Many people believe they are going to heaven because they believe in God, they attend mass or church services, they have been baptized, or they try to live a good life. These people only hope that they will make it to heaven, they do not know. The Bible teaches that you can know that you have eternal life.
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." - 1 John 5:13
But how can someone know if they have been good enough to get to heaven? The answer is that your eternal destiny has nothing to do with how good you are. In fact, the Bible teaches that no one is good enough to get to heaven.
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" - Romans 3:10
Righteousness is defined as, God's standard of perfection. According to the Bible, no man meets this standard. Any disobedience toward God is sin. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" - Romans 3:23
It does not matter how good you are compared to your family, your friends, or other people. You do not measure up to God's standard of perfection and are unworthy of heaven. In fact, for your transgressions you will be judged by God.
The Bible says that Christ will be revealed from heaven with his angels:
"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;" - 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9
This judgment is the payment which you owe for your sin:
"For the wages of sin is death;" - Romans 6:23. We all know that wages are something we earn. By our sin, we have earned death. So you might be wondering, if everyone is a sinner, and sin is deserving of death, how does anyone get to heaven?
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 6:23
This verse says that eternal life is a gift. Can you earn a gift? Do you have to do anything to get a gift? Absolutely Not! You see, eternal life cannot be earned, it must be accepted as a free gift.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" - Titus 3:5
Faith is simply believing what God has said. Our sins separate us from God but God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. But how did God provide for this free gift of eternal life? And if eternal life is a free gift, how can one receive it?
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8 Jesus Christ died in our place. We saw earlier how the payment for sin is death. Christ has already paid that payment for you.
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” -2 Corinthians 5:21. Jesus Christ knew no sin. Since he was not a sinner, he did not owe the payment for sin, death. But he chose to die to pay your debt so that you could be "justified", or declared righteous, by God.
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" -
1 Corinthians 15:3-4. This is how God showed his love for us. He died for us so that we could have righteousness and eternal life as a free gift. Christ's resurrection purchased victory over death and proved that He was truly God.
How does one go about receiving this gift?
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” - Ephesians 1:13.
1. Hearing: Today, you have heard the gospel that Christ died for your sins and that salvation is a free gift.
2. Believing: Do you believe the gospel? Do you believe that you are a sinner and that you cannot earn salvation? Do you believe that because of your sin you are deserving of eternal judgment in Hell? Do you believe that Jesus Christ gave his life so that you can have eternal life with him? Do you believe if you ask Him He will save you?
3. Trusting: Many people believe that Jesus Christ died. But many of these people are still trying to please God by their works. Trusting the gospel means that you have made the decision to rely completely on Christ's sacrifice on the cross as the full payment for your sins.
Won't you make that decision to trust him right now?
You must ask (pray) God for the gift of eternal life in Jesus. Remember that you are saved by trusting in the gospel, not by saying a prayer. God is concerned with the condition of your heart, not some words that you recite. If you want to ask God for this gift, but aren't really sure how to pray to him, you can use the following as a model prayer:
I know that I am a sinner and deserve death for my sins. I know that I cannot earn eternal life or work my way to heaven. I believe that you died for my sins on the cross, paid my debt, and rose again for me. I have decided to trust in you as my Savior and receive that gift. Thank you for dying for me and for your free gift of eternal life. In Jesus' name, Amen.
If you have placed your trust in the gospel, you are now eternally saved. Nothing can change that. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” – John 10:28
If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, we want to rejoice with you! We would also like the opportunity to help you learn more about being a Christian and learning to follow Jesus. If you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior please let us know by contacting us.