Talking about heaven, Jesus said,
“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father”Matthew 13:43
What an astonishing picture!
The first question that immediately arises is: who are the righteous? Are they individuals who were especially faithful, continually progressing in their godliness? Are the righteous a select group among the other people in heaven?
The simple answer is no, they are not.
“The righteous” applies to every single person in heaven! The only righteousness which qualifies a person to live eternally with God in heaven is Christ’s righteousness.
The Bible is crystal clear on this point. For example, in Romans 3 Paul first says,
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”Romans 3:10
Then, a few verses later, he points to the only true righteousness:
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”Romans 3:22-24
In God’s sight, the righteous are all who approach God claiming Christ’s righteousness as their own.
They don’t point to anything they have done. In fact, the very thought of that horrifies them because they know their righteousnesses are nothing but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). The only thing they present as the reason why God should allow them to live eternally with him in heaven is Jesus’ perfect life and death for them. Through faith, they envelop themselves completely in Christ’s righteousness.
They are the only ones who God welcomes into his presence. And he welcomes each of them into his presence. Every single person in heaven will live continually and constantly with Heavenly Father. None will live outside his presence.
And each one “will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father”. They will be more glorious than anything we can imagine. The change in their bodies will incredible. The Bible compares the corpses we bury in the ground with planted seeds. When they are resurrected, they will be fully developed. The difference between the two will be like the difference between an acorn and a mighty oak.
These glorified bodies are just one glorious aspect of heaven. People in heaven will never again experience the slightest pain whether it be physical, mental, or emotional. They will have no regrets. All sadness will be banished and replaced by continuous, rapturous joy. There will not even be the hint of friction between people. Heaven is perfect people living in a perfect society and living in the wonderful glorious presence of God himself.
Heaven will be the greatest of all experiences. It is mind-boggling and never-ending.
We want you to enjoy it with us.
Throw away the rags of your good works. Clothe yourself in the beautiful robe of Christ’s good works. Trust only in him. That, my friends, is the ticket to paradise.
In Christ, you are
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Additional Questions You Might Have
Can you have faith without works?
Admittedly, the thought that Christ did everything to make us acceptable to God and we don’t do anything violently clashes with what we naturally think.