So Who EXACTLY Gets Into Heaven?
One interesting thing about the Bible, among about 1 million interesting things, is: when I hear a reading that I have heard in the past, the exact same words can speak to my heart in a different way. God speaks to us all though His Word and the person sitting next to me in the pew at Mass hears something just a bit differently than I do during the readings. The parables I have often thought about in a very un-Christian way are the many different ones where Jesus explains to the people (and I paraphrase here!): "It doesn't matter if you toiled in the field from sun up to sundown or came at mid-day to work or came within the last hour or even arrived with two minutes to spare, you will all receive the same wages from the owner of the vineyard." That was definitely a GIANT paraphrase on my part, but I think you may know what I am referring to. I have always thought I most certainly would have been the person to arrive at 7am and toil in the hot sun until 7pm. I would have been standing there in line waiting to get my pay, sweating and sunburned thinking "Why the HECK are those people getting the same amount of pay as me...that is sooooooo unfair!!!!" Yep. That would be my thoughts to a T. As you can see, I have a lot room for improvement, OBVIOUSLY. But, it truly does not matter when the others arrive at the 'table' in the eyes of God. In our eyes, we judge and judge and judge some more. But the Almighty, All Merciful God is only looking at each precious child's heart...that child showed up 2 minutes before 7pm and that child will be paid and paid in full.
You may ask what leads me to the post? Actually something a bit different. Last July when my sister, Sue, and I were spending time together she had mentioned to me that someone told her that all of the terrorists who killed the people at the Pentagon and in the field in Pennsylvania and at the Twin Towers would all be in heaven because they thought they were completely and totally following God's will. Hmmmmmmmmm, I thought, that just doesn't make sense. I have pondered Sue's comment for a few months and perhaps this might be the explanation as to why some of the worse sinners will, of course, be in heaven even if they indeed killed many people. I have always been taught that the only thing that will drive a person to hell is the sin of final unrepentance. God gives you chance, upon chance, upon chance, upon chance until the last 2 minutes before the sun sets on your life to tell Him you are sorry for your sins and repent. If those terrorists, in their final split seconds of their lives saw the error of their thinking, that they actually were NOT doing God's will in taking all those innocent lives and if the terrorists placed themselves at Gods mercy and asked forgiveness for their sins, they would indeed find themselves in heaven someday after spending time atoning for their sins in purgatory.
Please allow me to apoligize here for any error in theology I may have espoused but as best as I can figure every person on earth: the good and the bad, the holy and the sinners, have an equal chance of getting into heaven. Some will find themslves spending time in purgatry and some will be whisked right up to the heavenly throne of God. I will not be providing an answer to who exactly gets into heaven, but only to say we will not know who exactly will be in heaven until we ourselves are standing in Gods' presence and seeing through our "new eyes" all the beautiful people praising, worshiping and adoring God.
Peace and Joy!