Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth disappeared, and the sea vanished. (Rev 21:1)
Pretty much every religion has some kind of afterlife that is seen as paradise. Whether it is Valhalla in Norse mythology, Jannah in Islam, Shamayim in Judaism or any other number of places. They all share a belief in heaven, including Christianity. Though it has to be said what they say about heaven is very different.
Some time in the past century a gathering of professors took place that compared different religions and tried to work out what made Christianity distinctive. Other religions had different versions of gods’ appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for some time until C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. “What’s the rumpus about?” he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among world religions. Lewis responded, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”
What has grace got to do with heaven? Everything! In the Christian faith you cannot earn your way to heaven. It is not given as some kind of reward to people who have led a moral and upright life. At the end of time you do not need to be in positive balance with God. Rather heaven and faith itself are gifts given from a loving God to his people purely because he loves us.
Are you willing to set aside the inbuilt desire to earn something and to stretch out your arms and freely receive it in faith? Do you trust God enough knowing this is entirely His gift and within His hands? That’s what faith is!