Rich and Poor People in Heaven

THERE are various opinions about acceptance into heaven. Some people think that the poor are accepted but not the rich; some think that rich and poor alike are accepted; some think that rich people cannot be accepted unless they give up their assets and become like the poor—and all of them support their opinions from the Word. However, as far as heaven is concerned, people who differentiate between the rich and the poor do not understand the Word. At heart, the Word is spiritual, though it is natural in the letter; so if people take the Word only in its literal meaning and not in some spiritual meaning they go astray in all kinds of ways, especially regarding the rich and the poor. They believe that it is as hard for rich people to enter heaven as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle and that it is easy for the poor by reason of their poverty, since it says, “Blessed are the poor, because theirs is the kingdom of the heavens” (Luke 6:20–21).

However, people who know something about the spiritual meaning of the Word think differently. They know that heaven is for everyone who lives a life of faith and love, whether rich or poor. We will explain below who are meant by “the rich” in the Word and by “the poor.”

Out of a great deal of conversation and living with angels, I have been granted sure knowledge that rich people enter heaven just as easily as poor people do, and that no one is shut out of heaven for having abundant possessions or accepted into heaven because of poverty. There are both rich and poor people there, and many of the rich are in greater splendor and happiness than the poor.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 357

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