Question: Would you please comment on the following statement by Dr. A. W. Tozer in his Renewal Day by Day: “The man who is seriously convinced that he deserves to go to hell is not likely to go there, while the man who believes that he is worthy of heaven will certainly never enter that place.”
Response: The only certainty of heaven that we have is based upon faith in Christ and His Word, both of which promise eternal life as a free gift of God’s grace. Heaven is the believer’s sure destination not because he merits it but because of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus: “I give [my sheep] eternal life; and they shall never perish” (John:10:27-28); “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John:5:13); etc. Although confident of heaven because of what Christ has done, the believer is at the same time very conscious of his own unworthiness. It is, in fact, the realization that he deserves hell that has caused him to turn to Christ. In contrast, Tozer is referring to “the man who believes that he is worthy [in himself] of heaven.” That person is lost because obviously he has not believed in the gospel and is not trusting in Christ alone for his salvation.