The below Bible illustrations relate to the biblical truth about “How to Get to Heaven“. They provide wonderful examples, analogies, anecdotes, and metaphors that help explain, clarify, or justify the biblical truth about the pathway to heaven. These illustrations not only make this biblical truth easier to understand, but also make the learning process more enjoyable. Each illustration also includes an amazing creative drawing that further captures the biblical concept graphically.
The Importance of the Cross
We will all eventually die. If the Bible is correct, there is an afterlife with judgement, heaven and hell. What is our plan to reach heaven?
Many say: ‘Well, I’m a relatively good person – when I die I’ll just hope for the best. Others add: ‘I’ve been baptised, had communion, plus I give regularly to the church and charities – I think I’ve ticked all the boxes.’
It’s ironic that many people, including many Christians, think getting to heaven depends on what they do. When asked about the relevance of Jesus Christ and the Cross, most scratch their heads; they don’t see a connection between their going to heaven and what Christ did on the Cross. Many people consider the cross simply a symbol of Christianity – a story told at Easter how a good man was wrongly crucified and miraculously rose from the dead.
Fact is, if we could earn our way to heaven by good deeds or religious rituals, Christ died needlessly on the Cross. If we could save ourselves by our works, there would be no point for Jesus to die for our salvation (John 3:16).
The Bible states: we can never be good enough to save ourselves (Eph. 2:8-9) – our works are filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6) – that we need to be born-again (John 3:3) – and become a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
To enter the kingdom of heaven we need to have God’s perfect righteousness. This is the whole point of Jesus being crucified on our behalf. If we accept the gift of salvation by believing in Christ we receive His perfect righteousness and are instantly adopted into the family of God. Alternately, if we are hoping our good deeds or religious rituals will save us; sadly, we are in for a very rude shock.
We need the Cross. Christ is our salvation – He is the only door and way into heaven.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
The Road to Salvation
A tourist heard of a special place known as, ‘Eternal-Salvation’ where everlasting accommodation was said to be free. She eagerly grabbed her pack and headed off to see if the claims were true.
As she approached, a wild looking man ran up to her speaking gibberish and laughing madly. He welcomed her to Salvation and told her that if she wished to enter she would have to be his servant, follow his ways and give him all her money. In disgust, the tourist thought: ‘These Christians are insane – I want nothing to do with them or their “so-called” free Salvation.’ She quickly turned around and decided never to return.
Meanwhile, inside the glorious town, the citizens scratched their heads in frustration. They could not understand why so few tourists visited Eternal-Salvation – they were completely unaware that the village idiot was scaring them all away.
Eternal salvation is a free gift – there is no cost. God paid the account on the cross through Jesus Christ. However, it can be very hard for the ‘Unbelieving-World’ to see the truth of Christianity through the forest of village idiots. The world is filled with cults and crazy religions all claiming to be doing God’s will, but their obvious greed and weird practices are bringing the Truth into disrepute, (2 Peter 2:1-3). Sadly, these way-out teachings are the most vocal and the ‘Unbelieving-World’ judges all Christianity by the village idiots.
Any person wishing for eternal salvation should ignore the village idiots and freely enter. It is a GIFT from God which cannot be worked or paid for. The price was completed paid on the Cross by Christ – nothing can be added. We either accept the ‘gift of salvation’ or reject it.
The Bible clearly states: For grace you have been saved through faith (accepting Christ’s gift) that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
Working Our Way To Heaven
Three men were being chased. Suddenly, they came to a cliff top with the ocean waters far below. Seeing the moon shining brightly in the night sky, they agreed that if they could jump to the moon, they would be safe. The first man, a cripple, hobbled as fast as he could and leapt from the cliff. He jumped less than a metre before he fell screaming to the jagged rocks below.
The other two men agreed that he hadn’t jumped far enough. So the second man, of average fitness, took a running leap. He flew out five metres before he, too, plummeted to the jagged rocks far below.
The last man, the strongest of the three, decided he should take an extra long run-up to reach the moon. So, at great speed he leapt from the cliff. He soared through the air with outstretched arms in order to reach the moon, but he, too, fell short and plummeted screaming to the jagged rocks below. He had leapt an impressive eight metres; however, he didn’t realize that the distance to the moon was 221 463 miles.
