Lutheran Home Association Blog

Who will be in heaven?

Posted on Mon, Jun 10, 2019

 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21) 

Who will be in heaven?

sky-690293_1920That is a question which people have wrestled with through the ages and even had different opinions on. There are some who hold to the idea that someday, somehow everyone will end up in heaven. This misguided thought or teaching is known as universalism.

Our verse for this week gives us the Bible’s clear teaching on who will be in heaven and how.

The phrase “calls on the name of the Lord” is another way of saying that someone has faith or believes in Jesus as their Savior.  This is a reminder that we cannot come to faith or get to heaven on our own. It is all the work of God. 

Today is Pentecost, when 3000 people were baptized and came to faith on that first Pentecost day.  The words of our verse for this week are the words of Peter who let everyone that day know that God had led 3000 people to faith and they were now calling on the name of the Lord for salvation and so much more.

It is not always popular to let people know their works or gifts do nothing to get them to heaven. But if we don’t let them know that Jesus is the only way to heaven, we are doing them a disservice. The biggest challenge is often how we can share this message in love.

It is true that the Bible tells us “God our Savior….wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).  We need to remember the second part of that verse – “come to a knowledge of the truth”.  This reminds us of the words Jesus “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

People will continue to wrestle with and come up with all sorts of answers to the question “Who will be in heaven?” What a blessing that we know the correct answer and have the privilege and opportunity to share it!

Posted by Joel Gaertner

Rev. Joel Gaertner is The Lutheran Home Association Vice President of Ministry and National Director of Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM). He provides spiritual guidance to our entire organization and develops and guides JCM programs in congregations. Pastor Gaertner and his wife, LuAnn, live in Cudahy, Wis., and have two adult children. Outside work, he enjoys golf, walking and watching just about any sporting event, especially the Green Bay Packers.

Tags: Christian Life