The Not-So-Obvious Reverse Rules for Making it to Heaven and Hell:

"I said shout hallelujah!!!"

The pastor screamed from the pulpit. Then he shook his wooden-soled shoes from one side to the other. People called his shoes "buck and wing,"- those ancient tap dance shoes of 1920. Pennies were hammered into them so that they made a loud clinking noise when he danced.

The congregation stood up. Who among the members could contain such warm excitement bursting through their veins?

"I said somebody shout hallelujah!!!" he repeated. "If you want to go to heaven, I said...if you wanna go to heaven, you better shout. Is that your neighbor still sitting? You better tell em' they gonna go to hell." Everyone began to tap dance as well. All except one young woman, she was watching from the back of the church. And she was afraid. She didn't want to go to hell so she stood up like the rest, but she sure didn't understand.

* * * * * * * * * * *

After writing "Do You Want to Be With Me?" I got some very interesting comments that spiked up my interest. One of my dearest commenters openly spoke about how it is the fear of "not going to hell" that keeps many Christians on their toes. Funny enough (and not coincidentally) on Saturday, I and hubby read Matthew 5:17 where Jesus said (and I paraphrase),

"Do not think that I came to destroy the law because it will definitely be fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the commandments of the law, and teaches others to do so, will be the LEAST in the kingdom of heaven."

In that brief moment I had a light-bulb moment. What did Jesus mean when He said, "whoever breaks one of these commandments will be LEAST in the kingdom of heaven?" Does that mean that person may still make heaven? If your answer is "yes," then you're right. Yes, the person may still make heaven because making heaven is not about "not-breaking-the-rules."

The Way the World Thinks:
"If I can just be a good person, not break any rules, I'll make it to heaven. If I break one rule I'll go to hell."

The Reverse Rule to Make It to Heaven:
There is only one way to make it, and that is by believing that Jesus is the son of God, accepting that He died for your sins as your Saviour, and walking in God's ways. Now, the catch is if you really believe in the line above, you will automatically find yourself doing things that you never imagined you'd do--like not breaking the rules. You'd suddenly find yourself on a quest to show God's love to others, to perform good deeds, and to be your brother's keeper. No one would need to tell you, you will automatically begin to fulfill the "Law." If you love God, you will naturally try your very best not to sin or go in the opposite direction from His love. And you won't be doing it only because you're trying to escape the flames of hell.

The Bold Claim:
My claim today is that "it is not what you do that will take you to heaven." Many people have such gargantuan fear of hell that they eventually feel forced to claim to be Christians and they do so-called Christian activities so that they don't go to hell. But don't be deceived, it is not what you claim say or do that makes you a Christian. It is what is in your heart. Jesus did not come to make you obey some rules that will take you to heaven, He came that we should have abundant life, peace, joy, the breaking of the chains that once held us bound, and to return our DOMINION back to us...because the devil has blinded our eyes so that we don't see the power we have. That's why He said if you break the law, you will be the "least" in the kingdom, not that you won't make it. If you've sinned, you will not go to hell because you sinned, but because you failed to accept God's words for your life. God never planned for Lucifer to be flung out of heaven, it was his choice. In the same way, God hasn't planned for you to go to hell because you're a sinner, but it is a simple choice. You have the chance to get saved, you really do.

The reverse rule for going to heaven is to fall in love with God so MUCH that you start acting like you're in heaven already. The reverse rule for going to heaven is not to live your whole life trying to avoid hell. There's more to life than that. God bless you as you get inspired to seek His heart and not merely to avoid hell.

Have you ever been afraid of going to hell?
How many times have you avoided doing something because you thought it will take you to hell? Tell me.

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Photo by Polyvore


Remi, United Kingdom said...

Firrrsssst! Word..

so true, most have been forced to follow the 'rules' with no compassion or love or meaning behind the actions. We only make heaven by believing and accepting Jesus Christ - which should form the nature and shape of our hearts. This is where God looks - in our hearts.

