If you are worried about whether you will be in Heaven when you die, please realize that I also personally struggled for years worrying whether I would go to Heaven or go to Hell when I die and I truly didn’t have any assurance of what I needed to do to be Saved…Born Again as I heard some people call it.
This is really sad because the Bible tells us that we can know for certain that we will go to Heaven one day. The Bible says, “I write this things to you … that you may know that you have eternal life.” But sadly, I did not have that confidence that I would one day go to Heaven.
But one day, someone told me that I could indeed know that I would one day be in Heaven and that I could have the assurance that I was a Child of God and that I could experience that Blessed assurance by understanding five simple facts about Salvation.
Please let me share these five simple facts with you. Like it has for me, it can make the difference of where you spend eternity as well my friend. Five more minutes of reading may end up making and ETERNITY of difference where you spend eternity!
First of all, Heaven is a free gift. We can’t earn it nor do we deserve it. The Bible says, “God saved you by His Grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a GIFT FROM GOD.
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” NLT. The Bible also says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT OF GOD is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
A gift is something that we need to accept freely, without trying to pay for it or earn it in any way.
Think about it this way. If your best friend knew that you really wanted a new Rolex watch and they saved and saved so that they could buy the watch for your birthday, if the day that they excitedly gave you this incredible gift that they really couldn’t afford but loved you so much that they sacrificed to get it for you if you rejected the gift in any way, can you see how that would deeply hurt their feelings and offend them?
God gave His only Son to die for your sins. Can you see why God would be offended if you rejected His FREE GIFT of His Son for you?
Or what if you insisted on giving your friend some money to help them out with the cost of the watch that they gave you? Say you offered to at least pay the tax on the watch?
Remember, they had saved and saved to be able to give you this free gift, and that would hurt their feelings if you insisted on doing something for it. And for that matter, if they did accept some money from you, then it would no longer be a free gift…it would be a very inexpensive watch you paid for!
How could you EVER do enough to earn God’s FREE GIFT of Heaven through His Only Son, Christ Jesus dying on the Cross for you? How much effort would be enough? You could NEVER do enough to pay for Christ dying on the cross!
So, remember, God wants you to accept the FREE GIFT of Heaven without you doing anything for it.
Secondly, the Bible says, “ALL have sinned and come short of the Glory of God”. That little, three-letter word, “ALL” includes you, my friend. Also, sin is anything that is apart from God’s Will and Plan for our lives. Anything that violates any portion of the Ten Commandments. The Bible makes it clear that we are all sinners and we can’t Save ourselves.
But you may say, “Oh, but I am such a good person. I have never killed anyone or raped anyone. I am a good person; I should be able to go to Heaven because of how good that I truly am”.
Well, think of this illustration about goodness. I am 71 years old. Supposed I live such a good life that the only sins that I have ever committed were just three little bad thoughts about someone or something.
Suppose I just had a bad thought about someone, but I didn’t even say it to them or even show my feelings in my expression toward that individual. If I only had three little bad thoughts which are tiny little sins like this a day, I would be a really good person wouldn’t I? (Side note: Sadly, I have sinned far worse than that illustration!)
But think of it this way. Suppose that I came into really understanding right and wrong by the time that I was 15 years old. I am now 71 years old. Three little sins per day from age 15 would be over a thousand sins per year, and 71 minus 15 would be 56 years which would equal over 56,000 sins!!!
Even if you are only 16 years old and you came to truly understand right and wrong at 15, that would still be over 1,000 sins for you!!! And let’s be honest about it. We came to understand right and wrong way before 15 years old!
But now play along with me on this thought for a minute. If I had to stand in court before a judge and the judge asked the bailiff, “What are the charges against Mr. Gilliam Bailiff?” and the Bailiff said, “I don’t know where to start your honor! Mr. Gilliam has over 56,000 charges against him!”. What would the judge do to me? He would lock me up forever! Even if there were only 1,000 charges, he would still do the same!
