They say I can go to heaven if and only if I believe Jesus was God and died for my sins. Honestly, with how I understand belief, that just seems dumb. It seems so intellectual. It has so little to do with our actions or who we are. It just seems like a box we check under the category “belief” when we’re applying for heaven. And don’t even the demons believe these facts?
So after putting up with mediocre answers for so long, I’ve started picturing belief a little differently. I think maybe it’s like that scene in Indiana Jones when Indy is standing at the edge of a bottomless pit. The ancient clue says that in order to find the Holy Grail, and thus eternal life he must believe the words and take a step of faith out over the edge.
What if when we get to heaven something like a big chasm separates us from Heaven. Maybe it’s a chasm, or a lake of fire, or maybe when we see the big angels and amazing humans doing amazing things inside, we just feel that little incomplete types like us aren’t meant for a place like that. We just aren’t enough.
But this is my new understanding of belief. I’ve been given some ancient words and if I believe them I will risk everything and take a step out into the pit. Do I believe that Jesus has the power and right to get me into heaven? If he is truly God, if anybody could it would be Him. And do I believe that I’m good enough? If I believe this king came all the way down and took the punishment for my crimes in this fallen kingdom, then I better not tell him I still don’t think I’m worthy. But you know what else that tells me? That He really, really wants me there, with him.
So that is how we get to heaven.
But how does that relate to what I do and who I am here on Earth? I think maybe that impossible-seeming pit confronts us every day and it requires faith in every decision. Do we believe Jesus’s words when he asks us to simply talk to the lonely kid, or merely get up early and pray or whatever. We struggle to believe that even as we obey those minuscule instructions he is already making us into one of those shining, more and more worthy of heaven, even here on earth.