Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Are You Going To Heaven?

Heaven? Is there any way to know for sure that Heaven will be your new home when you die? Jesus gave us the answer to that question in John's Gospel in chapter #3. Simply stated, you must first be Born-again to enter into the Kingdom of God. But what does that term mean and how is becoming "Born-again" accomplished?

First of all you must be aware that the Bible tells us that sin cannot enter into heaven. Therefore, most people believe you can get into heaven by keeping the ten commandments or other laws. As you are probably aware -- no one can keep the commandments and laws. Simply stated, since no one can keep the commandments or laws, no one will ever get into heaven. Romans 3:20 states that by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for the law is the knowledge of sin. Can you then go to a priest and confess your sins to him? By no means. You are still attempting to be justified by the law.

Can a man under the law forgive another individual who is also under the law his or her sins? The Bible says that only God can forgive sin. In any case we cannot be saved by the works of the law even if we confess our sins to a thousand priests. If we could, then Jesus died in vain. We are saved by grace and not by the works of the law or by any deeds of the flesh. We are save by grace through faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross and in that fact alone takes away our sins by His shed blood and opens the door to heaven for us. It is not by works of righteousness that we have done, but by His mercy He has saved us.

Let's carry this a little further and consider a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes 9:3:
  • "There is an evil among all things that are done under the sun...the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead."
The hearts of men are evil of evil because we were all born into sin. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." - (Romans 3:23) Sin cannot enter into heaven. If it did, it would be just as bad there as it is here on earth. So we must get rid of our sin first if we want to enter into heaven. That is where "we must become born-again" comes into play.

Ecclesiastes goes on to say that: "The living know that they shall die, but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more reward; for the memory of them is perished. Also their love, their hatred and their envy is now perished; neither have they any portion of any thing that is done under the sun."

All of our hurrying and backbiting is over in the grave. So, did God just haphazardly put us on this earth without any reason or purpose? The Bible says "God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." Why did He do that? The next two verses tells us -- "So they should seek the Lord, if haply they seek after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us. For in Him we live, and move, and have our being...for we are also His offspring." - (Acts 17:26-28) We are His offspring, but sin has kept us apart. What is the answer? "Born-again"!

So back to the question, "Are You Going To Heaven?" The primary answer to that question is "Have you been Born-again?" Jesus said: "Unless a man is Born-again, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." The next question is: "How do I know I have been Born-again?" Two things are necessary to be Born-again. First - repentance. The Bible states in Isaiah 55:7, "Let the wicked forsake their ways." Second - Romans 3:23 states: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." and Romans 6:23, "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus." Therefore, by repentance, (which is the forsaking of our sinful ways) and calling upon the name of Jesus Christ and invite Him to become Lord and Savior and believing in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead. This is how we become born-again. After that happens the following verse kicks into play.
  • "But scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." - (Galatians 3:22)
When we make these two decisions on our part, God takes over on His part. Our part is to initiate the decisions and desire for salvation. God will not violate our free-will, but He awaits for an invitation from us. When we have repented and invited Jesus to become our Lord, we are Born-again according to the Scriptures. Do this now and the next time someone asks you if you are going to Heaven, you will know for sure and answer with a definite - ("YES I am, but -- how about you my friend?.")

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