If you died today, do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you would go to heaven?
This is such an important question! Let's look together and see what it takes for you to receive salvation.
Salvation has absolutely nothing to do with luck or good deeds. The Bible tells us that we can not earn our salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." So, if we can't earn salvation, how do we receive it?
First, we have to recognize that we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 says "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Simply put, sin is disobedience to God. This passage informs us that we are all sinners. And, because we are all sinners, we have all fallen short of God's standard.
Second, we understand that sin brings judgment. Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Because we have disobeyed God, there is a consequence: death. Not only does that imply our physical death on earth, but it also means that we are spiritually dead. This spiritual death is fulfilled in eternal separation from God. However, God provides eternal life in His Son, Jesus.
Third, we see how God provides eternal life. Romans 5:8 says "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." God provides eternal life by sending His Son to pay the penalty for our sins. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." So, while we were sinners, Jesus died for us.
Fourth, we are responsible for responding to His gift of salvation. How do we respond? Romans 10:9 says "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." We must confess Jesus as Lord. When we do that, we give Him control of our lives. This means we don't go on living our sinful lifestyles, but we turn and follow Him. Jesus extends that call to follow Him. Not only do we have examples in the Bible of Jesus calling men to follow Him (Matt. 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; 10:38; 16:24), but He continues to do so today.
So, how can a person have God's forgiveness, heaven and eternal life, and Jesus as Savior and Lord? By asking Him. You can ask Him to forgive you. You can ask Him to be your Savior. And, you can ask Him to be your Lord.
Below is a prayer example that you can pray:
"Dear God, I realize I am a sinner. I understand that this sin separates me from you and am sorry for my sin. I am willing to turn from my sin. I understand that Jesus paid the price for my sin when He died on the cross; I confess Him as Lord of my life. From now on I want to follow Him. In Jesus' name, Amen."
If you prayed this prayer and sincerely meant what you said, then you need to find a local group of Christians. You are now an important part of God's family. Your next steps in your walk with the Lord should be:
- Follow Christ's example in baptism.
- Join a church where you can worship God and grow in your faith.
- In your church, get involved in a small group Bible study.
- Begin a daily, personal worship experience with God where you study the Bible and pray.
We would love to hear from you! Please, contact us if you have any questions or would just like to let us know about your decision to follow Jesus.