Many times when asked such a question most people will answer that they believe they will have a place in Heaven, but few can explain why that is so. To clarify your beliefs, answer this question:
If you died today, why should God allow you to enter into Heaven?
Most of us believe that we are just as good as everyone else. We believe that our good works weigh more than our bad works or at least counterbalance the bad things we’ve done in life. Therefore, our good works deserve a reward. We expect that the doors of Heaven will be opened to us because we are good people, according to our standard of goodness.
People today believe in God, but few would agree that they have a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. They admit that they know of Jesus, and believe that He is God’s Son, yet there is no personal interaction with Jesus. We call this kind of “belief” intellectual assent. Many believe that intellectual assent is a good reason for God to open the doors of Heaven. After all, the criteria of believing in God and Jesus has been met.
Part of our problem is misunderstanding what belief or faith is all about. If we believe something to be true, then we usually act upon it. We demonstrate trust in many things. Think about taking medicine from a doctor. You trust that he knows what he is doing, and that he made a correct diagnosis. You also trust that the medicine will help you, so you take it. That’s a lot of trust! You are trusting in something that you have no control over. That’s the kind of trust God wants us to have.
In order to find out if you have a place in Heaven, examine the facts as found in the Bible.
Here’s how to know if you have a place in heaven!
The Bible tells us how to know for sure we have eternal life in heaven and forgiveness of sin. (1 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, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Heaven is a free gift. (Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Heaven is not earned or deserved. (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Man is a sinner. Man breaks God’s laws. (Romans 3:23) “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Man cannot save himself. God’s law says man must be perfect. (Proverbs 14:12, James 2:10) “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
God is merciful and loves us. (1 John 4:8b, Jeremiah 31:3b) “God is love.” “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
God is just and punishes sin. (Exodus 34:7a, Ezekiel 18:4b) “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;” “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
God sent his Son Jesus to pay the price required by God’s law for sin. He died on the cross a sinless, perfect, sacrifice and rose from the grave, defeating death. (John 1:1-4, 14, & 17, Isaiah 53:6, 10-11) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”
Faith is the key to heaven. Faith transfers trust from self being worthy to go to heaven, to trusting that Jesus fulfilled God’s law, and allows one to go to heaven. (Acts 16:31a) “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
Pray and ask to receive Jesus’ gift of forgiveness for sin and a place in heaven. (Romans 10:9-10,13) “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.”
If you have repented of your sin, transferred your trust to Jesus, and received Jesus as Savior and Lord, you are a child of God. (John 1:12-13 John 6:47) “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
God is our creator. He is perfect and hates sin. Sin is anything that displeases God or breaks His laws or commands. He has prepared a place for mankind after death called Heaven. He has also prepared a place of punishment for those who refuse to obey Him called Hell. God’s law tells us that we are sinners, we are not perfect. God requires all who go to heaven to be perfect. We cannot be perfect. God knows we have a sin nature. He requires a perfect sacrifice be made to make right the sin committed. That sacrifice requires the shedding of blood. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to be our sacrifice for sin. Jesus Christ paid the price required by God’s law for sin committed by all of mankind by dying on the cross. As a result, if we as individuals choose to accept the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us by dying on the cross, we have entrance to Heaven and receive forgiveness for our sin. Our good works are not good enough to gain us access to Heaven. Only a perfect sacrifice can open the door to Heaven. We receive Jesus Christ’s sacrifice as payment for our sin by faith. God offers a place in Heaven to all. Yet, He allows us as individuals to decide if we will receive this sacrifice. If we do not choose to accept His sacrifice, then we will go to the place of punishment.
After examining the facts and ourselves, we must make a decision.
What is your choice?
If you have realized that you need a savior, then here is a simple prayer that you can pray to God to ask to receive the free gift of salvation:
I understand that I am a sinner and that I deserve to be punished for my sins. I understand that there is nothing I can do to save myself from the punishment that I have earned. I need a savior. I believe that Jesus is Your (God’s) Son that He lived a perfect sinless life was crucified buried and rose again on the third day. He alone is worthy to be my Savior. I accept the price Jesus paid for my sin when He died on the cross. I ask you Jesus to be my Savior and to take control of my life as my Lord. Thank you Jesus!
In the name of Jesus, Amen.