While I was reading some posts online I stumbled upon a post where someone had written that they believed that the main reason that many people do not make it to heaven or that the main reason that people just will not be in heaven is because of the pride of an individual. I have thought about this same thing before some years ago and wanted to revisit this thought again because I realized that this is true. As I begin writing I realized that there was so much that I wanted to discuss so I figured that I would make this into a mini blog series. But either way, I want to elaborate on why pride, and in this case, the pride of mankind, can keep someone from going to heaven. The reason is similar to the reasons for why a person chooses to remain living a certain type of lifestyle that jeopardizes their life or puts their life and others around them at risk.
The Prideful Friend…
I want to begin with an example that should be familiar to us based on what many may have encountered or seen when being engaged with others in our day to day life.
Let’s say that you know a person that is addicted to a substance [insert your example of a substance] and let’s say that this person is a friend to you. You can see that they are not doing well for themselves because they are destroying their body with the substance that they are addicted to. The substance that they are addicted to is also what they have chosen to be hooked on for whatever reasons.
Since you are not hooked on whatever your friend is hooked on you give advice about what they would need to do in order to stop being addicted and to start taking better care of themselves. You even go so far as to tell them that they need to stop with this lifestyle because if they do not then they will end up killing themselves. Now, this is something that you say to them often because you love them and you want to see them do well and be well but your friend does not listen. In fact, the more that you speak to them and tell them the truth, the more they get irritated and annoyed by you. They make a practice of running from your help or advice by changing the subject about needing help. They sometimes claim that they do not have a problem but that you are their problem and they may even go so far as to tell you that, ‘You NEED to stop trying to control them and let them live their life.’
But you are not trying to control them. You care for them and as a loving friend, you know that what they have defined as living is not really living. You know that what they have defined as life is not truly life, because they are destroying themselves and they even see it to be deny what they see. And while they are in their pride they are rejecting the truth of the matter that they need to stop living the way that they are living before they destroy themselves for “good”.
In their pride they are saying by their actions that they love and want to continue in their lifestyle choice and that there is nothing wrong with their choices. Have you picked up on the pride in your friend yet? A prideful person can never be wrong and in their pride your friend can not see that they are destroying themselves because the pleasure that the substance that they are addicted to is too good to let go. Because they feel good they have defined that the substance that is bad for them is not bad but is good and good for them. In fact, this is exactly the mindset of Eve when she too thought that the fruit that God said would cause her to die upon eating it, Eve decided for herself that that fruit was not bad like God said but fruit that was good for food:
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” ~ Genesis 3:6
Your friend not wanting your help, advice, or wisdom is just like how people do not want wisdom and understanding from God and reject what He says is good and true and define their own truth as “wisdom”…again because of pride.( Proverbs 1:7)
Your friend not only does not want your help but believes (to their own detriment) that they do not need your help or the help of others and so they also believe that they do not need to be saved. Saved from what? They think. Why do I need to stop or be saved from what I am doing when I am living the good life? They also think. Or at least this is what they have been convincing themselves to believe. And we know that for this scenario, just because they believe what they do is good, it does not make it right or the truth even if they want to call it ”their truth”. This phrase is also something that has been gaining a lot of traction in my lifetime.
Pride will make someone “see” themselves as the truth and “see” God as the opposite…
Just like with the situation with you being the friend that knows what is better for your friend’s welfare based on everyone’s welfare, is just like how God sees what is best for all of mankind universally. Your friend is an example of someone that can not see because of their pride and addiction to what they and the world is saying is “good”. Your friend seeing you as the enemy and seeing you as the problem, is just like how people see God as their enemy and God as the problem to why they can not enjoy the things that they think are good to them but are actually not good for them. This is because God who is the truth and life is always going to be an enemy to someone who loves lies and death. In someone’s pride they see themselves and “their truth” as the truth while calling you, their friend, and God who may be speaking through you to them, they call their enemy. (Proverbs 12:15)
To take care of your body is also showing love and appreciation for your body that God has given you. And sharing this wisdom with your friend is showing them what would be necessary to love themselves. But the prideful friend is someone that loves death (as they continue to play with it and entertain it) and as they hate themselves and their body they are rejecting love as they would be rejecting you and the instruction that shows them what they must do to take care of and love themselves. God is love (1 John 4:7-12), and many people are rejecting His love based on how HE defines it in order to continue in what is destroying their body and soul while calling that love instead.
People can not have life which can only be found in Jesus Christ, when they continue living their “life” YOLOing on their way to hell calling good, evil and evil, good. And just like the addicted friend in this case, people full of pride are too addicted to the world and do not want to let go of it. So by holding onto the world; which is an enemy to God (James 4:4); they are rejecting Heaven at the same time in their pride and wont go to heaven because of their pride. Like the addicted friend, a prideful person has to first believe in God’s Way that has been provided, which is Jesus, and not their own ways. Once a person does then they end up changing their ways to believe in God’s Way which leads to everlasting life because God Himself would dwell in them and teach them His Way once they believe in His Word, Jesus Christ. (Psalm 25:9)
The person who has decided that they are right in their own eyes is full of pride to the brim and do not see that they are an endangerment to themselves while rejecting God and end up rejecting Heaven, which is where God is.
