Not long ago I was driving down the Indian Nation Turnpike in Southeast Oklahoma. Since I was in the car by myself, I had the radio blaring one of my favorite songs. It was by Steven Curtis Chapman and the chorus went like this: “There’s no better place on earth than the road that leads to Heaven.” As I drove and listened, I rejoiced in the truth of those words. Then I thought about the implications of the message in that song. There really is no better place on this earth than on the road that leads to Heaven.
Does that mean the road that leads to Heaven is an easy one? Hardly. It is not a superhighway or an autobahn that allows for speedy, unhindered movement. Sometimes the way of the cross is a slow and torturous route. The road that leads to Heaven is often dotted with trials and tribulations. During their First Missionary Journey, as Paul and Barnabas returned through Lystra and Iconium, in what is modern-day Turkey, they “strengthened the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:22). How did he say we enter the kingdom of God? We enter the kingdom through many “tribulations.” This word is used 47 times in the New Testament and is from a root word meaning to press tightly together, thus creating pressure. It literally means “pressure, affliction, tribulation or distress.” The road that leads to Heaven includes trying times and pressure-filled circumstances. As Christians, we know that every trial or tribulation will work to our benefit, but we still must face afflictions.
Is this road that leads to Heaven the most popular way? No, not at all. Jesus urged His disciples to “enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14). The first right step on the road to Heaven goes against all our natural inclinations. The first step is not to try hard, live good, give a lot and hope you make it. The first right step is to humble yourself before God, confess your many sins, and simply trust Jesus to do the saving. The broad way leads to pride, the narrow way, to humility. The broad way elevates self, the narrow way exalts the Savior. Even in this fallen world, there is no better place to be than on the road that leads to Heaven!
Why is this road to Heaven the best place to be? Here are three good reasons.
1. The road that leads to Heaven is best because it follows a disciplined way.
This road requires the discipline of Repentance. Jesus said, “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). John the Baptist came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). He confidently stood before the religious elite, commanding repentance, and ended up losing his life because of his boldness preaching against sin (Matthew 14:3-11).
This way that leads to Heaven calls for the discipline of Humility. Jesus answered His disciples’ question about who would be greatest in the kingdom of Heaven by bringing a child before them and saying, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3, 4). Haughtiness, pride and arrogance are out of place on this road that leads to Heaven.
The travelers on this road also practice the discipline of Sacrifice. It’s convenient to think Christians can serve God without personal cost, but that is historically inaccurate and biblically unscriptural. Jesus said, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions” (Luke 14:33). Paul wrote that, “whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7).
2. The road that leads to Heaven is best because it is a blessed way.
What blessings await those who, through Christ, travel the road to Heaven! Everlasting life itself awaits those on this road. Jesus promised, “whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:15).
Believers on this road that leads to Heaven also receive genuine peace with God and access to Him. Paul wrote, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:1, 2).
With this in mind, no wonder Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). One writer translates it, “I came that they may have life, I mean really live!” The road that leads to Heaven is a blessed path.
3. The road that leads to Heaven is best because it is the only way!
Access to this road is only through faith in Jesus Christ! Not just any path or way you choose will lead to Heaven. The Lord Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father, but through me” (John 14:6). The road that leads to Heaven is an exclusive way. It is only through Jesus, through faith and trust in Him.
Friend, there is a road that leads to Heaven, and it goes through Jesus Christ. After all, there is no better place on earth than the road that leads to Heaven!