Do you think you will go to heaven if you and your boyfriend stay together like married people? I mean everything, from having sex to going to church? Being faithful to one another? All I'm trying to do is see how can I make it to heaven.
I see married people everyday, getting a divorce. The Bible says "until death do us part." Does a piece of paper matter when you love someone? Pastors, teachers, preachers, etc. marry people everyday and half of the time they're doing wrong, trying to tell us right from wrong.
I am SO glad you wrote!!
There are really two issues in your question: first, how can I go to heaven, and secondly, will "playing house" with my boyfriend when we're not married keep me out?
So let me address them both.
The heaven issue has nothing to do with being "good enough." It has everything to do with Jesus Christ. See, the problem is that all of us are born separated from God. We are sinners and He is a holy God. (God is not responsible for our separation from Him; that's the result of the first man, Adam, choosing to rebel against God. Ever since, all of Adam's children were born as enemies of God.)
But God creates us for Himself and He hates our separation from Him as much as He hates our sin. So He provided a way to solve the separation problem. He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to live as 100% God and 100% man. After living a perfect, sinless life, Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified to pay the penalty for our sin. He is God-the-Son, but He was willingly separated from God-the-Father to take all of our sins on Himself. He died because of our sin, and then three days later God raised Him from the dead because the debt of our sin was paid in full. And He is alive today—unlike the founder of any world religion.
This is where you come in. You need to decide if you will pay the penalty for your own sin by being separated from God forever—here on earth and then forever in hell when you die. . . or if you will trust in Jesus because He loved you so much He paid for your sin. If you put your trust in Jesus instead of in yourself, your separation from God will be over and you will continue your friendship with God forever in heaven.
When Jesus was here on earth, He asked His followers, "Who do you say that I am?" He's asking you the same question today. (If you want more information, I invite you to read my story of how I became a Christ-follower here.)
Your second question is about marriage. There is a big problem: every day, as you have noticed, people say "do the right thing," and then they turn around and do wrong. I think this breaks God's heart. But I also think God understands that we are broken and weak people who desperately need Him to live right, but we desperately don't want to surrender our wills to follow Him. We are often like rebellious, disobedient children, spoiled brats who constantly throw temper tantrums because we want our own way and don't want to obey.
None of this detracts from the fact that God's rules for marriage and family are the ones that will keep our marriages and families intact. And one of God's rules is that we enter into marriage, which is where that "piece of paper" becomes important. It's the ceremony before witnesses of making promises and becoming a new family unit that transforms two single people into a married couple. If you talk to those who lived together before they got married, most of the time they will tell you that, even though it surprised them, things were just different after the wedding. It really does make a difference. (See also our article "Is a Marriage Ceremony Necessary?" )
I'm glad you wrote. Feel free to ask any further questions.
© 2007 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075