"How do I get to Heaven?"
“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:5-6
IN A NUTSHELL
The word of God states, “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.” – Romans 10:9-10
But…what does that mean?
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOSPEL?
The term “Gospel” in Greek literally means “Good News”.
The “Gospel” is the “good news” that God paid the price for our sin by shedding His own blood on the cross at Calvary (1 Tim. 3:16 – “God was manifest in the flesh”; see also John 1 – Jesus is God Himself manifest in human form), rising again the third day to bring eternal life to all who call upon Him.
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 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 15:1-4
THE FIVE ESSENTIAL STEPS TO SALVATION
1. Realize God loves you.
John 3:16-17, perhaps the most famous verses in the entire Bible, state, “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
The Bible teaches that regardless of your background, age, race, or any other factor, God loves you and desires a genuine, personal relationship with you.
2. Realize everyone is a sinner.
The Bible says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Anything we think, say, or do which breaks God’s Law is referred to as “sin” in the Bible – and “sin” is what separates us from God and prevents us from getting to Heaven on our own.
3. Realize sin has a price that must be paid.
Romans 6:23 tells us, “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 “death”, which according to the Bible is eternal separation from God.
4. Realize Jesus Christ died and rose again to pay the price for your sin.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
If we choose to accept Christ, He is faithful and just to save us, and we no longer have to pay the price of death nor spend an eternity in a place of fire and torment for our sins, because Jesus paid for our sins when He died on the cross and rose again.
5. Finally, pray and ask Jesus Christ to be your Savior, and claim His promise of eternal life.
In Romans 10:13, the Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
That is a promise directly from God that if you will (1) call out to Him, (2) confess that you are a sinner, (3) ask Him to forgive your sins, and (4) accept Him as your Savior, then He will save you and give you the free gift of eternal life.
THE SIMPLICITY OF SALVATION BY GOD’S GRACE
There are many so-called “Christian” churches and denominations in the world today claiming that, in order to get to heaven, you must do the right things and devote yourself to righteous works.
According to Ephesians 2:8-9, this is a lie: “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.”
“And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” – Romans 11:6
Salvation is either by God’s grace or Man’s works…and we all know which side of the argument the scripture supports.
While good works are an important sign of a person’s salvation, and are a healthy part of every Christian’s life, they are not what saves you from Death and Hell.
Salvation is by God’s grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross – the shedding of His own blood for the payment of our sins – and God offers it freely, without any requirement for additional righteous works.
What a wonderful Savior!
One of the earliest inhibitors to the spiritual growth of most new Christians is a sense of insecurity about their salvation stemming from sins which they have committed after accepting the Gospel. Well, we’ve got good news for you, Friend – you’re eternally secure in Christ!
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” – John 10:27-30, Jesus speaking.
Rest assured, new Christian, your Father in heaven has saved your soul from eternal damnation – now, let your new light shine in the darkness of this world and share the Gospel of hope and salvation with others!
May God bless you.