If you ask most Americans (who aren’t atheists) if they are going to heaven they’ll say yes. They’ll tell you that they are good people, they believe, they go to church or they have been baptized. There’s a problem with each of those answers, none of them are the right one.
The Bible is pretty clear that no person is without sin and that we all need the penalty of our sin to be paid. Jesus paid that penalty when he allowed himself to be nailed to the cross. We deserved the death penalty and he paid for it with his life. So just being “good” won’t cut it, because even though we do some good things we also do many bad things and the good doesn’t pay off the bad. Look at it this way; if you robbed a store and told the judge that you were polite to old ladies and nice to puppies would he let you off?
Just believing won’t work either. It’s like Jesus’ brother James said, “Even the demons believe that there is one God, but they tremble.” Most people in America say they believe, but there is little evidence, in the way the live, that they actually do. The demons tremble in fear, but most of the people who say they believe in God have no respect or fear for him. There are quite a few people in the Bible who believed in God, lived however they wanted, and never made it to the Promised Land.
Being baptized when you were an infant or when you were 12 doesn’t mean you saved today. What have you been doing since then?
When Jesus came he offered humanity a chance to have a pretty good relationship with God. He offered us a deal or as the Bible calls it a covenant. Here’s the deal believe in Jesus, that is believe he lived, died as a sacrifice for sin, and that he was resurrected on the third day. In other words have faith that he died for the penalty for our sins.
Just like you have to have faith whenever you make a deal with somebody, you have to have faith when you make this deal with Jesus. It’s like getting married, you wouldn’t get married unless you had faith your spouse would be faithful to you. Likewise you must have faith that God will be faithful and do what he says he’ll do. You can only be saved if you are in this covenant with God and you can only be in covenant if you have faith.
Just having faith is not the only thing in this deal though. There are other things we call conditions. Some of them are be baptized, repent from sinning, love your enemies, forgive others and obey God. But this is where you need to be careful because you don’t get to heaven by checking stuff off of a list. You need to want to please God and you’ll need to learn to love him.
If you’re like everyone else you’re asking yourself, “what happens when I screw up?” The answer to that depends on you. If you decide to say the heck with it I’m just going to live how I want no matter what God thinks, then you’ll probably be in serious danger if you never turn back to God. Most likely you’ll find out what hell is, the hard way. But, if you fail and then do your best to do right the next time then you are on the right track. As long are you are being honest with yourself and with God and as long as you make the best effort you can, he’ll forgive you and help you on your way.
The Bible says, “He does not deal with us as our sins deserve; he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve. For as the skies are high above the earth, so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers. As far as the eastern horizon is from the west, so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.”
Don’t wait. Decide to believe today and decide to make that covenant deal with God. Believe in him, believe what he’s said and follow him. If u died 2day, u can go 2 Heaven.