Anyone who breaks the law will still go to heaven and according to the scriptures you quoted, be the least - this explains to us that there are levels in heaven.. I jokingly say - from gatekeeper to Inn-keeper.. lo.

It is our love for God that should propel us to follow His laws, not for fear of not making it heaven.

Thanks for sharing luv. Hope you are good.
Have a great week.. much love x

Unknown said...

Wow... thanks for this post. Almost entirely related to what I got from my quiet time this morning. When God spoke to Cornelius about Peter and Peter about Cornelius. Peter would have seen Him as unclean... but God saw differently. Its not about the blemish but the heart of the blemish. Its not about the unclean but the heart of the unclean...

"Whoever comes to me, I will no wise cast out", so He said in His words. When Peter denied Jesus... and Jesus, haven risen from the dead, should have blamed Peter. Instead, He made him breakfast by the sea. After peter had finished fishing, Jesus called him over for breakfast and asked him 3 questions... 1. Do you love me? 2. Do you love me? 3. Do you love me?
Peter's answer said it all... It was all about his heart, not his sin.

Thanks for the post Jay. I better stop now. lol


BSNC said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. When i was younger, i tried not to break any rules but it was so hard.
I felt i was not suppose to be in heaven. Until my granms told me something similar. She said i should concentrate on loving God and his love will flow through me.

Olufunke said...

You are so right
If it was about breaking rules and not breaking rules .who would make it to heaven?

Loving God and depending on his help all through the journey is the key!
Thanks for sharing this

NakedSha said...

My friends and I were talking about this during our Bible study. We cannot be legalists who strive to follow all the rules yet whose hearts are far from God.

It's more like the other way round. By default, when you love God, your heart will strive to know Him better, study his word and in turn obey Him.

Thanks and bless...

Mwajim Al said...

My fave line:
"The reverse rule for going to heaven is to fall in love with God so MUCH that you start acting like you're in heaven already." Clicks with advancing God's kingdom while we are here, carrying out the revolution that Jesus is all about. Took me a *while* to start threading along this path, it used to be all about how am so scared I would end up in eternal flames... *sigh* I am so glad about the fact that God has given us the grace to circumcise our hearts to love him.

Kafo said...

this is ooo true
there are lot of christians who think it is about a check list and also alot of christians that think it is just about "believing and being baptized"

but the truth of the matter is that it is about relationship and as the relationship grows, one surrenders to His will

about hell
i do wonder

Jennifer A. said... took the words right out of my mouth. Thanks, I'm good...trying to get a good start to the week. Hopefully, this week will turn out to be a beautiful one.

@Le Dynamique Professeur...this line from your comment got me, "Its not about the blemish but the heart of the blemish. Its not about the unclean but the heart of the unclean..." Thanks LDP...wouldn't mind u preaching a storm! lol.

@BSNC..."She said i should concentrate on loving God and his love will flow through me." Wow! I'm so glad she told you those words. You would have stayed there laden in so much guilt otherwise. Love ur granms! :)

@Olufunke...very true. Thanks for reading :)

@NakedSha...woah, this statement is mind-blowing..."We cannot be legalists who strive to follow all the rules yet whose hearts are far from God. It's more like the other way round." @ "eternal flames." I raise up my hands to say I'm so GLAD as well. :) make me feel like buying a brain-reader, because I just want to sip on ur wisdom. Problem is there's nothing like a "brain-reader" :)

DayDreamer said...

Great post! I love it! We were actually discussing the topic of Salvation at my church's youth ministry and some kids still don't understand the concept of salvation. It's not about ur deeds or how many times you fell or didn't fall. After all the Bible says that our righteousness is like filthy rags. It's more about the righteousness that Christ inputs in us by believing in Him. Simply put, salvation is believing in Jesus Christ.

Jennifer A. said...'s amazing the things you find out when you do surveys here and there, it's great that you guys were able to discuss that topic and shed some light on the truth. Really! :)

DayDreamer said...

Jaycee it really is an eye opener. There is so much confusion in the world today even among Christians. All this New Age confucius is spreading fast. We also have to increase our intensity and speed to spreading the Truth of God's Word.