The distance between our righteousness and God’s righteousness is greater than the distance between the earth and the moon. It is the distance between imperfection and perfection; the finite and the infinite; the east and the west. It would be easier for us to jump to the moon than work our way into Heaven. No matter how moral or how many good deeds we have done, we will always fall short.
If we could earn our own salvation, Christ died needlessly on the cross. We are only saved through faith in Christ not by our meager good deeds. As Ephesians 2:8-9 states: ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast’. The big question now is do we accept God’s gift of salvation or try to leap into Heaven by our own merit?
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23.
Joining the Royal Family
Four poor little children lived with their wicked, self-serving stepfather who never fed or clothed them and beat them daily. Quite clearly he didn’t care whether they lived or died. One day, policemen came to the children’s house and arrested the stepfather for the murder of their mother.
When the news spread, a kind prince said he would like to adopt the children. He then approached the four of them and said he had arranged the paperwork, paid all expenses and solemnly promised to always look after them. All he needed was their signatures and they would then legally become members of the royal family for the rest of their lives, living in a palace of great splendour and many wonders. The four children would surely jump at the prince’s gracious offer. But it was not to be. Incredibly, perhaps, one of them spat on the legal papers and kicked the prince in the shin. Sadly, the ungrateful child wanted to grow up just like his stepfather.
Our stepfather, Satan, is the ruler of this world. He was served an arrest warrant and his sentence is pending, (Rev. 20:10). God wants to rescue us from our cruel stepfather. He has done the necessary legal work and sent a gracious Prince (Christ) with the offer to adopt us into His family. All we need do is accept this generous offer and sign the papers (believe in Christ). Then we are adopted into the greatest Royal Family of all time – and beyond.
What fools we would be to spit at Jesus Christ’s offer by rejecting Him as Saviour. We must remember, if we keep Satan as our legal stepfather, we receive his inheritance. Satan has only an eternal jail sentence to share with his family, but God has the riches of the universe to share with His.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him may be saved. John 3:17
Same Snake - Different Skin
Snakes have the curious habit of shedding their old skin in favour of a new one. Yet no matter how many times they shed their skin they are still the same old snake.
If we think we get into Heaven by changing our ways (shedding our skin by morally reforming) we have failed to understand the message of the Gospel – the Good News.
When Adam lost the rulership of the world to Satan (a spiritual snake) all mankind suffered the repercussions and became citizens in the devil’s kingdom. Through Adam’s original sin we inherit a corrupt (sin) nature which God cannot allow into His heavenly kingdom. (Romans 5:12)
No matter how righteous we think we are or how many good deeds we have accumulated, we will always fall short of God’s perfect and absolute standard He demands (Romans 3:23). We may impress other people with our reformed ways but to God we are still the same old snake. The only way we can possibly get to Heaven is by turning into a new creature.
To become a new creature we have to be spiritual ‘born-again’. This spiritual rebirth occurs at the moment we accept Jesus Christ as savior. We can do nothing to earn or deserve salvation – we are totally dependent on what God has done on our behalf. God made salvation easy for us because Jesus Christ did all the work on the cross by paying our entire penalty for sin.
When we believe in Christ, we accept God’s sacrifice on our behalf and we are imputed with Christ’s perfect righteousness. At that moment we are spiritually reborn (in Christ – a Christian) into the family of God for eternity. The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8-9: ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith (belief), and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works (good deeds), lest anyone should boast’.
If we were able to save ourselves, there would have been no need for God to come to earth as a Man in order to pay the price for redemption. The good news of the Bible is we become heavenly creatures by simply accepting the gift of salvation by believing the Lord Jesus Christ died as our substitute on the cross.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
Hundreds of maggots squirmed in alarm when a man opened his lunch box to find it infested.
‘Don’t worry,’ said one maggot to his maggoty friends. ‘This man won’t mind us being here – we’re respectable, clean maggots. We’re nothing like those dirty maggots on the other side of the sandwich. Look at those repulsive maggots regurgitating all over his polony. Those filthy maggots deserved to be tossed out.’
However, it was soon evident to the righteous maggots that the man didn’t discriminate one maggot from another. He was plainly repulsed by every maggot that had ruined his lunch and quickly up-ended them into the rubbish bin.
