I have a question for you. It’s undoubtedly the most important question anyone will ever ask you. How you answer it will literally affect you for all of eternity. So here it is;
If you were to die today, do you know that you would go to heaven?
Take a minute to stop and really think about your answer. Do you truly know that there is a place waiting for you in heaven? Or do you think that you’re a pretty good person so most likely that is where you will go? Are you of the opinion that no one can know for sure where they will go when they die? Maybe you’re thinking, I know what I’ve done in the past and I’m sure that God would never let me in.
God laid it on my heart to share this with you today because He wants you to have a clear understanding of the truth.
Many believe that we earn our way to heaven if we’re good enough. If we do our best to always do the right thing. We don’t lie, steal, or cheat. We’re honest, kind to others, and help those in need. Yes, we may mess up sometimes but we’re human and God understands that. As long as we are considered an overall “good person”, God will hopefully, let us in.
But, how good is good enough?
The truth is, we can never be good enough or have done enough good things to earn a place in heaven. We all have made mistakes, which means that we have all sinned at one time or another.
Even the most wonderful, kind, generous, and yes, the godliest people you know have not only sinned in the past, they continue to sin every day. Scripture tells us this.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23
“as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one”. Romans 3:10
We may not be considered thieves or murderers, but we have all told a lie at some point in our lives. Maybe it was to get out of trouble as a kid, to not hurt someone’s feelings, or to avoid an argument, but it was still a lie.
We’ve all taken something that wasn’t ours. My kids would be all too happy to tell you about the time I stole a candy bar from the local Circle K as a child. And of course. We’ve all had that bad day or the time when someone rubbed us the wrong way, and we were far less than kind to someone than we should have been.
All of this is sin and the first part of Romans 6:23 tells us the penalty for that sin is death.
For the wages of sin is death . . .
This is a spiritual death in that we are separated from God for eternity. God is righteousness. He is sinless. He cannot and will not allow sin into heaven, therefore those who have sinned will not enter heaven.
“The Son of Man shall send out His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who do evil, and will throw them into a fiery furnace. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:41-42
We all live forever. Yes, this earthly body will at some point wither and die, but our spirit lives for eternity. We will either spend eternity in the unimaginable glory of heaven or we will be forever tormented in hell. Make no mistake about it, hell is real!
So then, if all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and if we cannot do enough good things to make up for that sin. How does anyone get to heaven?
THE GOOD NEWS
The rest of Romans 6:23 says this;
"But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Jesus, the Son of God, made the ultimate sacrifice by suffering and dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. He paid the price for our mistakes so we could become children of God and be with Him in heaven.
Read these next 2 scriptures and really let them sink in.
"For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: how Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, rose again the third day according to the Scriptures," 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18
Oh, and one very important point. It doesn’t matter what the sin is, how many times you’ve done it or how heinous you think it might be. Jesus’ death on the cross can wipe it clean. When we repent of our sins and ask God to forgive us, the debt is paid. ALL your sins are forgiven.
A GIFT FROM GOD
In the same way that we cannot earn a place in heaven, we also can’t earn the gift of forgiveness. It is exactly that, a gift. When someone gives you a gift, you didn’t work to receive it, otherwise, it wouldn’t be a gift, it would be some sort of payment or reward.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Salvation is a gift that God gives us by His grace and grace alone. We can’t earn it and we don’t deserve it. The very meaning of grace is to receive something that we do not deserve or didn’t earn.
So then how do we receive this free gift of salvation? Scripture tells us,
That if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and
to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1:9
To receive the gift of salvation, all one needs to do is believe in Jesus, that He is the Son of God, and to repent of their sins, which means to turn from your sin and ask for forgiveness.
This is done by a simple prayer asking God to forgive you of your sins. Telling him that you believe in him, you believe that He died on the cross for your sins and rose again to bring you eternal life with Him. Ask Him to come into your heart and be Lord of your life. Surrender yourself to the one true God and become His child.
LIFE WITH JESUS
I’m not going to tell you that following Jesus is all sunshine and roses and that you will never have struggles or hardships in your life again. As a matter of fact, the exact opposite may be true.
What I can tell you is that I've been where you are. Lost, unsure of the truth. I believed that heaven and hell existed and knew I didn't want to go to hell, but that's all I knew. I was taught that if I was "good enough" I would go to heaven, but how good is good enough?
Then a friend from high school took me to her church. She taught me about Jesus and how He died on the cross for my sins. She shared with me the truth about how I can go to heaven, just like I've shared with you today. I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to become Lord of my life, and He did.
Now, when I'm hit with the challenges of life, when difficulties come or tragedy strikes, I am not alone. Instead, I have a personal relationship with the Almighty God, who created the heavens and the earth, by my side to help me every step of the way. Jesus loves me and He loves you too. He is there to give us comfort when we hurting, wisdom when we don’t know which way to turn, and His power when there’s nothing anyone else can do.
No longer will you need to feel helpless or hopeless about your life. You can stop the anxiety and worry because you now follow a sovereign God who has a perfect plan for you. A plan to bring you hope and a future.
For me, following Jesus has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. He has guided me through some very difficult times in my life, given me great wisdom when I had no clue how to handle a situation, and changed my prideful and selfish heart. He has also given me unspeakable joy by blessing me with amazing family and friends who dearly love me.
Below is what they wanted to share with you about what following Jesus means to them.
“Following Jesus has given me purpose for living and a plan to follow. It is thru the power of the Holy Spirit and His promptings that I am able to preserve thru the challenges of each day.”
“All of my blessings from following Jesus start with a "p": Pardon from my sins, Purpose for my life, Peace in the midst of chaos, Power to live the Christian life, Promises of God in His Word, Prayer to help and sustain me, and Paradise to look forward to. Plus I know Jesus will Provide for and Protect me throughout my life as I trust in Him.”
THE TIME IS NOW
None of us are promised tomorrow. Tragedy could strike at any moment and then it would be too late. The decision for where we spend eternity would be made.
Heaven and hell are real. One is unimaginable glory and peace and the other is unimaginable torment, both of them are for eternity. We all have eternal life, it’s just a matter of where we will spend it.
Jesus died on the cross for your sins and mine. He loved you before you even knew He existed and so much so He was willing to suffer and die a gruesome death on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins. All to provide you the gift of fellowship with Him and to be with Him in heaven forever.
If you want to accept the gift of salvation today and begin a new life with Jesus at your side, pray this simple prayer.
Heavenly Father, thank you for dying on the cross for me and for making a way that I can spend eternity in heaven with you. Please forgive me of my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you love me. I choose to follow you today and to make you Lord of my life. I ask that you would come into my heart and make me your child. In Jesus name, Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, welcome to the family. There are literally angels in heaven rejoicing over you right now. Next, you will want to find a solid bible teaching church to attend. There are so many wonderful things to learn about God and His plan for our lives that are written in His Word. If they have a Sunday school class or bible study, I recommend going to that as well. Having the support of other believers is vital to our Christian walk.
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I pray that you will accept His gift today and please know, I've been where you are and I'm here for you, if you have any questions or want to talk about any of this. If you prayed this prayer today, be sure to put it in the comments so I can come alongside you in prayer and be excited with you as you begin your new journey in Christ.
Maybe you're a believer and there is someone that you have been wanting to share with them the good news of the gospel. Be brave by taking a step of faith and sharing this post with them. Here are a couple of links to this post How Can I Go To Heaven or A Gift For You so you can easily send this to them as you pray for God to touch their heart for Him.
Praying for each of you today. God Bless!