of the God of Jacob.” (Ps 24:6). Let us continue
to seek the Lord, as we grow in holiness, keeping the beatitudes
as our road map.
us continue to serve the Lord, as we do the work of the New
Evangelization. “The reason the world does not know
us is that it did not know him.” (1 Jn 3:1b). Let us
work such that the world will meet and know Jesus, and start
to live in and for him. Let us live and act such that the
world will know us, to see Christ in us. This is the way we
will be empowered to witness.
us look forward to our eternal reward, when we will be in
God’s presence and see Him face-to-face.