You…the friend that cared…
When we look at God’s character in how He waits patiently for all people to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) and turn from their ways, you can really see the difference between God’s love and desire for people to be saved compared to the stubbornness of people that do not want God and salvation through faith in God’s Son, Jesus.
In the scenario given earlier with you being the loving friend trying to warn your friend that is destroying themselves; you would be practicing the same likeness as God IS, because God sees all and knows all, God sees what is harmful to man based on their own decisions that they make that are in opposition to Him, and God warns with love to avoid death just as He said to Adam in the Garden of Eden, “The day that you eat of it (the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil) you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)
Eating the fruit that God told Adam not to eat is more than just the controversy behind what type of fruit was on the tree. That is not as important as the disobedience of Adam and Eve. It was the fact that Adam, in his pride, agreed with his wife (Genesis 3:17) that what God said was not good, was good for food. That is basically saying that they were right and God was not.
It was pride that came before the fall of man (Proverbs 16:17-18 and banned man from the presence of God in the Garden of Eden. It was man that decided in their pride that their version of what they thought was good and true was the truth and not believe in God’s definition of what He said was good and the truth that caused them to depart from the presence of God.
And just like Adam, who rejected God’s warning, many people are like the friend who is stuck in their substance abuse to their own self-destruction, while being on their way to death and thinking that their way is good. Also while being mad when told that their way is not only not good for them but is not the right way that they or anyone should be going. Many people are heading to hell calling the direction that they are going, good, and not seeing it.
I am that friend that is telling you, if you don’t yet believe, that Jesus is the Way and the only way out of death. It is the pride of a person that considers their own path, by default, to be right and not realize that they are living on borrowed time. (Proverbs 14:12) This is the case for the many people who simply want to live according to the ever changing definitions and waves of what culture defines as the truth, instead of what God defines as the truth. The world and culture is always changing but the truth does not.
When a person chooses their own definitions of what they define to be the truth, then it is by their own choice that they end up rejecting God because they reject His Will in order to follow their own. By rejecting God’s Will they reject the truth, and are rejecting Heaven at the sane time due to their pride. Because Heaven is not defined by man’s will, man’s “truth”, or man’s preferences; but is defined by God’s Will which is His truth and preferences, then it is a person’s pride that keeps them out of heaven. In their pride they believe in themselves and do not believe in Jesus. This also means that they are saying to God that they believe that they are the truth and not Jesus. Scarily what is also being said is that they believe they are a god in their own eyes and do not glorify God as a God when they believe that their own truth is the truth. This is because only God is the truth and we know that only One God resides in Heaven as well. So someone who dies in their pride with this mindset is not going to be in heaven because only one God will be there.
A person who is lead by their own passions and desires and call that their truth, while defining their truth as THE truth, end up being far from God, since God is far from the proud Psalm 138:6 and it is because of a person’s pride that they will be away from God’s presence eternally which means they would not make it to heaven due to their pride as reiterated early.
In fact think about it, why would someone who is full of pride and who rejects God’s Will and His Truth; which is also rejecting His Son Jesus Christ who is the Truth; delight in being in God’s perspective and definition of Heaven for eternity? They reject what He says on earth their entire life, than they are not going to receive and accept His speech in Heaven either if they die in their pride.
We all know that someone that is full of pride and who is arrogant can not see things outside of their own perspective and also expects others to live according to their perspective and standards. This is seen when someone who is full of pride and hates God expects God to live to their demands, standards, requests, and wishes even all the way down to how they believe that Jesus should present Himself to them. Many even say things like, “Jesus needs to present Himself to me in this way and then I would believe”. Not realizing (because pride is blinding) that they are expecting God who made them, to present Himself to them in their way while rejecting the Way God presented Himself to mankind by coming to earth in the form of man who is Jesus Colossians 1:15.
It’s ludicrous that this type of person will reject God’s Way and presentation while demanding for Him to present Himself in their way and presentation or in other words they expect for God to appeal to the will and requests of man who denies and rejects His Will. That my friends is pride. When someone is so focused and fixated on getting God to work in their own way, they end up not seeing how God already worked for them to be saved from their sins by giving His Son who rose from the grave after dying on the cross for the justification of all of the sins of humanity. Again rejecting what God has already presented through His Son, is the same as the addicted friend rejecting salvation from their addiction and not seeing the hypocrisy of their own way of thinking and judgements.
A prideful person hates God because they love themselves more and love and prefer what they want, so that same type of person would also not want Heaven or want to go to Heaven. It would not make any sense for them to want or receive something, or in this case Someone that they hate and be in eternity with Him at the same time. Neither will God force someone to be in His presence for eternity while He, Himself, does not delight in being in eternity with a prideful person either.
In fact, the more I think about this I realize that there are a lot of ways that a person keeps themselves away from getting to Heaven through their own choices and preferences in rejecting the only Way God has given mankind a way to Heaven, which is Jesus. I want to go more in depth about how with pride comes many choices made in pride that keeps people from going to heaven, but I want to save that for the next part of this series since I have kept you longer then I initially intended.
But what do you think? What other ways do you think are keeping people from knowing God and believing in Jesus? What are some ways that people live that may be keeping them from getting to heaven?
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If you have made it this far, thank you for listening.