Ask the average person on the street whether they will make it to heaven when they die and the majority will say yes. Many people reason that they have been a generally good person their whole life. They aren’t murderers or thieves. They have tried to do good to others. They may even have gone regularly to church and maybe even been a leader in their local church. Most people consciously or unconsciously have this idea that getting to heaven is based on total good works in our life being greater than our total bad works. Like an old fashion scale or balance which would tip in one direction or another based on which object is heaviest.
How are we saved?
We need to ask ourselves this important question. How does God determine whether we are saved or not? What is his criteria for accepting one person and rejecting another? To find the answer, we need to go to the Bible. This is the only reliable place to get our information about how God thinks and what he will do for us and to us. Look at this passage in the book of Matthew.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ – Matthew 7:21-23
This passage was spoken by Jesus. Here he clearly teaches us that not everyone will be saved. Who does he say will enter the kingdom of God? Look at the first sentence of the above passage. It is “the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” How can you know if you are following God’s will or not? Simple. God’s will is found in his word, the Bible. If you haven’t taken the time to read the Bible friend, I would encourage you to give it a chance. It will change your life.
What do I need to do to know that I am saved?
Making sure you are going to heaven isn’t complicated. It is actually quite simple. Not necessarily easy but simple. Read this passage in Romans 10.
“…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
Do you believe in Jesus? That he was a real, historical figure? That he is the son of God? That he came down to this earth to live as a man, die for our sins and was resurrected by the power of God? The verse we just read here tells us that if we believe these things in our hearts, we can be sure we are saved. Combine this verse with the one we read previously in Matthew 7:21-23 and we begin to get a picture of what God expects of us. In Matthew we find that we must do God’s will and in Romans we discover that we need to believe in him.
So being saved is a matter of relationship with God. Belief in Jesus and obeying what he asks us to do with our life. If we recognize him as Lord we will listen to what he asks of us. We won’t argue with it. We won’t try to get out of it. We will simply obey.
Will every ‘Christian’ make it to heaven? Clearly not. Only those who have truly given their lives to Jesus and have surrendered their life and will to him will be saved and make it to heaven. What about you? Have you fully given your life to God? He loves you with an infinite love that knows no end. There is nothing you could do or have done to make him love you less. It doesn’t matter how bad you’ve been in the past. What matters is whether you will accept him today. Ask him into your heart today. When we do that the Bible tells us that from that moment you are saved. Simple. Not easy because we want to hold on to what we know. What makes us feel safe. Unfortunately, it will kill us.
Let go friend and grab a hold of Jesus.
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