If you could know for sure how to get eternal life in heaven, would you want to know?

If so, read the following four steps…

Step 1

Realize that God loves and offers peace and eternal life.

The Bible says:
  • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
  • “…in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).
  • “…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Unfortunately, there’s a problem!

Step 2

Realize that we are all imperfect (sinful) and, therefore, separated from God.

The Bible says:
  • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory (perfection) of God” (Romans 3:23).
  • “For the wages (penalty) of sin is death (spiritual separation from God)…” (Romans 6:23).
  • “Your iniquities (sins) have made a separation between you and your God… (Isa. 59:2).

These are some of the ways people think will get them into heaven, but actually these ways will not get them there.

Man realizing his religion, good works, philosophy and morality do not get him into heaven.

Other ways that will not get us into heaven are: trying or doing your best; church attendance; water baptism; keeping all or any number of biblical commands; praying; reading the Bible; fasting; sacraments; keeping the Passover; speaking in tongues; being “true” to yourself; turning from your sins; being a good, moral person; giving money to a religious group/organization; etc.

Why won’t these things get us into heaven?  We have committed sin before God.  And while we might be sorry for our sins, God cannot deny His righteousness (Psalms 97:2; 119:142) any more than He can stop being God. God must punish our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Romans 6:23).  As a judge sentences criminals to jail, so God must sentence sinners to hell.

If these ways will not get us into heaven, what will?

Step 3

Realize that Jesus Christ is God’s solution for imperfection (sin).  Why?

Because Jesus Christ is the one who specifically died on the cross to pay the penalty for all the believer’s sins (1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-5), and because He paid this penalty in his or her place, the believer is completely forgiven (Colossians 2:13-14).

That’s why Jesus could say, “…’I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'”

So Jesus is the only bridge to get into a right and eternal relationship with God because Jesus is the only one qualified to die in our place (because He was sinless – 1 Peter 2:22; ; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:26), therefore, He could be the substitute and pay the penalty for all the believer’s sin (Mark 10:45; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 7:27; 9:28; 1 Peter 2:24).  And by His doing so, he or she is completely forgiven of all his or her sins (Ephesians 1:7).

“…He (God) made you alive together with Him (Christ), having forgiven us all our transgressions (sins), …having nailed it (our moral debt) to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

Man realizing that Jesus Christ made a bridge to God by paying for sin on the cross.

Now that we know what God’s part was, what is our part?

Step 4

We must personally believe (that is, put our faith/trust in the fact) that because Jesus Christ did die to pay the penalty for the believer’s sins, the believer is completely forgiven and will, therefore, have eternal life in heaven.

The Bible says:
  • “For by grace (unmerited; unearned favor) you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  • “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy…” (Titus 3:5).
  • “Of Him (Jesus) all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43).
  • “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
  • “But as many as received Him (Christ), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).
  • “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace” (Rom. 11:6).

So, saving faith does not simply affirm that Jesus’ death is “necessary,” it must affirm that His death is all that’s needed. That it is completely sufficient all by itself to pay for your sins apart from any good works or human efforts, and that it is a free gift available only through faith, apart from good works or human merits (Rom. 4:4-5, 14; Gal. 2:21; 3:10-14).

NOW WHAT???

If these four steps make sense and you would like to know for sure that you will have eternal life in heaven, then make the decision to put your trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Believe that His death alone paid the complete penalty for all your sins (past, present, and future), and will, therefore guarantee you eternal life in heaven.

If you want to express this decision to God in prayer, you say something like this:

“Dear God, I know that I am imperfect.  But I believe that Jesus died to pay the penalty for all my sins, so that I am completely forgiven now, and will spend eternity with You in heaven.  In Jesus’ name, amen.”

For further assurance, read:

John 3:18, 36; 5:24; 6:28-29; Acts 16:31; Rom. 3:28; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 1:13-14; Heb. 10:10-12, 14

If you have made the decision to trust in Christ as your Savior by trusting He died on the cross to pay the complete penalty for all your sins, you have just become a Christian and will spend eternity with God in heaven.  You are at the beginning of a truly amazing relationship with God.  And like all relationships, there are ways to make your relationship with God stronger and healthier. Please follow the link to discover the joy and fulfillment in making Christ Lord/Master of your life as you learn How to Live a Fruitful and Successful Christian Life.

 

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