No matter how good we think we are, or how depraved we think others may be – we are all repulsive when measured against God’s absolute standard of perfection. We may ask – how can God let mass-murderers or child molesters into Heaven? In our sight, they are filthy, degenerate people – not worthy of saving. However, in God’s sight we are all ‘maggots’ deserving of judgement. What a blessing that God deals with us on the basis of grace instead of what we deserve or we would all be tossed into the bin (Hell).
We go to Heaven on the basis of what God is able to do on our behalf – not what we have or haven’t done. God took the form of a man (Christ) and died paying the price of sin for all. He forgives all sin because of the death of Christ. If anyone believes in the Lord Jesus Christ they will be saved, not through works lest any ‘maggot’ should boast. (Romans 3:10, Ephesians 2: 8-9)
‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ Romans 3:23
God created a titanic ship called Decision that protected humanity from a sea of molten lava. Decision had only one deck divided into three areas. God put all humanity on the middle deck called Choice. On the starboard side Jesus Christ resided and on the port side was Satan. God then told all humanity to make one decision – choose a captain with whom you wish to sail.
Jesus said to those on the Deck of Choice that he held the way to Heaven and urged them to quickly choose him. The gates that separated the deck would soon shut and then the time for decision-making would be over – humanity’s ship would not sail forever.
Satan yelled back that there was plenty of time. He lit fireworks as a distraction and many delighted people strolled to his side of the deck.
Jesus Christ let humanity know that he had made an Eternal-life Jacket for every person. He implored all to come to his side of the deck so they could receive life everlasting.
Satan laughed loudly, saying Christ was a fool – humanity’s ship was unsinkable. They didn’t really need a captain; in fact, they could all be their own captains. He then lit more fireworks to dazzle humanity. Many people laughed at Jesus with his silly life-preserver and walked straight over to Satan.
Yet there were still many on the Deck of Choice who couldn’t decide one way or another. They listened to Christ and they listened to Satan but wouldn’t make a choice.
Jesus again implored these people to believe in him and come to his side before the gates closed. Once more he pointed to the Eternal-life Jackets, assuring the people that no one need go without. Many heeded Christ’s warning and hurried over to let him fasten on their life-preservers. Even so, many still stayed undecided on the mid-deck.
Satan kept yelling to humanity to ignore Christ’s panic-mongering and to watch him instead as he lit the biggest firecracker of them all. Those still on the mid-deck decided there was time enough to watch the big fireworks display before making their choice. Satan lit the fuse. The massive firecracker rocketed wildly out of control and crashed into the bow of the ship, causing a great explosion that ripped a gaping hole in the hull. The sea of molten lava flooded in and, just as suddenly, the gates shut dead tight, trapping every soul where they stood. And as the lava flooded in, the Ship of Decision started to lift and sink.
Jesus Christ watched sadly as the huge pile of unwanted Eternal-life Jackets slide into the lava. He wept at the waste. He then told all those on his deck to pull the cord on their life-preservers. Instantly, Wings of Righteousness popped out from their jackets and those believers in Christ flew up into Heaven.
Jesus was last to leave. He tearfully watched as the other people fell screaming into the sea of lava, knowing that none needed to be there.
As Jesus Christ turned to join his people, those still on the Deck of Choice yelled for him to come back as they hadn’t made their decision. Jesus Christ sadly called back that the time for choosing was over. However, the people on the Deck of Choice screamed that it wasn’t fair – they hadn’t chosen for Satan.
Jesus Christ replied as he turned away in sorrow, ‘Yes, you didn’t choose Satan but you didn’t choose me either. Humanity’s voyage is now over – it was as inevitable as death. Only those who believed in me have been given the means of escape. Everyone else must go down with the ship.’
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23.
Colors of Heaven
How can we describe color to the blind or sound to the deaf? These things must be experienced for true appreciation. To those who are blind or deaf, color and sound remain an academic concept. However, there are operations that enable a percentage of blind to see and deaf to hear.
Heaven is beyond our frame of reference. We are both blind and deaf to understanding the realities of ‘Eternity’. The Bible states very little of what Heaven is like. It says more of what is not there: no more tears, sickness, pain, sorrow, death… (Revelations 21:4). We can’t possibly imagine a place without these things.
