The most important question anyone can get an answer to is, “How do I get to Heaven?” The answer of most religions is to be religious or good. But that is not the answer of the Bible. In fact, religion is what men do to reach God. In a very real sense, Christianity is the anti-religion because it is what God did to reach man! Please consider the problem, the penalty, the provision, the promise and the plan …
The Problem: Heaven is not automatic. Sin is a rebellion in thought, word, or deed against God’s authority and standards, such as the Ten Commandments. The Bible says all people are sinners (Rom. 3:23), and yet the standard needed for entering heaven is God’s sinless perfection (Matt. 5:48).
The Penalty: The situation gets worse because not only do we not meet the standard, but God is holy, just and good and must judge sin. The wage you’ve earned for your sin is death (Rom. 6:23), both physical and spiritual in the sense of being separated from God for eternity (2 Thess. 1:9).
The Provision: In His provision though, God has provided a substitute to bear the penalty of our sin for us (Rom. 5:8) and to give us the gift of his righteousness that we might enter into His presence (2 Cor. 5:7). Jesus Christ is the substitute and our only hope for heaven.
The Promise: Calling on Christ in faith saves us! The Bible says, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
The Plan: How do I call on Christ in genuine faith? According to Scripture, those who truly call on Christ in their hearts do three things:
- Repent of your sin – Acts 3:19-20, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord….” To repent means more than just confessing your sin, it means to turn from your sin, to toss it behind your back and go in the opposite direction with your life.
- Believe in Christ: in His Person, death, burial and resurrection. Trust in Him alone and not in yourself. It is not enough to simply turn away from sin you must turn towards something else, in this case a person. This is what “and be converted” means in the above verse. Converted to what? Faith in Christ. And that faith is faith in Him alone, not faith in ourselves or faith in our own good works to save us. 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 of works, lest anyone should boast.”
- Receive Christ as your Lord. One who truly “calls on the name of the Lord,” and believes in His person and work willingly and gladly receives Him as the Lord, the new Boss, of their life. Rom. 10:9-10 says, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…”
-All three of these are inseparable aspects of a true saving faith that calls on Jesus. How do you know if you have this kind of faith?
Ask yourself these questions:
Have you ever asked God to forgive you? Most people have done this at some point or another in their life. This can be a mark of true saving faith, but that is not necessarily the case. Many people will pray and only make a superficial confession of sin. To simply admit you are a sinner is not salvation.
Have you ever asked God to save you? Many people have also done this and it can be the result of genuine faith, but once again, this is not necessarily the case. Many will pray a prayer for salvation and may even have an external form of godliness, but their faith is later shown to be false by the life they live (see Titus 1:16; 1 John 2:19, 3:4-9). Many are even self-deceived about their own salvation (see Matt. 7:21-23). Asking God to save you, praying a prayer of salvation, going forward in church, or raising your hand in an evangelistic meeting are not the same as salvation.
Have you ever given God complete control of your life? Few people have done this, but it is the evidence of having become a new creation, a new person with a heart under the lordship of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:7). This is what it means to truly “confess the Lord Jesus.” It is not a simple intellectual agreement that He is God and Lord of the universe, since even the demons acknowledge that to be true (James 2:19). It is a confession born of a personal commitment, without reservation, to Jesus as one’s personal Master and Sovereign, the One who will receive my loyalty and devotion. To receive Him as Lord with true saving faith is life-changing.
Jesus Himself said, “Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit…. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Those who are truly saved have yielded control of their lives to Jesus Christ and bear fruit in keeping with repentance and faith.
Your commitment: Is there any reason you would not be willing to receive God’s gift of forgiveness and life in Christ Jesus? Are you willing to turn from your sin (repent), place your faith in Christ and surrender to His authority right now?
If so, you may pray this prayer from your heart: “Dear Lord Jesus, I believe you are God and that you shed your blood on the cross and died for my sin. I believe that You were resurrected from the dead and that You are alive today. I ask you to forgive me. I turn from my sin. I place my faith in you alone. I receive You as My Lord and submit my life to You. Please save me Lord Jesus. Thank You. In Your name I pray, Amen.”
-If God has used this pamphlet or some other means to bring you to faith in Christ you will want to identify with Him. The New Testament way of doing that is by making a public confession of your faith in the Lord and following Him in baptism and church membership, in a Bible believing and preaching church. Pray for God’s guidance in this. Also begin reading the Gospel of John. Spend time praying and reading the Bible daily.
-We would like to help you grow in your new faith in Christ. Please let us know of any commitment you have made to the Lord. If you need a Bible we will be happy to send you one. Our contact information is listed below. We would love to send you some information to help you grow in Christ. Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail us a note, TREAD Ministries, PO Box 1910, Monroe GA 30655