Going to Heaven -- What Does the Bible Say?

My name is Jerry Lovett. I am writing this letter to tell you how to know for certain that you are going to Heaven. Today, many people are not very familiar with what the Bible says about the requirements for going to Heaven. Most people believe that they must be a good person, or at least that they must do more good things than bad. Almost everyone can think of someone worse than they are, so they believe that God will let them into Heaven when the time comes.

The truth is that the Bible teaches that few people will make it to Heaven. Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Iím writing this letter to be sure that you are on the right road.

If something terrible happened and you were to die, do you know for certain that you would go to Heaven? Did you know that in the United States that 2,400,000 people die every year? Many people purchase life insurance so that their family will be taken care of if they were to die suddenly, yet few people take the time to find out where they are going when they die. Donít wait until it is too late to make sure you are ready.

The Bible gives us Godís plan for going to Heaven:

Admit you are a sinner.

If you have ever broken any of the Ten Commandments, you are a sinner. Have you ever let something else come between you and God? Have you ever worshipped an image, object, or living thing as though it was God? Have you ever used Godís name as a curse word? Have you ever failed to keep the Sabbath day holy? Have you ever been disrespectful to your parents? Have you ever committed murder or bitterly hated someone? Have you ever committed adultery or had impure thoughts about another person? Have you ever taken something that was not yours? Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever been jealous of other peopleís possessions? If you have every done any of these things, even just once, you are a sinner. The Bible says that we are ALL sinners. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

The punishment you deserve.

The Bible teaches that God will punish sinners with death. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord". This death is an eternal painful suffering with no relief. God has reserved a place for sinners that is separate from Heaven. That place is called Hell. Few people want to hear about Hell. The Bible says, "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into Hell, where the fire never goes out." In the Bible, a rich man in Hell cries out, "Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire." There is no relief for those in Hell. Iím not telling you about Hell in order to scare you. Iím telling you this because I care and I donít want anyone to go there.

God loves you.

God loves you and does not want you to go to Hell. To show His love for you, God came to earth as a man named Jesus Christ in order to warn sinners to repent (or turn away from their sins). Jesus then paid for our sins by dying on the cross. He did this before you ever knew about Him. The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

You must believe.

The Bible says that, "If you confess with your mouth, ĎJesus is Lord,í and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." As you yield your life to Him, God will help you turn from your sins. You cannot overcome sin without His help. The Bible says, "Unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

The Bible teaches that we cannot be saved through our own efforts, or works. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithóand this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godónot by works, so that no one can boast."

Some people believe that they cannot be saved because they have done too many bad things. Do not listen to this lie. The Bible says, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

The Bible compares our salvation experience to becoming a "new creation" or being "born again". "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

Pray

So, how do you go about getting saved? It is very simple. You need to pray to God. Just talk to Him like you would your very best friend, because no one loves you as much as God does. Just pour your heart out to Him and tell Him how sorry you are for the sins you have committed and the pain they have caused Him. Thank Him for sending Jesus to die on the cross in your place and for raising Him from the dead. Ask Jesus to come into your heart, to save your soul, and to become the Lord of your life, so that you can spend eternity in Heaven.

Remember the Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth, ĎJesus is Lord,í and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." It really is that simple. This is not a magic spell. The exact words do not matter as much as the attitude of your heart. If you do not truly mean what you say, you will still go to Hell.

Assurance of salvation.

If you prayed a prayer similar to the one described above and you meant it with all your heart, then you can be assured that you are saved and will go to Heaven. No one can take this away from you. For this not to be true, God would have to be a liar. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears My Word and believes Him Who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."

Whatís next?

Once you are saved, you will still not be perfect. The Holy Spirit has come into your heart and will help you to change over time. You will only become completely perfect when you reach Heaven. It is very important for you to spend time each day in prayer and reading your Bible. Take a few minutes each morning to read at least one chapter of the Bible. Start with the New Testament first. God will speak to you through His Word. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." You probably will not hear an audible voice, but the Holy Spirit will impress things upon your heart. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." You should also attend a church that teaches Godís Word: the Bible.

What about baptism?

Jesus Christ commands new believers to be baptized. This is a public way to formally identify yourself with Christ and to be a witness to others. As you go under the water, you identify with Christís death. As you come up out of the water, you identify with His resurrection and the start of your new life, because He has raised you up from the dead. The water represents the blood of Christ washing away your sins. Baptism demonstrates our love for Christ and our willingness to obey everything that He has commanded us to do. Imagine if you married someone and they were not willing to wear your wedding ring. This would bring into question how much they really loved you. Baptism doesnít make you saved any more than a wedding ring makes you married, but if you arenít willing to be baptized, then you should seriously question whether or not you have made Jesus the Lord of your life. If you have given your life to Christ, then make it public by obeying Christ and being baptized right away. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

What if I have questions?

Contact me. You can reach me via email at jlovett@wpfj.org.  I also suggest that you read the Book of John, from the New Testament.  I would be happy to send you a free Bible or help you find a good church. I would also like to pray for you. Please let me know of your decision for Christ. If you would like to visit my church, I attend Parkway Baptist Church at the intersection of Dean Road and East University, in Auburn, Alabama. The services on Sunday are at 8:30 AM, 11:00 AM, and 6:00 PM. You can reach the church at 334-887-3782. If you let me know you are coming, I can meet you and we can sit together.

May God bless you and your family,

 

Jerry Lovett
Web Pages for Jesus

PS. Please give a copy of this letter to someone else. Thanks!

Scripture references:  Matthew 7:13-14, Exodus 20:1-17, Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:28, Romans 3:23, Mark 9:43, Luke 16:24, John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9, Luke 13:3, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:13, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:3, John 5:24, John 10:28, Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 14:15.


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