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“If you were to die tonight, would you go to heaven?”
Jesus explained that heaven is not an automatic destination. He said: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13–14, BSB).
Jesus taught that there are only two destinations after we die. One is in heaven with God forever, and the other is in hell separated from God for eternity.
Is there really anything more important than knowing where you will spend eternity?
Jesus asked this profound question: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Mark 8:36–37, NIV).
God’s deepest desire is that people will spend eternity in Heaven someday. The apostle Paul explains that God our Savior, “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2: 4, ESV).
However, we can forfeit heaven through unbelief or ignorance when we do not accept God’s incredible offer of forgiveness.
God is very interested in the choice you will make that will decide your eternal destination. In fact, he wants you to know that you can spend eternity with him.
John, one of Jesus’ disciples, said, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13, NIV.
This means that, before you die, you can know where you will spend eternity.
The major religions of the world offer no guarantee that you will go to heaven when you die. They teach that a person must do good deeds and follow a list of rules to please a distant God and then maybe attain salvation. But there is no guarantee.
These religions are focused on what we do. “Do this” or “do that” and maybe you will get into heaven? They do not provide assurance that you will be permitted into heaven. It is only because of who God is and what Jesus has done for you, that you can be confident you will enter heaven.
Would you like to know how you can be certain you are going to heaven?
First, you must understand the barrier that prevents you from being with God when you die.
Romans 3:23 declares, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
Sin is any thought, word, or deed that violates God’s moral standards. If you’re honest, you know there have been times in your life when you’ve missed the mark. Your thoughts and actions weren’t what they should be. That is sin. And because God is infinitely holy, one sin is enough to separate you from hm for eternity.
Many people try to bridge the divide between them and God through good works, or sacrificial acts. Or by being faithful members of some religion. But the Bible is clear that it is impossible to earn our entrance into heaven by anything we can do.
Jesus told his followers: “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48, ESV).
But none of us are perfect. No matter how hard we try, we continue to fall short. So, what do we do? Fortunately, God has a solution.
Romans 6:23 promises, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
Death, or separation from God, is the natural result of sin. But God, knowing our impossible situation, found a way to bridge that divide. Out of his deep love for us, God sent his son, Jesus.
“For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NET).
Jesus came to earth to reveal the very heart of God through his actions and his teachings. And he voluntarily sacrificed himself on the cross to pay the penalty for us.
As the infinite God-man, Jesus took upon himself the punishment we deserve because of our sin. He became the perfect sacrifice, our substitute.
“God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NLT).
Author Randy Alcorn wrote: “God … so much wants us not to go to hell that he paid a horrible price on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to.”
So heaven is not something we earn, but an incredible gift we are offered. It is not based on our deeds, but on our personal relationship with Jesus.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9, NIV).
On the cross, Jesus exclaimed, “It is finished” (John 19:30, NIV). The Greek word translated “it is finished” was normally written across certificates of debt when they were canceled. It means “paid in full.” When Jesus died, he paid in full our debt of sin.
And Jesus’ story doesn’t end with the grave.
Three days after his crucifixion, Jesus Christ rose from the dead, just as he said he would. He conquered death, opening the way to heaven for all who trust in him.
Jesus proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25–26, NIV).
So how do we experience this eternal life?
According to the Bible, there is only one way to heaven. Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, NLT).
The Bible promises “But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children” (John 1:12, NET.
The apostle Paul explains, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NIV).
Believing in Jesus means placing your total and complete trust in him for your salvation. But you need to choose to receive Christ and follow him.
A criminal can be offered a pardon for his crimes by the governor, but if he rejects it, that pardon has no effect. In the same way, Jesus offers us a complete pardon for all our sins and the gift of eternal life, but it does not go into effect unless we accept it.
Are you ready to receive this free gift now?
God has given every person the freedom to choose their own destiny. He didn’t have to do that. He could have created us to be robotic people programmed to love and obey him, but then our compulsory love would be meaningless. God wants us to love him freely, so he gave us the right to choose.
Will you choose to accept God’s amazing offer of forgiveness and eternal life? Or will you decide to reject it? Choose wisely because you are determining your eternal future. Don’t put off this crucial decision.
The Bible explains, “Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony … God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:10–12, NIV).
God knows your thoughts and motives, and he wants you to come to him because he dearly loves you and wants you to spend eternity with him.
To receive God’s forgiveness and start a new life with him, you must believe that Jesus is God, that he died for your sins and rose again, and that he wants to come into your life.
If you have never invited Jesus into your life, you can simply pray the following words. However, it’s not the exact words you say, but the attitude of your heart that is important.
“Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for all my sins—past, present, and future. Thank you for giving me eternal life, which you made possible by your death and resurrection. I receive you as my Savior by faith, and desire you to be Lord of my life. I give you the right to make me into the kind of person you want me to be.”
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, pray it now or pray something similar using your own words.
If you have made this commitment to Jesus Christ, your life with him here on earth has started and will continue with him in heaven!
He will help you to become the brand-new person he created you to be. He is freeing you to experience a life of meaning, purpose and power.
And there’s even more. . .
Let us know your response below and discover how you can experience the amazing adventure of living with Jesus.
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After watching the video, please share your response below.