Have you ever heard someone say, “It doesn’t matter how I enter heaven as long as I get in,” does it matter? The Apostle Peter would respond to such a question this way, “For if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities…” 2 Peter 1:10-12.
The manner of entrance into heaven was so important to the apostle Peter that he always intended to remind his hearers of making a good one. Let us answer two questions in this regard, what does it mean to enter heaven well, and why did Peter consider it so important? For the answer, we turn to the phrase, “…if you practice these qualities…” which Peter indicates will keep a person from falling. These qualities are faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. What is life like without these things? Who would think a man a Christian without them? Who would want to hear the Gospel from a man without such qualities? An abundant entrance into heaven is the sum total of how we live life here and now.
The entrance Peter refers to is the entrance to heaven and the entrance to heaven is this life, what does your entrance look like? Are you building an entrance for a barn or a mansion? One might say, “What difference does it make, you live in the house not the lobby,” however, we are not talking about houses but how we live out our lives. Life without godly qualities is life lived like the world, which is alienated and hostile to God; a person living such a life can only have a weak or false assurance of salvation, which is why Peter adds, “…brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure…” Vs. 10. Assurance is built on two great realities, first, a personal faith in the substitutionary work of Christ for the believer, and second, the manifestation of the substitutionary work of Christ in the believer. Even though sin is always present, assurance grows as a person witnesses the internal working of the Holy Spirit in their life – emphasis on Holy Spirit.
Christians can busy themselves with a great many things, however, a person who does not focus on the manner in which they live life does not experience quality of life or the presence of God, and neither will they please, and obey Him or reflect His image. Peter thought quality of life so important he said, “…I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.”
“A sports team going for the championship will practice the same fundamentals repeatedly. They do this, even though they know the techniques, because they know what is at stake.” David Guzik
What is at stake is God’s good pleasure and the fulfillment of His will in our lives. We should not carelessly call ourselves Christian if we do not have a deep concern for glorifying God by the manner of life we live. The difference between one who enters heaven abundantly and one who does not is the difference between stumbling and standing firm, abundance and poverty, assurance and doubt, holiness and sinfulness, godliness and lust, divine power and corruption. These are not small matters!
Are you living a healthy Christian life, if you are your entrance into heaven will be abundant.
“Peter shows that the Christian will have both the knowledge of God, and a life that glorifies Him, and that the two are connected. Some try to know God or know about Him without living the life. Others try to live the life without really knowing God. Both are in a healthy Christian life.” David Guzik