In the Bible, God wastes little time describing a place we humans cannot comprehend (John 3: 12). How can the inexpressible be explained to finite beings that have neither the senses nor capacity to understand? However, one day we will understand; all it takes is a terminal operation – death. For those who believed in Jesus Christ this operation has a 100% success rate – resurrection, (John 14:2-3).
It is natural to be nervous about death; no one likes the thought of an operation, but we should keep our mind on the glorious outcome: resurrection and the gaining of new senses in order to appreciate all the wonders of Heaven. For those in Christ, it will be a time of great celebration and amazing revelation.
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2: 9.
Hell - the Absence of God
The absence of water makes a desert. The absence of land makes an ocean. The absence of warmth makes the polar caps. The absence of light makes darkness. The absence of God’s provision makes Hell. Hell, for want of a better word, is simply a place where God’s abundant providence is absent. In life, God sustains us with oxygen, gravity, water, sunshine and all the universal laws of order – even when we make it quite clear that we want nothing to do with Him. However, there will come a day (death) when God must respect our decision to live apart from Him – His perfection demands it. On that day He may say to those who rejected salvation, ‘It saddens Me that you have refused all My gracious offers of salvation and shown on all occasions that you want nothing to do with Me. I must respect your decision (free-will) and leave you in a place that has been set aside where my provision shall be absent, where I will not sustain the environment or the universal laws of order, where My light will be nowhere to be seen and where you are beyond the reach of My comfort. It is a place where I shall respect your wish and remain absent from you for eternity.’ (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
It is foolish to say we don’t need God in our lives. Hell is the void created when God’s providence is absent. It is a place of absolute darkness, chaos and everlasting discomfort. Let us not eternally regret being separated from God when Heaven is simply ours for the asking. The Bible clearly states: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
When God Knocks
A teenage boy, playing a computer game, heard a knock on the front door. He chose to ignore it. Soon after his mother came downstairs and asked, ‘Did you answer the door?’
Not taking his eyes from the game, the boy replied, ‘I didn’t want to – someone may have been there.’
We often deny God’s existence for many reasons. Sometimes, it’s simply because we don’t want Him to exist. We can be so preoccupied acquiring material things or fulfilling personal ambitions that we think our plans will be upset if we concede that there is a God. Alternatively, we have accepted theories of evolution for so long we now consider them established facts – and nothing will move us from our faith in those atheistic beliefs.
God reveals Himself in so many ways – through Creation, His Word, our conscience and various other agents. Every person, without exception, hears God knocking. But many of us don’t want to answer just in case someone is there and we have to stop what we are doing and adjust our thinking. (Romans 1:20)
God is a Gentleman! He will not force entry into our lives. It is up to us to answer the door and let Him in. Understandably, no one wants to be disturbed by an unwelcome guest, but God is the Creator of the Universe and He comes bearing a great gift (eternal salvation). We have so much to lose by ignoring God. Furthermore, change that may occur in our life by answering God’s call will only be a change for the better.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.” Revelations 3:20.
It is sensible to insure life and property against possible loss or damage. Most of us have insurance policies which guarantee compensation to save us in time of disaster – those who don’t, usually wished they had.We may have covered ourselves with insurance in this life, but have we covered ourselves after this life? What policy do we have to save us from divine judgement and eternal damnation? We may have life insurance, but do we have ‘after-life insurance’?
There is only one policy that saves us in the hereafter – John 3: 16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’
Belief in Jesus Christ is all it takes to avoid eternity in Hell. It is such a simple insurance policy to take out and it costs us nothing (Christ paid the price on the cross). All that is required is a spare second and the tiniest bit of faith to believe in Christ for God to insure and eternally guarantee that when we die we will be in Paradise forever.
We have nothing to lose by believing in Christ and everything to gain. DON’T DIE UNINSURED. How sorry we’ll feel after realizing it was so easy to insure life hereafter.
John 3:36 states: He who believes in the Son (Jesus Christ) has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
NOTE: These amazing Bible illustrations were created by Free Christian Illustrations. In conjunction with our partnership with Free Christian Illustrations, Bible IQ received express permission to provide this creative content on our website. Free Christian Illustrations is an amazing organization with a similar Bible-focused and Kingdom-building mission and we encourage all of our readers to visit them at www.freechristianillustrations.com.