Heaven is a real place. It is an eternal place. Everyone would like to think they are going there, yet many would say it is presumptuous and even arrogant, to say that you know you are going there.
The fact is that the true and living God, the God of the Bible, says you can know that you are going to spend eternity in heaven. Here’s how:
In the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ made an amazing statement when asked how a person gets to heaven, he said “I am the way” (John 14:6); in another place he said “I am the door” (John 10:9). You see, “Heaven’s Door” is a person — the Lord Jesus Christ.
So you ask, “How do you get to heaven through a person?” The Bible gives the answer very simply, yet very profoundly, when we read over and over again “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”. [And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Acts 16:31]
What does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?
1. You must recognize and believe who Jesus is.
There are many false “Christs” out there, that is, false ideas about who Jesus Christ really is. If you put your faith and trust in a false Christ, you are trying to enter heaven by a false door and you will not get in. The Bible and Jesus himself declare that he is the Son of God [But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31; And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8:37]. To many of us being called the Son of God sounds like Jesus is inferior to God the Father. To those of Jesus’ day though, to be called the son of someone meant you had the same essence, the same attributes, and meant equality. That is why the Jews attempted to stone Jesus when he said that God was his father [The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. John 10:33]. So, who is the Lord Jesus Christ? He is God! Here are just a few proofs:
He is called God. [Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13; compare that with this Old Testament verse: There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:21-22]
He accepted worship and being called God. [And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. John 20:28; compare: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Exodus 34:14]
He is the creator [All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:3; compare: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1].
He is eternal [Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58; compare: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Ex 3:14].
He is sinless. [For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15].
He came from heaven to save us from our sins [And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21; compare: I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. Isaiah 43:11].
He is risen from the grave. [I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. John 10:17-18; He showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs. Acts 1:3].
If this is who you believe that Jesus is, then you are not far from the kingdom of God.
2. You must repent — this is talking about recognizing who you are.
You must see yourself as a lost sinner before a holy God. This is what the Bible is talking about when it refers to repentance. Repentance means to recognize your sinful condition; to recognize that your religious efforts can’t save you; to recognize that your good works can’t save you; to recognize your wrong belief about who Jesus is and genuinely turn to God for forgiveness by faith in this Christ alone.
All have sinned — done wrong and disqualified themselves from heaven. [For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23; But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:9-10]
You cannot erase your sin by righteous acts. [Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5; But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6]
You cannot earn your way to heaven by good works. [Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:9]
Being willing to admit your need of a saviour is an obvious requirement to be saved (get to heaven). The person who is drowning can’t be rescued until he recognizes that he is in trouble and calls for a life-saver. The person with a terminal illness can’t receive a cure from the doctor until he admits he needs help. The drowning person has to want to be saved; the dying patient has to want to be cured; and before you can receive Christ’s forgiveness you have to admit your sinfulness and want to be delivered from it!
3. You need to receive Jesus and his forgiveness as a gift.
Why does a life-saver stand on the beach? - because he cares about people. Why does a doctor offer his services? - because he wants to see people cured. A life-saver may fail to rescue you for all his good intentions and a doctor will charge you his fees and still may not produce the cure needed. The Lord Jesus Christ on the other hand offers his salvation because he loves you — far more than you can ever comprehend. Unlike the life-saver, he is absolutely able to save, and unlike the doctor, he guarantees his cure and offers it for free. God’s salvation (having your sins forgiven and being allowed into heaven) is free—he wants to give it to you as a gift, you simply need to receive it. Just as a baby is born at a point of time [Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:7], there is a specific point in time when you genuinely believe these things about the Lord Jesus Christ (and about yourself) and thus receive his salvation — a guaranteed entrance to heaven through The Door.
Do you believe in this Jesus — the Creator, Son of God — that he died for your sins on the cross (on purpose), and that he was buried, and that he supernaturally rose again on the third day?
Access to heaven is a gift. You can’t make your own way to heaven — the Lord Jesus is the way. The Lord Jesus is the door.
At the beginning it was stated that God wants you to know you are going to heaven. If you genuinely believe in the Lord Jesus Christ you are going to heaven! The reason you can be sure is because Jesus paid your entrance fee. Remember, becoming a Christian is not based on anything you have done or can do, because it has all been done by the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible says that those who genuinely believe in their heart express it with their mouths. If you truly understand your plight you will want to cry out to God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and ask for his mercy. If you mean it, he will have mercy on you, forgive you and give you eternal life.
If you have genuinely believed in him you are going to heaven — on his merit, by his forgiveness. See you there!
[And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 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 5:11-13 (emphasis added so you don’t miss it)]
As a new believer in Christ, there are lots of things to learn and many challenges to face. One thing is certain – based on God’s promise in the Bible – you are safe and secure in the Lord Jesus. You can never lose this gift of eternal life because just as it was God who made you a Christian, it is God who keeps you a Christian. Feelings fluctuate, but God’s promises in the Bible never change.
Please feel free to contact me if you have received God’s gift of eternal life and if you have any questions.