By Johnie Edwards
According to a survey reported in the October 24, 1997 USA Today, the wealthiest 1% of families were asked what they would pay for first and how much, stated “they would pay $640,000.00 for a place in heaven.”
Heaven Cannot Be Bought With Money
When Simon tried to buy the gift of God with money, he was told, “. . . thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity” (Acts 8:13- 23). The gift of God referred to in this passage was that of spiritual gifts bestowed by the laying on of an apostle’s hand in the first century, before the word of God was completed. Money could not buy God’s gift and it cannot today!
Heaven Has Its Cost
Even though one cannot buy his way into heaven; heaven is not without cost. First, it cost God. It cost God the sending of his Son. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It cost Jesus his life. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
The Church Had Cost
The church of the New Testament is the saved, “. . . And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). As the apostle Paul bids farewell to the Ephesian elders, among other things, he said, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church which he hath purchased with his own blood ” (Acts 20:28). God demanded the shedding of the blood of Christ to bring the church into existence.
Redemption Has Its Price
Redemption is “. . . in Christ” (Eph. 1:7; Rom. 3:23); but this redemption was not without cost. Peter penned, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from our vain con- versation, received by tradition from your fathers: But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:18-19). Heaven will cost you being “baptized into the death of Jesus Christ” (Rom.6:3-4) where you contact the blood shed on the cross (John 9:34).
Christians Can Pay For They Are Rich
Paul told the Corinthian Christians, “For we know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). Saved people owe a debt and must pay. Paul said that he was “. . . debtor, so, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel” (Rom.1:14). Heaven will cost us time to teach others (2 Tim. 2:2), to be holy and godly (Tit. 2:11-12), our time (Eph. 5:16), sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2), money, (1 Cor. 16:1-2), good influence (2 Cor. 3:2; Phil. 2:15), and a life-time of faithful and stedfast service unto God (1 Cor. 15:58; Rev. 2:10). Are you ready to pay the price to go to heaven? Jesus asked, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26).