Whether or Not You Go to Heaven
by Kenny Gardner

As you know, I’m always saying that whether or not you and I go to heaven is dependent on how well we understand the Bible. God in his wisdom decided to reveal his will to mankind by using words to convey his thoughts, just as we humans use words to convey our thoughts. God’s message to mankind, his instruction manual on how to live to please him and be blessed, has all been written down; it’s the Bible. Consequently then, we are saved by the Bible, or, more specifically, by following the Bible’s instructions. The Bible reveals God’s thoughts (Amos 4:13; Micah 4:12). Moses told the Israelites that God’s word was their “life” (Deut. 32:47). Jesus likewise said that his word were “life” (John 6:63). Whoever keeps the law is happy, blessed, and full of joy (Prov. 29:18). We should “stand on, “base our lives on,” and “stake our lives and our entire future upon” the gospel” (1 Cor. 15:1). We are “saved” by the gospel (1 Cor. 15:2); we have been “born again . . . through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pe. 1:23 ESV). God begat us, brought us forth, gave us birth through the word of truth (James 1:18). In the Scriptures we have eternal life (John 5:39).

…Michael Shank, in his book, Muscle and a Shovel, makes this same point about the word of God. AS he was searching for the truth and becoming more and more aware of what the Bible teaches and how denominations were perverting plain biblical teaching, he asked himself, “Why were people so careless with the Bible? Why didn’t people study the Bible like their eternal souls depended on it?”

He went on to answer his own question:

And then it hit me. Studying the Bible requires hard work. It takes self-discipline and due diligence. It requires prayerful consideration of the text you’re reading along with the remote text of the other books.

Reading the Bible isn’t a casual read like reading a paper-back novel or the daily paper. The Bible is a rich, deep, literary, living gold-mine filled with everything that mankind needs for life. Eternal life.

Studying and understanding the Bible isn’t for the lazy. Studying the Bible requires muscle and a shovel. Mental muscle and a willingness to use honest intelligence (the metaphorical shovel) to dig deep beyond all of our preconceived ideas, our false beliefs and our comfortable traditions. Studying the Bible takes muscle and a shovel.

Peter said to Jesus in John 6:68 that Jesus had the words of eternal life. How many people today are really willing to take their time and effort to dig down deep where that vein of Truth can be found?

Yes, indeed. Are you willing to put forth the effort to “search the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11), to honestly examine God’s word, and to follow the truth wherever it leads?