She doesn’t know.

But one thing is certain – Barbara Walters is doing a lot of thinking about life after death. And so she should. She’s getting up there – inching towards 80. She may not have much longer.

She has lived a colorful life. Three marriages. Million dollar television contracts. High ratings. Long running shows. And she just backed out of a $6 million contract with a publishing company for her biography. The speculation is: she feels she can get more.

If she hasn’t interviewed you, you’re probably not on the world’s ‘who’s who’ list. She has interviewed people like: Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Jackson, Monica Lewinsky, Fidel Castro, Dalai Lama, Indira Ghandi, Muammar Gadaffi, kings, presidents, failed suicide bombers, etc.

More recently Barbara Walters has been interrupting people’s polite chatter at dinners and banquets by asking them: “How many of you believe in life after death?” She’s been intrigued and surprised by the variety of responses. For a year she worked on an ABC News special about Heaven and she found herself totally absorbed by the subject of the afterlife. “I’ve done years and years of specials, but I care more about this one than anything I’ve ever done.” And then she adds: “I think there’s a great need and a great soul-searching in this country.” And she’s dead-right. The need is great and the soul searching is deep rooted. God has planted eternity in our souls.

Rebecca Phillips of beliefnet asked Ms. Walters if she expected to go to Heaven. “I have no idea,” said Barbara Walters. Her father was an atheist. She is a non-religious Jew. She says the afterlife was never discussed in her home. She never went to a Sunday School. She doesn’t attend church or synagogue. But she thinks it would be ‘enormously comforting’ to know you were going to a place where you’d see your loved ones again.

And when she travels by air she prays. She’s not sure why – but she does every time and she always says the same thing:

“Dear God, thank you for all my blessings.
Thank you for everything that I have in my life.
Take care of my family and make this a safe trip.”

Right now she’s not overly worried about death and the afterlife because she is not faced with illness or poverty and she hasn’t yet suffered as she calls it – ‘a series of tragedies’. If those things came across her path she reckons she would pray about death and the afterlife.

Barbara Walters needs to bring closure to this matter of Heaven and her afterlife. It is time to stop philosophizing, hypothesizing and intellectualizing. Students could spend their lives investigating the ratings of universities and where they might get the best academic credentials. But unless they bring closure to their search, weigh the evidence and make a choice, they will never acquire the very thing they are hoping for.

It is time for you to bring closure to this matter as well. Life is very uncertain. Usually you don’t get advance warning of a pending fatal accident or a killer-stroke or an approaching lethal bullet. One moment we are breathing. The next moment we are not. We enter God’s eternity and we can’t rollback the calendar. The afterlife is upon us.

We don’t go to Heaven by default. Our sin prevents that. We don’t go to heaven on our own merit or because of kind things we have done – nor is it because we did or didn’t attend a church or a synagogue. Our sin overrides all the good we try to do and ultimately disqualifies us from entering Heaven. The Bible is crystal clear on that point. (Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2:8-9)

We go to Heaven by design. God’s design. He designed a way for lost sinners to be in Heaven. He sent His Son Jesus to become our Substitute by taking the death for our sins at the Cross. By His death, He became the Saviour (Rescuer) for all. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes unto the Father but by me.” John 14:6

We go to Heaven by choosing God’s design. It’s a definite choice. Barbara Walters will either accept God’s terms for salvation and be in Heaven, or she’ll miss eternal life. Other contracts in life may be based on her terms – but Heaven is based on God’s terms.

Those who accept Christ as their Saviour will be in Heaven. Those who try some other way will perish in their sins in a place Jesus called Hell.

Right now, the question is not whether Ms. Walters will be in Heaven – the more relevant question is: will you be there? Click here to discuss this further.