The moral of this illustration is that we will NEVER be good enough to earn Heaven and Salvation from God.
The third thing that I learned is that God is Love and God is Merciful. Those two facts are throughout the entire Bible. But the Bible also says that God MUST judge the guilty. The Bible says, “Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished.” I think that I covered our guilt in my illustration earlier. We are ALL guilty so God must judge us all.
He must judge us all because the Bible says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” OK…the illustration earlier shows that I cannot possibly be good enough let alone be perfect like God in Heaven is Perfect!
Let me show this by another simple illustration. Suppose you were to prepare an omelet with five good eggs and one rotten egg, you wouldn’t serve it to your family and expect it to be acceptable.
Well, even less can we serve up our lives to God, which may have many things in them that men would call good, and yet are filled with bad deeds and thoughts that are rotten and expect them to be acceptable to God.
The Bible says, ” For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.” If we want to get to heaven by our good works, then all we have to do is be perfect. God’s standard is complete obedience to Him for all time. I think that if we are honest with ourselves we KNOW that we have not, nor are we currently perfect.
But that brings me to the fourth thing that I learned…God provided us a way out of this judgment in the fact that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins and the perfect Sacrifice for ALL Eternity!
You see, Jesus Christ came as a man to earth and was tempted by ALL of the temptations that you and I are confronted within our lives, but He never sinned even once. Because He NEVER sinned, God made him the Perfect Sacrifice for our sins.
The Bible says, “All we like sheep have gone astray, but God has laid on Him the iniquity (sins) of us ALL”. You see Jesus Christ died for the sins of the WHOLE world…past, present, and future sins of EVERYONE! But if we simply accept the totally FREE GIFT of Eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, we have our sins covered and washed away by the perfect Blood of Christ!
Which brings me to the fifth and final point. Faith is the key that opens the door to heaven.
In your pocket or your purse, you may have a key ring with many keys. Many of the keys may even look somewhat alike. You could go to the front door of your house and try all of these keys except the right one and they would not open your door. It does not matter how sincere you are in exercising belief that a different key will open the door, the fact is that only the right key will open the door.
The right key to Heaven is called Faith, Saving Faith. That is what will open the door to Heaven. There is nothing else in the world that will open that door no matter how sincere you are in exercising the practice of belief of something other than Saving Faith to open the door to Heaven. So what exactly is saving faith you may be wondering? First, let me tell you what it is NOT.
Saving Faith is NOT intellectual faith in some historical facts. Since a young age, I have known all about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. I know that George Washington was the “Father of our Nation” and that he gave a whole lot to help free America from England. Furthermore, Abraham Lincoln was a great man that actually gave his life in service of our Country. But even though I knew all about these two great men, I did NOT have a personal relationship with them. They are dead and gone.
But I also knew all about Jesus Christ from a very young age. I knew that He is the Son of God and that He died on the Cross for my sins. I knew all of the facts about Jesus Christ, but I did not have a personal relationship with Him. I only had an intellectual knowledge of the historical facts about Jesus Christ.
Saving Faith also is NOT mere intellectual acceptance. You might say, “Oh but I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord” but it may just be an intellectual acceptance on your part about what you have been told.
Think about it this way. The Bible says the devil believes in God. Did you know that? The Bible says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” OK, so I think that we both can agree that the demons, who REALLY know about God and believe He REALLY exists will NOT be in Heaven so it can’t just be an intellectual acceptance that God and Christ exist or even that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins.
Another thing it CANNOT be is just a temporary faith. Let me share with you one other thing that people mistake for saving faith.
When you have trusted in the Lord for your finances, you could call that financial-faith. You may have prayed and trusted the Lord to take care of your family; you could call that family-faith. You may have prayed and trusted the Lord to give you a safe trip, you could call this traveling-faith. There is one thing all these have in common.
They are of a temporary nature. They are temporal. Once your financial needs are met, you no longer need to trust the Lord, once you have safely reached your destination, you don’t need to trust the Lord for traveling-faith.
