Colossians 1:12 says that we are to be “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Here the Bible describes how each Christian — even the least worthy — can have confidence that they are qualified for the glories of heaven:
— First, we see that we do not make ourselves fit for heaven. This is the mistake that so many make. They attempt to qualify themselves for heaven by their good works, but the Bible tells us that “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight.” (Rom. 3:20) Rather the Bible says that the saints are “qualified” for heaven, not by their own actions, but by GOD’s! It says here that “HE has qualified us.”
Paul uses the same Greek word which is translated here as “qualified”, in II Corinthians 3:5-6 (the only other place it is used in the New Testament) to describe their ability as ministers. He said in :4 that he is confident in their ministry, but then adds in :5, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves … but our adequacy is from God.” The same word for “adequate” that Paul uses there is the word he uses here in Colossians 1:12 to describe how we were made “fit” — “adequate” — “qualified” for heaven. But we can say, like Paul did of his ministry, that we are not “adequate” for heaven in ourselves: “Our adequacy is from God.” GOD is the One who made us “fit for heaven” through the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
— Second, we can note that our “fitness” for heaven does not happen gradually. It says, “He qualified us.” This is an aorist active participle in Greek, which means that it is a past, completed action. In actual practice we should become more conformed to the image of Christ as we walk with Him daily. But it is important to realize that we are never more qualified for heaven than we were the first moment we were saved. It is a past, completed action — complete the moment we put our trust in Jesus as Lord & Savior.
By God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we can say that our qualification for heaven is a “done deal” — and it is GOD who has done it!