Author Anne Graham Lotz’s mom told her a story when she was young to reinforce that we can have 100 percent certainty that heaven is our home. This story is a true story. A young boy who lived in London, England heard that the great American evangelist, Dr. D.L. Moody, was coming to London to preach. The boy walked all the way across the city in order to hear Dr. Moody’s message.
When he drew near to the church, he saw that it was situated on a hill. The sun was setting, and the colors of the sunset were reflected in the multifaceted stained glass windows, making them look as though they were glowing. The sound of hundreds of voices joined by a powerful pipe organ drifted toward him. The church looked and sounded like heaven to him. He forgot how tired he was, and he ran all the way up the long granite staircase that led to the front door.
As he reached the main door, a big hand grasped him firmly by the shoulder and spun him around. “What do you think you’re doing, laddie?” demanded a tall, severe-looking deacon.
The little boy told him he had walked all the way across the city in order to hear Dr. Moody. The keeper of the door looked the little boy up and down from head to toe, taking in the uncombed hair, the unwashed face, the dirty feet, and the unclean clothes. He then retorted, “Not you, sonny. You’re too dirty to go inside. Be gone.”
The little boy threw his head back, squared his shoulders, and set off with a determined gait to find another way inside the church. But the other doors were locked and the windows were too high to climb through. Dejected, he went back to the front steps, sat down, and began to cry.
Just then he was distracted by a carriage that pulled up to the foot of the steps. Out bounded a distinguished-looking gentleman who marched quickly up the steps. He stopped when he came near to the little boy, noticing his tear-streaked face. “What’s the matter, son?” he inquired. The little boy explained that he had walked all the way across London to hear Dr. Moody, only to find out he was too dirty to go inside the church. The gentlemen looked at him kindly, then extended his hand. “Here. Put your hand in mine.” The boy thought about it for a moment, then he slipped his little hand into the big man’s grasp.
Hand in hand they walked up the steps of the church. When they came to the door that had previously been shut to the little boy, it was flung wide open. Hand in hand the big man and the little boy walked down the center aisle. When they came to the front row, the gentleman instructed the boy to have a seat in the pew. The man then walked up to the platform, into the pulpit and began to preach. The man was Dr. D. L. Moody!
The only way the boy got inside that church was because he was holding Dr. Moody’s hand. In the same way, the only reason anyone—whether it’s you or I or Billy Graham or Mother Teresa or a murderer on death row or an alcoholic in the gutter—the only reason anyone gets into heaven is because that person is holding the hand of Jesus. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.
Jesus extends his hand to you and to me and to everyone at the cross. He invites us to come home with Him into His Father’s house. When the time comes for our life to end, the gates of heaven will be flung open. We will be welcomed into heaven because Jesus will carry us home and He has us in the strong grip of His grace.
What must we do to get to heaven? Just put our faith in God who saves us and freely gives us eternal life in heaven. Always remember the following. Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for you. You get to live there forever. It is going to be more wonderful than you can possibly imagine! You can have full confidence in this! Heaven is your eternal home! Jesus has promised this and He always keeps His Word!
Lotz, A. (2014). Heaven: My Father’s house. Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson.
Stohlmann, M. (2020). The world's greatest future. Seattle, WA: KDP.
Christian, author, and professor of mathematics education.