Is there a stairway to heaven, a particular path you should take that leads you to a good afterlife?
The song, "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeplin, which has lyrics that draw listeners into a spiritual quest (a journey into a kind of mythical pagan past) suggests that there is a stairway to heaven. Stairway to Heaven begins and ends with lyrics about a particular lady which say, “and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.”
So who is this lady and what is this stairway to heaven?
According to interviews with Robert Plant (lyrics) and Jimmy Page (music) there was no particular meaning to Stairway to Heaven. It’s reported that Robert Plant once stated the song was "...a women's quest for spiritual perfection" and ".. a simple wedding song". Plant also said that it “was some cynical aside about a woman getting everything she wanted all the time without giving back any thought or consideration.”
On the other hand, Jimmy Page said, “the song has whatever meaning the listener wants to put to it. It was a song of hope.”
Interesting that a song with no specific meaning would become a popular song sung at weddings and funerals and become one of the top rock songs ever! Does this say that people are so spiritually lost that they are attracted to meaningless songs? Maybe! It could also be that people like vague songs with mystical lyrics like, Stairway to Heaven, because they can put whatever meaning to that they want to it? This probably would fair since in the song itself it says, “sometimes words have two meanings.”
Some see Stairway to heaven as reference to the rich in society getting what they want and buying happiness (heaven) with their money, while despising the rest of society.
Others have taken the word heaven more literally and thought that the lady who buys the stairway is the Catholic Church and that this is a reference to indulgences which began in the medieval times. People were taught that giving money to the Church would shorten the time of souls in purgatory (a false doctrine that denies the effectiveness of Jesus death on a cross as full payment for sin).
The song Stairway to Heaven, while not providing any answers to what happens when you die, or how to actually get to heaven, does identify two truths in the following words "Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on." Then it adds, “Well I hope so!” We’ll come back to those last four words in a moment but first….
Stairway to Heaven - part II
The first truth is that there are two paths you can go by in life. One leads to heaven, the other to hell. Consider the following quote:
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (The words of Jesus in Matthew's gospel, chapter 7 and verses 13-14 in the Bible).
In other words, you are either on a narrow path to eternal life (a stairway to heaven) or a broad path to eternal hell (a highway to hell)! While the song, Stairway to Heaven doesn’t tell you how to get to heaven, the central person in the song is a lady who is “buying a stairway to heaven". It raises the question: Can you buy your way into heaven? Is there something imperfect people can do to earn their way into a perfect heaven?
Here’s a thought: if you could buy your way into heaven, by giving money to the Church or whatever, then heaven would not be worth going to! Why, because if you could buy your way into heaven, it would no longer be heaven. It would be an unholy place filled with corrupt people and a corrupt god. Sounds more like hell. God’s moral standards would also mean nothing in this life and the world would have already gone to hell by now. Furthermore, if God accepted bribes into heaven he would have no moral basis on which to condemn anyone to eternal hell. Thankfully, God is not like that.
As another famous song says, “Money won’t buy you love”, least of all, God’s love!
Now while you cannot buy your way into heaven, the Bible does say you can still store up for yourself treasures to enjoy once you get to heaven. That is definitely something worth looking into. While there is no spiritual stairway to heaven that you can buy shares in, you can however store up treasures in heaven by the good you do in this life, when those good works are done as an act of thankfulness and love to God. Put it this way, heaven itself is not a reward for good works but in heaven, God will reward the good works that are done by those who look to him for salvation in this life. More about how to do that in a moment.
You need to be sure about this, doing good works will not buy you one single step in any kind of spiritual stairway to heaven. The Bible makes this clear when it says that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags in the sight of God who alone is Holy, Pure, Perfect. For the person God has saved from their sins, good works are done out of obedience and thankfulness to God. It is THESE good works, that receive rewards, stored up now as treasures in heaven.
Now just like those who are saved can store up treasures in heaven through the good works which they do (out of love for and trust in God), those who are NOT saved can and do store up for themselves wrath on a day of judgement through their rebellion and unbelief towards God.
You can’t buy heaven but you can by your evil deeds, earn punishments in hell.
After speaking of the two paths you can go by in life, the song Stairway to Heaven says, “there's still time to change the road you're on." Then it adds, “Well I hope so!”
Stairway to Heaven - part III
The second truth is that while you may currently be on the path of destruction, racing headlong into eternal hell, you can still get off that path. No hope so about it! This is a definite promise from God. The Bible says that even the vilest sinner can be forgiven if they will come to God in the humble trust of a child. Whatever you have done, by the Grace of God “there’s still time to change the road you’re on.”
Many people have wondered, is it too late for me, have I gone too far for God to save me? The answer is NO! You can still change paths, and with this, your eternal destination. But please note this…
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which SEEMETH right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”. Make sure you’re on the right path, the path to eternal life in heaven. You do this not by buying a stairway to heaven but by bowing to a Saviour who came from heaven to save you from hell.
Make sure that from today onwards, if you were to die, you would be welcomed into heaven’s eternal pleasures and the Love of God, and not cast into hell’s eternal torments and the wrath of God.
To get the full story on if you need to be saved, why you need to be saved and how to be saved, please visit the EternalHell.Net website and do the GOOD PERSON TEST - see link below.
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” - Spurgeon