HOW TO KNOW YOU HAVE A HOME IN HEAVEN
There are many religions around the world and they all seem to teach different things about what happens after we die and how we can know where we will be after this life. To make it more complicated many believe it doesn’t really matter what you believe and that we will all end up at the same place. It is an error to believe that all paths lead to Heaven, even if we are sincere and trying our best. There is only ONE truth!
We must have a dependable source of truth. God has given us a reliable record in the Holy Bible. The Bible is not the word of man, but the Word of God. The Bible has faithfully testified of the truth since the beginning and has proven itself reliable. The critics of God’s Word have had thousands of years to find error in the Bible and yet it stands unmarred by the many attempts to discredit and destroy it. The Scriptures tell us,
"For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." (Psalms 119:89)
Man cannot change or destroy that which is divinely inspired and preserved. It is a reliable road map to direct us to the path of life. Psalm 16:11 tells us, “thou wilt shew me the path of life…” The way to life is one that can be known. God in Heaven desires greatly for all people to enter the path of life, and has given us clear guidance concerning what we must know to be saved.
We must understand that it is possible to feel we are right and still be wrong. The Lord told us twice in the Bible,
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12; 16:15)
There is far too much at stake to gamble with what we feel is reasonable when we have a sure word from God about it.
Many people do not want to know the truth that God makes available concerning salvation.
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
The way of salvation is a narrow gate. We live in a world that is afraid to be too narrow about truth, but the consequences are horrifying. There is a wide gate that people enter that teaches that it is better not to offend those that believe differently. To say there is a very specific gate to enter, and specific truth that must be acknowledged makes the world cringe; but it is the only way of safety for us and our families. This broad way is full of the religious and the non-religious. Religion is not the answer. We must follow the Word of God and that is a very narrow way, “…let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:4).
Jesus is the doorway to this path of life, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:9)
We must first meet Jesus Christ and decide what we will believe concerning Who He is and what He has done for us. There are not many doors, as there are not many paths to salvation. There is only one way to be saved,
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
Do you want to know how to have eternal life? Or walk the broad way that leads to destruction? The Bible tells us if you will knock, the door will be opened. I encourage you to ask yourself this question: “where will I go when I die?" If you don’t know the answer to that question, there is good news—but before you can fully appreciate the good news, you need to understand the bad news, which is this:
Consider the Bad News
All people are sinners.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
The truth of this passage is that we must acknowledge that we are not worthy of life because we are guilty of what God has charged us with. We all have sinned, whether we are better or worse than someone else is not the issue. It is simply, have we sinned? The answer is yes! James 2:10 says,
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
This means that no matter how bad or not so bad we think we have sinned, we all stand guilty before God and will have to face the penalty. This passage also teaches us that there is no way we can be good enough. We have fallen short. God explained what sin was when He gave the Ten Commandments through Moses. This is how we know lying, adultery, and murder is sin. He wants us to be convinced we are guilty,
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Romans 3:19)
You may not have murdered anybody, but have you ever been angry at someone before? Jesus said,
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…" (Matthew 5:21-22)
He was trying to help us see that being a sinner is not just an outward act, but that sin has infected us inwardly and we all are guilty.
The Bible says that the penalty for our sin is death. "For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23)
This is the consequence of sin—death. We must acknowledge that death is the only acceptable consequence for sin. It does not say that the wages of sin is hard labour, or reformation, yet many “feel” that if we just do our best and do some good works that our guilt will be erased somehow. This is a part of the broad way of destruction.
The Bible says,
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)
The picture given here is one of the disease of Leprosy, and how the rags covering the open infected wounds were soaked in the filth produced by the disease. They would take these rags and burn them. They were good for nothing, but fit to be burned. Our right living before God is the same as these rags. We cannot expect to offer God our good works in exchange for our salvation. The price is much higher, and too high for us to pay ourselves.
To enter at Christ’s door, we must acknowledge, we cannot enter by our own merit, and more than that, we are in the negative. All our efforts and labour cannot get us out of the negative, much less into the positive. We have “come short” and the death penalty is the deserving penalty.
This death is a separation—a physical separation from your body at death, and a spiritual separation from God (which the Bible calls the second death) in the eternal place called the Lake of Fire
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)
The bad news is not given to destroy hope, but to cause us to seek for true hope.
Consider what the Bible calls the Gospel (the Good News)
“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” (I Corinthians 15:1–4)
Jesus loved us enough to die in our place on the cross, as payment for our sins,
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
Jesus was led to Golgotha and was nailed to a wooden cross, which was the Roman method of execution. It was a painful, humiliating, tortuous way to die. Furthermore, His Father in Heaven had to turn away from His Son and left Him hanging alone as the sky went dark for the space of three hours. For the first time in eternity Jesus was alone. This is something that even the worst sinner on earth has not experienced while alive.
"And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:33-34)
There was nothing more that man could have done to Jesus than what Jesus went through for us, and above all He experienced the separation from His Father. And then,
"…Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost." (Mark 15:37)
Jesus arose from the grave after three days to prove that He is God and that He had defeated death,
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
The good news does not end with Jesus dying. Jesus rose from the grave with great power, defeating the hold that death had on mankind. Through Christ’s resurrection we all can escape the judgment of death and experience eternal life with Him forever! He purchased our pardon from the death penalty, and if we are willing to receive it, we will be saved!
If you will believe that God sent His Son to die for you, and that He rose from the grave, you can receive the gift of eternal life. (John 1:12; 3:16; Romans 6:23b; 10:9-10)
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)
Believing in Jesus Christ is acknowledging that Jesus is God who came from Heaven in the flesh.
Believing in Jesus Christ is acknowledging the truth of why Jesus had to die in the first place, because of our sin—we are all sinners.
Believing in Jesus Christ is acknowledging the necessity of His death. It was the penalty required for our sin. If we could be saved any other way, Jesus would not have had to die—the wages of sin is death.
Believing in Jesus Christ is acknowledging that Jesus defeated death by His resurrection from the grave, proving His perfection, and His divine power.
"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." (Romans 10:9)
Believing in Jesus Christ is acknowledging that He did these things for you personally. Jesus loves you and desires to give you a free gift, if you receive Him as your Saviour.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 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:" (John 1:11-12)
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17)
Believing in Jesus Christ means you will call to God and ask Him for mercy because you are a sinner worthy of death, trusting that He is the only door to the path of life.
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)
Please trust in Jesus alone to save you. Turn your sinful heart to Him in prayer and ask Him to forgive you of your sinfulness and give you eternal life, and He will, just as He promised.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I believe that you died on the cross to pay for my sin. I believe you rose from the grave in victory over my sin and death. I trust that you are the door to eternal life and I ask you for mercy and forgiveness so I can enter the path of eternal life today. Thank you for saving me.
In Jesus Name,
Jesus wants you to know you are saved. The Bible says,
“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 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.” (1 John 5:12-13)
If you just prayed and asked to be saved, and received Jesus as your Saviour, you can know you also received eternal life. That life began the moment you believed in Jesus. After you truly believed you were sealed by the Holy Spirit that will stay with you forever!
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)