How to Be Sure You’re on Your Way to Heaven by Receiving Christ as Savior
Nothing is more important in life than being prepared for what happens after this life.
Jesus was very clear about this when He said,
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world,
and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
You see, the Lord knew that the years we spend in this lifetime are nothing compared with the eternity we'll spend after it. So, the question each of us must answer is:
Where will I spend eternity?
The Bible is very clear - you can KNOW that you're on your way to heaven. You can make a conscious decision in this life that will guarantee you eternal life. The only other option is truly unthinkable: an eternity of condemnation apart from any hope of forgiveness.
Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about how you can know for sure you're on your way to heaven.
Consider these three things:
Your current spiritual condition
God’s Solution to the Problem
Personally Applying God's solution.
Your Current Spiritual Condition
The Bible is very clear about this issue. Every human being thats ever been born (except for Jesus Christ) has been born with a spiritual problem: SIN.
The Bible says it this way:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
This means that every person in the world has failed to measure up to Gods standard of perfection. The Bible calls each specific failure sin. Sin is anything in our lives that is contrary to the perfect character of God - and that includes our attitudes as well as our actions.
Have you ever had a bad attitude, been just a little selfish, told a small lie? The Bible is clear, such things are contrary to Gods perfect character. In other words, they are sins.
If you want to be sure you're on your way to heaven, you must agree with this fact: you have sinned.
Once you arrive at that conclusion, there is another thing you need to realize. It is simple and straightforward, though not especially pleasant. The Bible explains it like this:
For the wages of sin is death ... (Romans 6:23 )
In other words, there is a penalty to be paid for sin. Just as we expect to get what we deserve when we work for someone (our wages), we can to expect to get what we deserve for our sins. The wage paid for our sins is physical death.
Now, if physical death was the ultimate penalty, we wouldn't have anything to worry about. We could just eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die! But the Bible clearly states that physical death is not the end of our existence. It says:
... it is appointed for men to die once,
but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)
There are two appointments which each of us will keep. The first one is with death. The second one is with God. Both are absolutely certain; none of us will miss either of them.
The question each of us must face, then, is:
On what basis will we be judged?
In the last book of the Bible, we find a detailed description of the final judgment. It says:
... and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
God has a record of everything that every human being has ever done. Each person standing in this judgment will be judged on the basis of those things, what the Bible calls their works.
Now heres the problem. This judgment is on the basis of all the things you've ever done, including your sins. That means you will be judged for your sins - for your failure to measure up to Gods standards.
There are no scales to weigh your good against your bad. The fact that there is any bad at all means you're in big trouble. Every person who stands before this judgment will fall short. The Bible is clear:
... and they were ... cast into the lake of fire. This is
the second death. (Revelation 20:12)
If you stand before God in judgment for your works, which include sin, you will be condemned for all of eternity. There is nothing you can do on your own to change this situation. It is already too late. Once you accept this truth, you must face this question:
Is there any hope at all?
God's Solution to the Problem
God knew that mankind would need a solution to the problem of sin. So He provided a solution in a way no one would ever have expected.
God Himself decided to become a man, a perfect and sinless man, and pay the penalty for mankinds sins. Then He freely offered this payment to all who would accept it. The Bible explains it like this:
... the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Gods gift to us is similar to the gifts we give each other in a least a couple of ways:
A gift must be paid for by the person giving it.
The person to whom the gift is given must accept it, otherwise the gift is of no value to him or her.
The Bible explains that God paid for the gift of eternal life Himself. He did this by having His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, die in our place for our sins. He paid the penalty for our sins and the price for our eternal life.
The Bible says it this way:
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God ... (1 Peter 3:18)
In other words, Jesus Christ took our place and paid our penalty so that we can have eternal life. In light of this truth, the next question you need to answer is:
Do I want to accept Gods gift?
Remember, a gift is of no value to you if you don't accept it. You may be asking, then,
How do I accept Gods gift?
When you receive any gift, you do it by accepting the package it comes in. Gods gift of eternal life comes in a very special package - the Lord Jesus Christ. Heres how the Bible explains it:
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(1 John 5:11-12)
You receive Gods gift of eternal life, then, by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. This is God’s solution to your spiritual problem. The obvious question, then, is: How do I accept Christ as Savior?
Personally Applying God's Solution
You receive Christ as Savior by admitting and accepting the truth about Him, and then calling upon Him in prayer to save you. The Bible puts it like this:
... if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved ... For whoever calls on ... the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:9, 13)
If you believe what the Bible says about these things - that you need a Savior because of your sins; that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose again - then you can have eternal life and forgiveness of sin by accepting Christ as your Savior right now.
Simply tell the Lord in your own words that you believe these things, and ask Christ to be your personal Lord and Savior. Be assured He will answer your prayer to do these things.
(For information on how to learn more about a relationship with Christ and how to live like a Christian, visit “The Path” at www.ls.church)