The Hope of Heaven: Is Caitlyn Jenner right?

Romans 4:4 “To him who works, God does not credit his wages as a gift but as a debt.”

Can you know if God will let you into heaven when you die? Researchers estimate there are over 4,000 religions in the world, and each one answers this question differently. But all of them, except one, have one thing in common: your works – “doing the right thing” – determine whether you get to heaven.

Christianity is the one worldview that is different. It’s founder, Jesus Christ, told us the only way into heaven: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to God the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). Throughout the Bible, that message is repeated: “Nor is there salvation in any other than Jesus Christ. There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

For all these religions, what is “doing the right thing”? Caitlyn Jenner, in a recent interview on Fox News, explained her hope of heaven as having good intentions, being her authentic self, and doing the right thing.

“My whole life I struggled with this issue. I snuck around. I was not honest with myself. A lot of times I was not honest with a lot of people. That all changed when I finally had my final conversation with God. I discussed it with all my children, but the lasty thing I had to do was sit down with my pastor.

Because if anyone has any issues in their life they are struggling with, and everybody does (everybody has stuff they have to deal with), if they have any faith in their soul whatsoever, they sit there and they say ‘God, why did You do this?’ Why is this issue for me – of identity – in my head, 24 hours a day, every day, 365 days a year? You can’t take 2 aspirins, get plenty of sleep, wake up the next morning and you’re fine.

It is always there. It is who you are. But why? This question was always in my heart. I sat down with my pastor. I thought ‘Is there a reason for this?’ Am I doing the right thing? Do I need to come out and make a difference in probably the most marginalized community in the world?’ After long thought, I said ‘At this point in my life, the kids are raised, everybody is fine. Maybe its time I take care of myself.’

Because when that day comes and you go up to the pearly gates, and you are walking up the stairs and you see God in front of you, and you ask that question, ‘Did I do a good job? Did I do the right thing?’ And you just hope He says ‘Hey, come on in.’ I did a good job.

So that’s what my life has been about. I’m just trying to be myself now. I couldn’t do it before because I had too many secrets. I got all my secrets out. I have no secrets anymore. I just wake up and be myself all day.

I still feel like I’m doing the right thing. That’s the most important thing. I think when I get up there, on that day, hopefully I’m in.”

What she is referring to in this interview is her struggles with her sex change from the one-time men’s 1976 Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist – Bruce Jenner – to the female Caitlyn Jenner today.

Although her words express her lifelong struggle with transgenderism, her real struggle is in her personal hope in heaven. She hopes the criteria God will use in determining whether He (she calls her god a ‘He’) lets her into heaven when she faces Him is her good works while she is alive.

She ends the interview by tearfully convincing herself that because she has no more secrets – she is her authentic self and fully embraces her transgender identity – she wakes up each day being who she believes she is – a woman – and living with her good intentions as a strong advocate for transgenderism.

This, she believes, will convince her god to let her into heaven. Is she right? Are all one needs are good intentions, being your authentic self, and doing good works in whatever you see as important to you?

In this week’s verse, the apostle Paul is speaking to the church in Rome. Here’s how God, through Paul, explains how to know you will be in heaven: “If Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and God credited to him as right.’ Now to him who works, the wages are not credited as a gift but as a debt.

But to him who does not work but believes in Jesus Christ who justifies the ungodly, God credits his faith as right.” (Romans 4:2-5). Being your authentic self means to be a sinner. Trusting in the Person and finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and not your own works, means to have assurance of heaven.
“The Evidence of Faith’s Substance” _ Article #554

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