How to Get to Heaven
This Study will cover the most important decision you will ever make in your life ... more important than what vocation you choose, more important than where you will live and even whom you will marry, for its consequence will determine where you will spend eternity ... and there is a life after this one. So if you want to know your eternal future and have a hand in determining it, study on!
The Bible teaches that ...
"There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."
Some claim that there are many ways to heaven and that it does not really matter which way you choose. But a study of the world's religions shows that most claim to be THE Way. Both cannot be true! Therefore, how can we know which way is the right way? By examining the claims of each one! However, we will not be doing that here.
Instead, we will be examining what one way claims ... what the Bible teaches. After completing this study, you can then decide if the Bible's claims are true or not, and whether you wish to believe it or not. God Himself enjoins us to, "Come now, and let us reason together." Isaiah 1:18
So let us begin, and the best place to start, of course, is at the very beginning! The first verse in the Bible states ...
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
The first thing the Bible wants us to know and believe is that God created everything around us, visible and invisible, living and non living, from the largest galaxy to the smallest atomic particle. It goes on to say that God created the first man and the first woman, Adam and Eve, in His image in order to have a relationship with them. He placed them with all the animals and the fruit bearing trees in the Garden of Eden, a place of indescribable beauty and abundance, in order for them to enjoy and care for. He required only one prohibition. They were free to eat from any and every fruit bearing tree in the Garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
In the beginning, God's Purpose for them was clear:
If they would do this, they could live in this Paradise indefinitely. If they chose not to, they would die and lose all that God had planned and purposed for them.
"...through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin,
Unfortunately, Adam and Eve did not. They were tempted and deceived by satan, a high ranking angel who once served God but who became proud in his beauty and desired to be like God himself! Unable to fulfill his initial plan, satan undermined God's Plan by first deceiving the woman to disobey God and eat of the forbidden tree, and then through her, the man. The moment they disobeyed God, they died spiritually and their fellowship with God was extinguished. Sin entered this world and Paradise was lost.
As descendants of Adam and Eve, we all have been born in the same spiritual state: Spiritually dead to God and sinners at birth. It is now part of our very nature to sin! Haven't you ever wondered why it is so difficult to do the right things and so easy to do the wrong?
It is essential to know and believe two things at this point, for unless we do, the rest will not be relevant.
First, that God created us and has a Plan for our lives. We are not a result of Evolution without any intrinsic purpose as some would have us believe, nor are we the result of a continuous cycle of life energy that recycles according to how we lived our present existence. No, God created each of us unique, and He loves us and has the perfect Plan and Purpose for us.
Second, as descendants of Adam and Eve, we have been born in sin and will, therefore, die. However, physical death is not the end of life, but only a transition to the next life. The Bible teaches that we will continue to exist, either in eternal fellowship with God in Heaven or eternally out of fellowship with Him in torment. Sin results in broken fellowship with God, and everyone who sins and dies physically will experience eternal separation from God. There is no exemption, not even for small sins. The only way to Heaven, a perfect place created by a perfect God, is to be perfect ourselves! But even one small sin will keep us out of Heaven, for that one sin makes us imperfect!
That is the dilemma we face. How can we get into Heaven, a perfect place, while being imperfect sinners? Some schools of psychology teach that it's okay to be imperfect or even to sin. That kind of thinking may alleviate guilt, but it will do nothing to appease a Perfect God.
If we examine other religions, we find most teach that we overcome sin by striving to be good or by following established principles or standards. But again, as already stated, even one mistake, one miss-step, one falter, and our goodness in the eyes of a perfect God is tarnished. We cannot erase an error once committed. We cannot undo a mistake once made. All the good deeds after that will never be able to out do, out weigh or compensate for even one sin!
We are doomed and without hope ... except that 'nothing is impossible with God!
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
"For the wages of sin is death,
"For by grace you have been saved through faith,
We may be helpless in our sin, but God isn't. Perhaps we can't do anything to save our selves, but God can ... and did!
The Bible states that God sent His Perfect Son into this world two thousand years ago in order to communicate His Plan and Purpose for us, and to demonstrate His unconditional Love for even sinners. Jesus Christ displayed God's Love for us through His healings, miracles, teachings, and His death on the cross for our sins.
In Jesus, we have Someone who was willing to pay the penalty for us! He was willing to die so that we might live! And through faith in His death for our sins, we can receive the 'free gift' of 'eternal life'!
God reversed what satan had initiated and opened the way to Heaven based, not on our goodness, but on the perfect goodness of His Son. In fact, the Bible teaches that God credits, or bestows, the righteousness of Jesus Christ to everyone who believes in Him.
So how can we be certain Jesus is the true way to Heaven?
Jesus said, "I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life.
"For I delivered to you ...
I remember the first time I read John 14:6, it made me angry. How can anyone claim to be the only way to God?! But my anger ceased when I began understand who Jesus was and what He did for me on the cross. No one died in my place for my sins as He did. No one!
And as proof that His payment was complete, God raised Him from the dead! He was seen by hundreds of people, many of whom were martyred for their testimony of the risen Christ. Would you die for something knowing that it was a lie? Neither would I! That is what makes their testimony all the more true!
The Christian faith stands or falls on this one fact of history, that Jesus Christ was raised to life after dying for our sins on the cross. Many have tried to refute it, but have been convinced of its truth instead.
How about you? Don't you want to be certain that when you die, you will open your eyes in God's presence in Heaven? Don't you want to be free of the weight of sins committed and guilt incurred? Jesus is the Way! Eternal Life can be yours right now!
"But as many as received (Jesus Christ),
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
Eternal Life, the forgiveness of sins, a new life and the fulfillment of God's Purpose and Plan for your life can be yours right now if you will simply and sincerely believe in your heart that:
The following prayer is one way of expressing your faith in God. Pray this prayer to God right now as an expression of your faith in Him.
"Dear God, thank you for making me and loving me. I want to experience your Purpose and Plan for my life. I know I have sinned against You, and have done and said things that are wrong. I need your forgiveness. Please forgive me for my sins and wash away my guilt. Cleanse and renew my heart that I might love and serve You. I believe Jesus Christ, Your Son, died for me on the cross and that You raised Him from the dead as proof that all my sins have been Paid in Full. I receive Jesus Christ into my life to be my Lord and my Savior. Teach me to follow You and to please You in every way. I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen."
If you prayed this prayer by faith and really meant it, congratulations! You are now a child of God destined to live in Heaven forever! And no one can take that away from you!
The Bible says that the moment a person believes in Jesus Christ, he is 'born again' with a new life as a child of God. But as a new born child, you are also very vulnerable to satan who wants to destroy you through his lies. In order to keep from being deceived by satan, please ...
May God continue to draw you to Himself
May God bless you!