President H.W. Bush and Heaven

Posted on December 3, 2018


By David Ettinger

A Heaven Question
I was following this morning the many tributes to President George H.W. Bush, who died at age 94.

What captivated me most was the replaying of an interview from a few years ago. In it, he was asked who he was looking forward to seeing most when his life on Earth was over and would begin his next life in Heaven. The former President dutifully answered the question, and he and the interviewer moved on to the next question.

What struck me about the brief exchange was the “assumption” of Heaven. In asking the question in the first place, the interviewer obviously believed the President’s heavenly destiny was settled. President Bush answered the question in the same light.

What Was Missing
What was sorely missing from the exchange was the reason why the two parties believed President Bush would be going to Heaven.

Did both believe that his good deeds were enough to warrant heavenly admission? Or, were they basing their assumptions on the Bible, and how the Scriptures set forth the rules for who goes to Heaven? We don’t know; the subject was never discussed – only the assumption.

What the Bible Says
Despite what unbelievers think, Heaven is not the domain of “good” human beings. The Bible tells us that humanity in its natural state is evil, separated from God, and incapable of good. Romans 3:10-12 states: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

In fact, by God’s standards, the human race is so bad that even our so-called “righteous” acts are corrupted. Isaiah 64:6 reads: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” In the Hebrew, the phrase “filthy rags” refers to a menstrual cloth.

Because human beings are inherently evil (in “status” if not by action), we are – in our natural states – destined for eternal damnation. Romans 6:23 tells us: “For the wages of sin is death [that is, eternal separation from God in Hell, and then the Lake of Fire].”

However, there is also a “way out” from this fate. Romans 10:9 tells us: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Acts 16:31 assures us, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

What of those who refuse Jesus’ free offer of salvation? He tells us in John 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see [eternal] life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” And 1 John 5:11-12 adds: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has [eternal] life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have [eternal] life.”

It can’t get any clearer than that.

The Heart of the Matter
The heart of the matter is this: Heaven cannot be assumed. Is President George H.W. Bush there now? I have no way of knowing specifically, but I can give you the big-picture, general answer. If he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, he is in Heaven. If he never accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, he is not.

Though the unregenerate world hates this reply, it is the biblical truth, and applies to everyone. Heaven is not based on one’s human goodness, but on an individual’s acceptance or denial of Jesus Christ.

May God reveal to those who don’t know Him the urgency of this indisputable and absolute truth!