Recently, two prominent personalities implied one could earn one’s way to heaven. I’ll let them say it in their own words. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is quoted as saying:
“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to Heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed,” he told the New York Times, citing his work on gun control, obesity, and anti-smoking laws. “I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in Heaven. It’s not even close.”
On April 15, 2014, in a Back of Book Segment: Life After Death with guest Pastor Robert Jeffers, Bill O’Reilly opined:
“I’ve always felt there is a battle between good and evil and if there is a heaven you have to earn your way in through your actions on Earth.”
Pastor Jeffers corrected the statement by quoting from the book of James.
And, of course, for those who are old enough to remember or are well–schooled in the classics, there’s Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven:
There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
These things they say make me wonder…
But then I remember that He saved us, not because of good works we have done, but according to His own mercy.
I recall that entrance to heaven depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
Finally, I know that we were ransomed from our futile ways, not with perishable silver or gold, but with Christ’s precious blood.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins…
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.