Jennifer A. said...'s so fascinating that you mentioned "our speed of spreading the gospel," I was musing on that topic with hubby the other day about how Social Media strategies are increasing everyday and how "evangelism" needs to get on board...and FAST. Not to get swallowed up & distracted by the mainstream, but to be in charge.

DayDreamer said...

You're right. You're already doing a great job with your blog here, and we just need to keep it up by using all mediums.

Jennifer A. said... God's grace, abi? Same as yourself. Thanks...:)

Adeoluwa - NBB said...

Lovely post as usual.
Very insighful and I love the way you presented the reverse rule to making it to heaven.
Not of our works but by grace.
God bless you real good.

~Sirius~ said...

funny, I've been reasoning along these lines.

so many people don't know about this, thats why we live by rules.

Thanks Jaycee for throwing more light.

Jennifer A. said..., it will not be by our works, but by His grace. And by His grace, we will do great works. That's how it is, from my understanding at least. fact, not only do many of us live by rules & regulations, but also by fear that eats us up inside. One verse puts it this way, "Fear is not of God." Thanks Sirius :)

Rainyjoy said...

yea, a lot of ppl think dat their good deeds will qualify them to make Heaven but we knw the truth, dnt we ? 'Except a man be in Christ Jesus, he cannot see the kingdom of God' as simple as it sounds, ppl still dnt get it (it is well). there is a scripture dat inspires me everytime i sin, 'its in Eccl- sori i hv to paraphrase it but it says that God has loved us wit an everlasting love, its d fact dat he loved me while i was yet in sin(hvn't surrenderd my life to Him yet ) and still loves me even wen i do wrong, dats what drives me daily to stay on the right path. its His love for me dat makes me dislike d things dat won't give Him glory and try to focus on finishing the race which He has set before me so that i can make Heaven. thanks for sharing and being an inspiration to me. God bless u. X

Jennifer A. said...

@RainyJoy...I love what you've just said and I pray that anyone who sees your inspiring comment will be driven by the love of God and not merely by a set of rules & regulations. Thanks so much for adding depth to the post. :)

David C Brown said...

[There is] then now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and of death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent his own Son, in likeness of flesh of sin, and for sin, has condemned sin in the flesh,in order that the righteous requirement of the law should be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to flesh but according to Spirit. Romans 8: 1-4

~Mimi~ said...

Totally love this because it preaches my favorite message of all: LOVE AND GRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we should always make this our first and grace.

Jennifer A. said...

@David...thanks for sharing a scripture that tells us that "what the law could not do, Jesus has done." That just sums up the post, thanks :) & grace, I like that. Yes, it should definitely be our first message before anything else. Then those two will lead to other deeper things. Mwaaaaahhhhhh!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking time -out to elaborate more. I feel RELIEVED! Pastor chris oyakilome of christ embassy [am no fan of his though!] preached on BLAMELESS! Now i understand better! It is the FEAR & not the LOVE that make me try hard to keep to the rules! Especially paying of tithe! I would tell you the dream i had concerning tithe so that you would interpret for me. You see, when i read mary baxtex books , i became so concious of everything i do because i know the angels are recording everything to be used on the day of judgement! Alas! i wasn't happy nor was i my real self that i was praying inside of me that the feeling should go. Which exactly happened but i didn't know when!

Jennifer A. said...

@Nitty Gritty...first, I want to say that I love your openness. I'm glad you feel a sense of RELIEF.

Now about you not being yourself, I say you've gotta be yourself. You know what I think? Let's say angels are really recording everything you're doing to be used against you on the Judgment day (and I don't know of any scriptural reference that states this is a FACT), on that day God will look most especially at your heart. Be true to God, if you make a mistake, rise up again and do the right thing. To be concerned with what the angels are supposedly recording is a waste of time.

They've probably recorded my pile of dirt as well...everyone has some pile of dirt. But the LOVE of God is what rejuvenates us every single day.