For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
Surely you have heard, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” The adage applies to gimmicks intended to take advantage of the gullible. Those who believe they can obtain eternal life in heaven based on a system of merits think it is “too good to be true” that one can get to heaven by simply believing. Those who realize the gravity of their sinful lives think it is “too good to be true” that they can be absolved of their sin simply by asking and believing. However, it is true. Anyone who wants to can go to heaven. It will only cost you your life. Do not be alarmed. Let me explain, and make it as simply and clearly as possible.
First of all, no one can be good enough to go to heaven. That is the bad news.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10)
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (Romans 7:18) In other words, no matter how hard we try on our own, we can never be good enough!
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16) You see, even observing all the Law written in the Bible (as a matter of ritual) cannot secure for you a place in heaven.
Secondly, our sin keeps us out of heaven. Instead of eternal life, our sin earns eternal death (in hell) for us. That is more bad news.
The soul that sinneth, it shall die … (Ezekiel 18:20)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Revelation 20:14) “Death” in this sense is eternal separation from “Life” which only comes from being in the presence of God. Our “soul” is an eternal creation created for fellowship with God. For the soul to continue to exist outside of the presence of God is “death,” but without ceasing to exist. That is indeed bad news!
Thou [God] art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity … (Habakkuk 1:13). God is holy and cannot abide sin; therefore, He cannot allow sinners to reside with Him in heaven.
Thirdly, God provided a way to eternal life. Here is the Good News!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name [than the name of Jesus] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) We cannot work our way to heaven and eternal life. It is a “gift” of God that cannot be earned; it can only be “received.”
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) God did not wait for us to get “better.” Jesus died for my sins, as the old hymn says, “Just as I am.”
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10) All God requires is that you take Him at His word and believe the Gospel (i.e. the Good News that Jesus died and rose from the dead to pay “the wages of sin” on your behalf). However, if you truly “believe” you will also “confess,”i.e. tell others. One of the first and best ways to do this is to present yourself before a Bible-believing congregation and submit yourself to baptism (by immersion preferably). There is no “magic” in this, but it gives “testimony” to yourself and others, but more importantly to yourself, that your “belief” is genuine.
Lastly, once you have accepted God’s gift, it can never be lost. That is even better news!
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29) As one of Jesus’ “sheep,” we are doubly secure; we are secure in Jesus’ hands which is secured in God the Father’s hand. You cannot be more secure than that!
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36) “Hath” is present tense. Whoever believes in Jesus “has” eternal life presently and forever.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39) NOTHING can separate us from the love of God when we have placed our trust in Jesus.
Sticking to Scripture as much as possible, I have made it as simple as I can. If this makes sense to you and the Spirit of God urges you to follow through, here is all you need to do:
- Talk to God. Use your own words. God is a person, and He knows and understands what is in your heart. No “magic” words are needed.
- Confess your sin to Him. We are all sinners. He knows your sins, but He wants you to recognize your sin and your need for Him to forgive you of your sins.
- Ask God to forgive you of your sins and invite Jesus to be the Lord, i.e., the “boss” of your life. In doing this, you are in effect giving your life over to Him. That is not a bad thing. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
That’s it! If you are sincere (and God knows) in what you have just done, you have secured for yourself eternal life – you are “saved.” However, right now, you are just a “baby” Christian, and there are some things you need to do to grow in your new found faith.
- Talk to God daily. This is called “prayer,” but it is simply talking to God.
- Get a Bible are read it daily. I recommend that you begin with the Gospel of John – the fourth book of the New Testament. (You can find it in the index of the Bible) Also, read the Book of Proverbs; there is a lot of good practical teaching there.
- Find a good Bible-believing evangelical church. Most Baptist churches are very good as are many “Bible” churches. Either way, you want a church that believes that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God.
- When you have found a good church, go forward at the pastor’s invitation (following the sermon) and let him know that you want to follow the Lord in “believer’s baptism.”
- Join a Bible study group or class where you learn more about what God has to say in His Word.
- Get to know the family of God – your brothers and sisters in Christ – by joining them in regular fellowship. This will help you to grow in your spirit and in your bond with fellow believers. The Bible encourages this: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Welcome to God’s forever family. Your place in eternal life is secure. I will see you in heaven!
If this still sounds too good to be true, read my page on “Heaven.” You may also be interested in other articles on the topic of salvation:
“Nothing Changes” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2018/04/15/nothing-changes/
“Not Here” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2018/04/01/not-here/
“Jesus’ Last Days” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2018/03/25/jesus-last-days/
“Jesus’ Brethren” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2018/03/04/jesus-brethren/
“High Cost of Admission” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2018/02/11/high-cost-of-admission/
“End of the World” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2018/01/21/end-of-the-world/
“Tough Love” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2018/01/07/tough-love/
“Pressed Three Times” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/10/22/pressed-three-times/
“The Millennial Kingdom” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/09/03/the-millennial-kingdom/
“Clueless” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/08/20/clueless/
“One-Verse Theology” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/08/06/one-verse-theology/
“Not Expecting to Die” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/07/30/not-expecting-to-die/
“The Eternality of God” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/06/04/the-eternality-of-god/
“Who Is Jesus?” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/05/14/who-is-jesus/
“Good Guys Go to Hell” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/04/30/good-guys-go-to-hell/
“In the Twinkling of an Eye” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/04/23/in-the-twinkling-of-an-eye/
“Risen Indeed!” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/04/16/risen-indeed-2/
“The King is Coming” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/04/09/the-king-is-coming/
“The Devils Believe!” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/04/02/the-devils-believe/
“Are You Good Enough?” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/03/26/are-you-good-enough/
“Not Passed On In The Genes” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2016/05/15/not-passed-on-in-the-genes/