Friday, May 13, 2022

The Eternal Gospel - The Bible Way To Heaven

1st Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

One of my long time web visitors in Canada asked me if I would kindly share his blog article on how to get to Heaven. I approve of all that is written:
If you were to die today, are you a 100% sure that you’d go to Heaven?

You can know for sure. First of all the Bible says that we’re all sinners. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). So we’re all guilty of lying, stealing, or coveting.

And the Bible says there’s a punishment for our sins. ‘’For the wages of sin is death’’ (Romans 6:23a). This is not only referring to a physical death, but also to a second death in Hell. "And all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). So according to this verse, we all deserve Hell as a punishment for our sins. We’ve all lied, and we’ve all done stuff worse than lying. We all come short of God’s perfection. No amount of good works can undo the bad that we’ve done.

But there’s Good News! "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23b). So because God loves us He doesn’t want us to go to Hell to pay for our own sins. That’s why He sent Jesus Christ His Son, to be the payment for our sins on the cross. Jesus is the Son of God, and He’s also God manifest in the flesh. "For there are three that bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one" (1st John 5:7).

Jesus is the Word of God (an equal member of the Godhead, or if you prefer, the Trinity). Jesus was born of a virgin. He performed miracles. He lived a perfect sinless life and the Bible says that He died on the cross for our sins. He was buried. He resurrected the third day from the dead. When Jesus died for your sins and mine, it’s just as if He had done them Himself. Jesus was being punished in our place! 2nd Corinthians 5:21, "For He (God the Father) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us (that means He bore our sins and died in our place, He paid what we owe to God for our sins), that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (or in other words, that we might be declared righteous before God because of His finished work alone).

The Bible says that salvation is a gift. "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’’ (Ephesians 2:8-9). Since salvation is a gift (and gifts are always free), we don’t have to give anything in return (it is not of works, not of our own doing). It’s an undeserved gift. Jesus paid the full price for our salvation with his death, His shed blood and resurrection.

The word grace means ‘’something we do not deserve’’ (remember, we deserve Hell, not salvation). 

And faith means ‘’what we are trusting to get saved.’’ The Bible goes on to say in Romans 4:5, ‘’But to Him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, His faith is counted for righteousness.’’ So the person who stops working to earn or keep salvation will be saved. Salvation has nothing to do with works and is entirely free.

The one thing the Bible says we must do to be saved is: ‘’Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved’" (Acts 16:30-31). The word "believe" means to trust. It doesn’t mean to only believe that Jesus exists, but to actually trust Him to save us personally. To "believe on Him" means that we put our trust in His death on the cross, burial and bodily resurrection. We get saved by simply receiving Christ's sacrifice on the cross as the full payment for our sins (which guarantees us eternal life).

The Bible doesn’t say that you have to repent of all of your sins, or be water baptized, or join a church, or keep the Ten Commandments, or be a good person. The Bible only says: "believe." And once you believe on Christ, you will be saved forever. ‘’That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life’’ (John 3:16b). Notice that the Bible says: "whosoever believeth," not whosoever is good enough (because no one is good enough to go to Heaven on their own merits; we all fall short.

That’s why when you receive Christ, you will never perish (because He gives you eternal life, not temporary life). Jesus does the saving AND the keeping, all of it. Our part in salvation is only to "believe on Him" as our Savior, and He forgives all of our sins past, present and future. The Bible says: "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28).

However, God will discipline His children for their sins on this earth; but no matter what they do afterwards, a child of God can never lose eternal life, because they have received the imputed righteousness (or perfection) of Christ by faith alone. God sees believers as being as righteous as Jesus is! It is just as if (Just-if-I'd) they had never sinned at all. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" (Romans 3:24). This is only possible because Christ died for "the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).

So the only thing you must do to receive God's free gift of eternal life is to BELIEVE on Jesus. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (that means asking Him to save you), and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9). "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).

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