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…”
If you believe there is a God, then you probably have a desire to go to Heaven when you die. But can you know for sure? Yes, you absolutely can. Just as we want our own children to be 100% sure of our love and care, God too wants you to have the same confidence and assurance. This simple explanation will be logical and straight forward. If nothing else, you will see the love of God manifested for you, and how amazing that love is.
Bad News: We Have All Sinned
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
If you and I die, it does no good to say, “Hey, I got closer to Heaven than you did!” Short does not make it. Sin is what makes us fall short of Heaven. Even a single sin on your record means you’re short. Doing good is wonderful, but it never erases a sin. You cannot take a life, then save someone else’s life and expect the police just to call it even.
And it is not an issue of who is better than someone else. If you attempted to jump over a 20 foot ravine and succeeded in jumping 15 feet, you wouldn’t brag about how much better off you are than the guy who only jumped 10 feet. You are both at the bottom of the ravine. In this case, it is not an issue of who is better or who gets closer. If you do not get all the way across, you didn’t make it. One sin makes us short of Heaven. We cannot get there on our own.
This is why we need Jesus. Jesus makes up the difference so we can go to Heaven. If you could get to Heaven on your own, there would be no reason for a Saviour. There would be no reason for Jesus to die on the cross. But He did die. He died so we might have a way to Heaven.
Bad News: There is a Price on Sin
Romans 6:23a – “For the wages of sin is death…”
This death is Hell. No one made you sin except you. So if anyone is sending you to Hell, it is you, not God. Hell was not created for us. Initially, God created Hell for Satan. However, it is the only place that exists that can punish sin. Knowing this price on sin, God sent Jesus to die on a cross, to pay for our sins. And this teaches us something important: if you do not think that you are in need of saving, you will not seek to be saved.
If a drowning man does not believe he is drowning, he will still drown. He has to believe he is drowning before he will shout for help. Until you believe you are on your way to Hell, you will not do the one thing necessary to be saved from Hell. You will not call upon Jesus for salvation. Jesus came to be our Saviour. That means He wishes to save us from something. He wants to save us from the consequences of our sin–Hell.
But if you do not think you need to be saved, you will not seek the Saviour. If you think you’re good enough on your own, or that a church, or a person can get you to Heaven, then you will not seek the Saviour. Impressing the Saviour as to how good of a person you are is not seeking Him for salvation. Until you believe that you are actually going to Hell, you will not think of needing a Saviour.
Good News: Jesus is Our Hope of Salvation
Romans 5:8, 6:23b – “But God commendeth his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” and “…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Salvation is a gift. It is not something that you work for; it is not something that you pay money for; it is simply something that you receive and accept by faith.
You may already believe that Jesus died on the cross. You may already understand that God loves you, but until you personally accept the gift of eternal life, you do not have it. Even the devils believe there is a God. But the understanding that God exists, or understanding that Jesus died for you, is not acceptance. To believe, Biblically, you must accept it.
It is not a matter of going to church, being a good person, loving your neighbor, being baptized, praying, or reading your Bible. All of these things are wonderful, but if they get you to Heaven, then salvation was not a gift, and Jesus wouldn’t have had to die on the cross for you. Jesus is the only way! Do not mistake a good life for acceptance. You must put all your trust in Jesus for salvation.
Good News: You Can Be Saved Right Now!
Romans 10:9,13 – “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.” and “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
When a drowning man realizes that he is about to drown, he starts calling to the lifeguard to be saved. The same is true for our spiritual state. We must call upon Jesus to be saved from Hell. Jesus came to this earth to be our Saviour. He is seeking to save us from the consequences of our sin–Hell. Just as the lifeguard’s job is to save people, so Jesus means to save us from Hell.
The lifeguard does not judge the drowning man on his swimming skills, or determine if the man had kept all the rules, or if he had disregarded the lifeguard’s warnings. His job is to save people from drowning, not to determine if they are worthy of being saved. Jesus is not going to look at your life and determine if you are worthy of being saved either. No, He will simply save you if you ask and trust Him.
At this point, there is still something that the drowning man must do to get saved. He must trust the lifeguard. We’ve all heard stories of drowning people who panic and actually fight off their rescuers. Why? Because they are still trying to save themselves. They are not willing to relax and trust the lifeguard. Going to Heaven is very much like trusting the lifeguard. You must trust Jesus completely. A lifeguard will instruct a drowning man to do nothing, just relax and allow him to do his job. Jesus, just like the lifeguard, wants to do the same for you and take you to Heaven.
If you shrug Jesus off, determined to do it your way, you will still end up in Hell, just as the drowning man who fights off the lifeguard still drowns.
It is still a matter of acceptance. Are you willing to accept the salvation that Jesus wishes to give you? Salvation is a gift. Something you just must accept. This is the only way to be sure. If going to Heaven is up to you, you will never be sure. You will never know if you did enough, or was good enough. You cannot know where that line is. You will always live in doubt. But accepting Jesus as your Saviour changes all that. You can know and be sure. Because it isn’t you who is taking you to Heaven, it is Jesus Christ. Having Jesus take you to Heaven is much better than trying to get there on your own.
If this is you, and you want to get saved, to accept the gift of God and put your faith for salvation in Jesus alone, then pray this prayer to Jesus, mean it with all your heart, and believe it:
“Dear Jesus, I know I’m a sinner and that I don’t deserve to go to Heaven, but Jesus, you died on the cross for me and then rose from the dead to save me from hell. I trust you, and only you, to be my Saviour and take me to Heaven. Please save me. Amen.”
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