Wineskins Archive

December 19, 2013

A Heavenly Survey (Jul-Aug 1997)

Filed under: — @ 10:51 pm and

by Mark Claypool
July – August, 1997

Have you heard about the latest (or at least a very recent) poll? A thousand Americans were asked what chance a variety of public figures had of going to heaven. The winner in the biggest rating game of all? Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed said Mother Teresa of Calcutta is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to go to heaven. Like to know who finished behind Mother Teresa? Take a look ….

Oprah Winfrey (66%)
Michael Jordan (65%)
Colin Powell (61%)
Princess Diana (60%)
Al Gore (55%)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (55%)
Bill Clinton (52%)
Pat Robertson (47%)
Newt Gingrich (40%)
Dennis Rodman (28%)
O.J. Simpson (19%)

That’s some poll! But do you know its real twist? Of those surveyed, 87% believed themselves likely to go to heaven!

When I ran across this story,1 I was encouraged to find that heaven is still a topic of conversation in our ever-deepening secular culture. However, I was also prompted to look back at a couple of insightful Bible verses. The first was Romans 3:20,

No one can be made right with God by keeping the rules.”

The second was Romans 3:22,

“God makes anyone right with himself through one’s faith in Jesus Christ.”

Think what this means! On the one hand, no one can go to heaven on the basis of his or her good works! Why? Everyone is flawed and isn’t good enough to go to heaven! However, on the other hand, anyone can go to heaven by trusting Jesus! Why? Everyone who trusts the flawless sinbearer is heaven-bound!

So, Christian … Yes, you, you who trust Jesus! Worried about what some heavenly poll might say about you? Don’t! You’re a shoo-in! Why? Because you’ve put your flawed faith and flawed life in the hands of the flawless sin-bearer! So, what’s left to do? Let’s you and I gratefully and joyfully live for Him!

1 “Oprah: A Heavenly Body.” U.S. News & World Report (March 31, 1997), p. 18.Wineskins Magazine

Mark Claypool

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