We Choose Heaven

On September 12, 1962, John F. Kennedy stood before a crowd of forty-thousand Texans assembled at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. The focus of Kennedy’s speech was to persuade the American people to believe in the national effort to land a man on the Moon. In the middle of his speech, Kennedy said:

But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?…We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

When the President spoke these words, NASA did not have the rockets, computers, programs, etc. needed to make the moon a reality, but it did have the work ethic and dream. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong fulfilled Kennedy’s speech when he walked on the moon.

This was an amazing feat of human ingenuity. What seemed to have been an impossible task was realized by the combination of NASA’s geniuses and man’s hard work. The expedition to the moon cost tremendously both physically and financially, but every sacrifice was justified by Armstrong’s famous statement – “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The moon landing manifested that the human spirit, when properly motivated and determined, can achieve far greater heights than originally believed.

Can you imagine the elation that must have been experienced among those in the control center in Houston and throughout NASA, when Armstrong walked on the moon? All of the hours, days, and years that it had taken to invent, build, program, etc., were finally validated. Every person who had believed in the mission were vindicated, and every doubter who witnessed the landing were caught in disbelief. The words of Kennedy continue to inspire and resonate in the hearts of young explorers – “We choose to go to the Moon!” Will this same mentality be found in every Christian whose desire is to go to heaven?

“We choose to go to heaven!” There is no greater purpose given to man, then the pursuit of faithfulness toward God and living eternally with Him. This may seem to be an impossible pursuit beyond our ability, but through the grace of God it has been made possible. We have all fallen short of the glory of God, and without His grace there is no hope (Romans 3:23). Our sin has caused this separation between us and God. The prophet Isaiah wrote –

1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear (59:1-2).

God desires for every person to be saved, but it is our choice whether or not to accept His salvation (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Am I willing to fully submit to His authority?

The Father has loved us, even in our sins, and has given us the source of salvation in His Son – Jesus Christ. If I am willing to believe, confess, repent, and be baptized for the remission of my sins, then salvation can be realized in my life. When I rise from the waters of baptism, I am a new creature, clothed in Christ, and raised to newness of life. The life of a Christian was never promised to be easy. It requires of every disciple great sacrifice, but if we will properly calculate the cost, then we will determine heaven is worth it all. What was impossible for man has been made possible through the power of God! We have chosen heaven!

There is coming a day of judgement and vindication. For everyone who has believed and obeyed the gospel, their sacrifices and faithfulness will be vindicated by the grace of God. For everyone who has not believed or obeyed the gospel, their lives and choices will be judged by God. May all who have not rendered their obedience harken the warning of the writer of Hebrews – “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (10:31). Do not put off until tomorrow, what can be accomplished today. We have two choices confronting us – heaven or hell. Let us say – “We choose to go to heaven!”