Are you going to heaven? Everyone, generally speaking, answers yes to this question. The basis for this conclusion is usually their sense of morality. I am a good person. I have never killed someone. I have never committed actual adultery. If this is your answer, spend some time in Matthew 5-7 and see how you stack up to what Jesus requires for righteousness.
How about this question, do you believe in God? Once again, most people say yes to this. Very few people, if any, are truly atheists. They may say they are, but deep down they know better. All you have to do is look around. It is hard to debate that there is a Grand Builder of the Universe. See Romans 1:18-23. Many people believe that an intellectual belief in God is sufficient to save their sole from death. We call this theism. This is commonly associated with the “All faiths, one God” lie that is so common in the world today. It doesn’t hold water. See John 14:6.
Next question, are you a Christian? Generally speaking, Americans like this question, at least for now. The reason being is because their answer can be a soft answer, meaning that it lacks substance or weight. It is like saying something, but saying nothing. Being a Christian in America has become what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called cheap grace, all the benefits but with no cost. For some people, saying they are a Christian might mean that they were baptized as a baby, they go to church at least twice a year, or they pray with their kids before bed. I would define this as being lukewarm. Jesus doesn’t tend to like lukewarm Christianity. See Revelation 3:16.
Last question, do you love Jesus? This is the question that makes people pay attention. No one cringes when you ask about Heaven, or if there is a God, or if you are a Christian, but when you ask whether they love Jesus it tends to make the record skip. Why?
Probably for several reasons, but one could be that the name of Jesus has power. Just the mention of His name causes rejoicing or division. However, another reason could be because the question gets to the heart of the problem. Think about a doctor moving your arm around asking “Does this hurt? How about this? And this?” and then he finds the spot and you flinch. This is what happens when we are asked about our love for Jesus.
In John 8:42, Jesus is calling out the religious leaders of the day. These leaders lived “good” lives. They were very religious, never missing temple time. They even claimed that God was their Father, but Jesus pokes them where it hurt.
“If God were your Father, you would love me.”
The bottom line is that the evidence of whether you are going to heaven, the evidence of whether God is your Father, the evidence of whether you are a Christian is whether you love Jesus. That’s it. Do you love Jesus? If you love Jesus, then case closed. If you do not love Jesus, then you are still dead in your sin and by nature destined to receive the wrath of God. See Ephesians 2:1-3.
So the question is how would you answer? Do you love Him? Or is Jesus someone you see as an annoying relative? Or perhaps He is someone you tolerate? Or perhaps He is merely a casual acquaintance? How you honestly answer will be telling.
If you find that you don’t love Him, do something about it today. Repent and turn to God. Ask God to open your eyes to see the beauty that is His Son and to give you a heart that loves what He loves, Jesus.