All the things of this world shall pass away. They are temporary. Now many people I find trust the Lord for all these temporary matters. But saving faith is trusting in Christ alone to save you – eternally.
So what IS SAVING FAITH?!?! The Apostle Paul said to the Philippian Jailer, “Believe (trust) in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.”
If you are reading this article right now you are probably sitting in a chair. Whether you are or not, pretend that you are sitting in a chair. OK, if you are sitting in the chair, by the very fact that you are sitting there indicates that you believe that the chair will hold you up. Until I brought this issue up you did not even think once about the chair being able to hold you.
You simply sat down and began to read.
Now for the sake of making my point, let’s pretend that I am there with you and the chair I am sitting represent me, and another empty chair in the room with us represent Jesus Christ. For a long time, I believe Jesus Christ existed and could help me. But I did NOT have Eternal Life because I was trusting in my own good works to support me into Heaven. I did NOT simply get up and sit down in the Chair that represents Jesus Christ.
So, what if had I asked you at the beginning of this article, “What would you say if God were to ask you why should He allow you into His Heaven”, what would you say?
I have personally asked that question to MANY people through the years and different people answer many different ways, but most people answer along the lines of, “I try to do the best I can”… but who is the only person referred to in that answer? The person they are referring to is “I”
So, let me ask you, “What are you trusting to get you to Heaven? Is it your efforts or the good works that you do, or maybe a historical, intellectual, or temporary faith in Jesus Christ?
To receive eternal life, you must transfer your trust from yourself to Jesus Christ alone for eternal life. You simply need to sit in the pretend “empty chair”…you need to sit down, sit back, and relax in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life!
My friend, the Bible says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My Voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
Right now, you may feel Jesus “knocking” at the door of your heart. All you need is to open your heart up to Him and let Him in! You need to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not a historical, intellectual, or temporary faith in Jesus Christ, but a one to one personal relationship with Him. This is a very simple process.
First, you need to repent of your sins and acknowledge you are a sinner and that you can’t save yourself. Repenting is like driving down the road and realizing that you are going the wrong way and you simply turn around a go the right way. It is like making a U-Turn and you start at that instant in time heading the right direction.
Please understand that you will sin again in the future. The Bible makes it clear that we will sin. But what I am talking about here is acknowledging and repenting for your sins and letting Christ come into your heart and cover and wash away ALL your sins; past, present, and future, with His Precious shed Blood that He gave on the Cross for YOU my friend!
Your TOTAL trust needs to be in Jesus Christ and NOTHING, or NO ONE ELSE! You need to truly believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead after three days, and now Christ is on the right hand of God interceding for us. He is telling God, “Those are my Children who You gave to me, and they are covered by my Blood”.
You also need to confess that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior to the world. Christ said, “Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in Heaven.”
But what is really exciting is that in the next verse He said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in Heaven”.
You simply need to keep confessing Jesus as Lord and keep believing that God raised Him from the dead and that Christ’s shed Blood is the ONLY way to Heaven for the rest of our lives and guess what?!?!
You and I will one day meet in Heaven rejoicing that Christ died for our sins and is our Lord and Savior!!! When we sin we still need to repent of our sins and make the U-Turn the other way but know that our sins are completely covered by His Precious Blood. Hallelujah!!!
But there is a flip side to this coin. If you do not “Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God has Raised Him from the dead” and keep doing this the rest of your life, sadly, you will NOT go to Heaven. The Bible also says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the Hands of a Living God”
Conversely, you will NOT have to fear to fall into God’s Hands IF you continue to confess Christ as Lord and you continue to believe in your heart that God Raised Him from the dead, and this is your TOTAL believe in what Saves you.
So, my friend, we come to the end of my story.
What would YOU say if God were to ask you, “Why should I let you come into my Heaven?”
What do you say my friend?
God Bless you and please, if you feel Jesus knocking at your heart’s door, please open the door to your heart and your life and let Him become LORD of your life!
If you want to discuss this with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to talk with you or discuss this further.