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Who Can Go Where Jesus Is?

The apostles of Jesus Christ were blessed to witness many wonderful things concerning Him, including His ascension from earth to heaven. They saw Jesus lifted into the sky until He disappeared from their view into a cloud (Acts 1:9). According to Acts 1:10-11, two men in white clothing (angels from God) explained what the apostles had seen while they were still gazing into the sky:
"Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Later, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter declared by inspiration of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had "been exalted to the right hand of God” (Acts 2:33).
Therefore, we know that Jesus Christ now resides in heaven, where He reigns as our Lord. He will continue to reign there "until He has put all His enemies under His feet,” the last of which will be death (1Cor. 15:25-26). At the end of His reign, Christ will come again for the resurrection of the dead, the destruction of the world, and the judgment of wicked men (John 5:28-29; 1Cor. 15:20-23; 2Thess. 1:6-10; 2Pet. 3:7-12). For those who are saved from judgment, Paul explained what will happen when the Lord comes in 1Thessalonians 4:16-17:
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
It will be at this time when Christ "delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father” (1Cor. 15:24).
Now the question we need answered is this: who can go where Jesus is? He has ascended to heaven, and He will come again to take some of us back to heaven with Him. Who will be able to go?
For certain, those who do not believe that Jesus is the Lord and Christ will not be able to go where He now is. Notice the conversation between Jesus and some Pharisees who opposed Him in John 8:21-24:
"Then He said again to them, ‘I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.' So the Jews were saying, ‘Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, "Where I am going, you cannot come”?' And He was saying to them, ‘You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.'”
Notice what Jesus has said here. These men and others like them cannot go to heaven because they do not believe in Jesus. They do not believe in Jesus because they are completely unlike Him – they are "from below,” while He is "from above”; they are "of this world,” while He is "not of this world.” They will seek to go where He is, but they will not be able because of their carnal, worldly, sinful ways, and so they will die in their sins.
However, those who believe in Jesus as Christ and Lord will be able to go where He is because they will know the way. Notice Christ's words to the apostles in John 14:1-4:
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”
Again, the issue is belief, for Jesus will come again to receive those who believe in Him that they may be where He now is. However, this belief is more than mere mental acceptance of Jesus. It is a belief that transforms the believer into the likeness of Jesus Himself. A true believer is no longer "from below” or "of this world.” Now the believer has become like Jesus in order that he may go to the Father: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Notice 1John 3:2:
"Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
So then, who can go where Jesus is? They are the believers in Christ, the children of God, and the ones who have been "conformed to the image of [God's] Son” (Rom. 8:29). Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life” because He has showed us how to be changed into persons who may come into the presence of Almighty God in the glory of heaven for eternity. Will you be able to go where Jesus is?
Stacey E. Durham