There are some big questions that haunt all of us. What happens when I die? Where will I spend eternity? The single most important question that you will ever answer is this – “If I were to die today, or ten years from today, would I spend eternity in Heaven with God?”
There are so many different ideas and opinions out there, aren't there? So many different religions, and each one may tell you something different about who God is, and what our relationship with him ought to be like. Can two opposing views both be true? How do we know which one is correct?
Well, if God is the One who made the rules, and He will be making the decisions, then we should find out what God Himself said about the issue, and disregard any other teaching that contradicts what God said about it, correct? Where do we find what God said about it? In His Word, the Bible.
The Bible tells us in I John 5:13, “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.” The simple truth is that God wants you to be 100% sure that you will be with Him in heaven. We want you to be sure, too!
Here is what the Bible teaches:
1. Recognize Your Condition
You've probably heard that the first step to a solution is to admit that there's a problem. It's true. And in order to find the way to eternal life with God, we must understand why we need Him. Romans 5:12 teaches us that ever since Adam and Eve -- the first man and woman on earth-- committed sin, all people born after them have sinned by nature. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Sin is any act contrary to God's laws and commandments, and those sins that I have committed separate me from God. Whenever I have done wrong, I have paid some type of penalty. When I break the speed limit, I receive a speeding ticket. In the same way, sin also has a penalty. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The “wage” or payment for our sin is spiritual death, and eternal separation from God. Although in our imperfect justice system, I may get away with speeding and not receive a ticket, God's justice system is perfect. As much as He loves us and wants to forgive us, He is also just, and cannot overlook sin. Every sin ever committed will be paid for. The bottom line is, each of us must first realize that we have sinned against a holy God, and the payment for our sin is separation from Him -- both now, and in eternity.
2. Religion and Works are Not Good Enough
Religions try to create their own ways to reach God, so we are no longer separated from Him. Their systems may seem logical, but they cannot bridge the gap created by our sin. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” In other words, our thoughts and ways are not what matter. God's Word, the Bible, provides true answers of grace and forgiveness. Regardless of how many good deeds we try to do to please God --such as attending church, getting baptized, being kind to others-- the Bible says in Ephesians 2:8–9, “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.” So the second thing we must realize, is that although we have sins that must be judged, there is nothing that we can do undo those sins. No matter how good we try to be, the price for our sins (death and separation from God) must still be paid.
3. The Good News - Jesus Provided a Way!
“But God commendeth [meaning proved or demonstrated] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
Even though we were lost and separated from God, He loved us, and because He is love, God sent His Son to die on the Cross and rise from the dead three days later. John 3:16 explains “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, He made the payment for our sin. Now, we do not have to pay for our sin ourselves! By His grace, salvation is provided. His death was our substitute, though we deserve to be punished, God punished His Son in our place. "For [God] hath made [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
So we can see that Jesus died to pay for our sins, God's justice has been met, so that He can now offer forgiveness to anyone that will receive it!
4. Believe on Jesus and Claim His Promise of Salvation
In order to have our sins forgiven, have a relationship with God, and an eternal home in Heaven, we must stop trusting ourselves, our good works, and our religions, and place our full trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of our sin and for eternal life. In Romans 10:9-10, 13 the Bible says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is a promise directly from God that if you will pray to Him, confess that you are a sinner, ask Him to forgive your sins, and turn to Him alone to be your Saviour; He promises to save you and give you the free gift of eternal life. You can make that decision today by praying from your heart, something like this:
Dear God, I know that I am separated from you because of my sin. I confess I have sinned, and I cannot save myself. Right now,
I turn to you alone to be my Saviour. I ask you to forgive my sin, save me from the penalty of my sin, and I trust you to provide
eternal life to me.
You’ll never regret that decision! If you have just trusted Christ, we would love to know about your decision and give you a Bible and some other materials to help you learn more about that new relationship! If you have further questions or would like to discuss this with our pastor, please let us know . Call us at 760.983.9681 or email our pastor at firstname.lastname@example.org