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The 5 People You Won’t Meet in Heaven

5. The So-Called “Christian.”

OK, some of you might be thinking, wait a minute — all Christians get to heaven. Let me clarify this one: There are many people in the church today who call themselves “Christians” by name, but, as the Bible points out, they don’t really “know” Christ.

The so-called “Christian” is one who thinks they’re in because of the ministry they’re involved in or the good works they do (or even their family heritage), but they’ve never fully believed in the Gospel and there’s no fruit to show. They know their way around church, but they’re still living for themselves and, in the back of their minds, they know that they don’t have an intimate relationship with God through Christ. I believe this is what we find in Matthew 7:21-23.

The Lesson: It’s a humbling reminder that there’s more to the Christian life than words and motions and it’s easy to deceive ourselves. Calling ourselves “Christians” isn’t enough — it’s accepting, truly believing, the incredible truth of the Gospel and letting it transform us now. When we believe there should be evidence pointing in a Godward direction. Not that our works earn our way — it’s only the grace of God — but when we really say yes to Jesus, the evidence is always fruitful.

*I believe in deathbed conversions, but if a believer has lived a long life with no fruit, it’s a good reminder to examine the heart to make sure the belief is genuine.

So, those are the five people you won’t meet in heaven — unless they embrace the simple truth of the Gospel. I’m sure Mitch Albom’s novel was inspiring, but I hope this list is a good reminder about the real path to paradise.