A Pastors Perspective,Bucket Lists


By: Mike Upchurch

Bucket Lists

I suppose everyone has a Bucket List. Webster’s defines it as follows;

“a list of things that one has not done before, but wants to do before dying”

I still have a few things left to do on my own list. The items on there probably aren’t much different from anyone else’s. But I can tell you emphatically what the number one item at the top of each person’s bucket list SHOULD be…..

Make it in to Heaven.

Yessiree, doing whatever it takes while here on earth to ensure you are awarded a stay there. And for all eternity, not just during the few days of your judgement!

That said, I’m going to surprise some of you with the following statement…..

Good people aren’t the ones who are allowed entry into Heaven.

It’s true. It is a very select category of people who are given permission to enter. And it’s not based on how good they were while here on earth. Shocking, isn’t it? Like any restricted Club or Secret Society, it’s not what you do, it’s who you know.

In this case, it’s whether or not you know Jesus. He is the Gatekeeper. You only get in by going through Him (John 14:6).
You MUST be on His list of those allowed entry, and you WILL be turned away if not. You might ask “Pastor Mike, how can a loving God send people to Hell?” The answer is He doesn’t; people send themselves by rejecting the Lord’s free offer of salvation. The population in Heaven will only be comprised of those who’ve accepted Jesus as their Savior.

Granted, once we accept Jesus as Savior, most of us turn out to be pretty good people doing some pretty good deeds, but it’s not your good deeds that will get you in, but rather it’s His one deed that gains you access. His death on that old rugged cross. His death and resurrection grants everyone righteousness they didn’t earn on their own. It’s HIS perfect and complete righteousness, not our own, that the Father sees when we receive the Son’s gift of life.

No matter how good we are, the prophet Isaiah stated “our righteousness is as filthy rags” (Isa 64:6).
On our best day, with our very best behavior put forward, we still fall short of God’s standard for righteousness. Part of the problem is that we’re born into the curse of sin as humans. The other problem is we all continually sin and fall short of His holy requirements (Romans 3:23). And sin, as we’ve said before, must be punished. And the sentence is always death and separation from a holy God.

So, God needed a plan. He needed to find a way to forgive us of our sins, giving us the opportunity to escape the punishment awaiting us all. Enter Jesus. He was born a virgin birth, thereby escaping the “curse of sin”, and He didn’t sin while on earth, and therefore could take our punishment upon Himself on the cross. Paul gave us the perfect formula for salvation in Romans….

“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, ” WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.””
‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-11

So again, the number one thing that should be at the top of your Bucket List?

1. Accept Jesus’ death on the cross as payment in full for your sins and thereby make it to Heaven, dwelling there forever!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike