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How to KNOW you have a home in Heaven...
if you're yet in need of eternal assurance, please read on...
Perhaps you've heard some form of the Gospel before, or maybe you haven't heard it at all.
Perhaps you've sort of heard parts and pieces, and maybe you never understood it completely.
Here we've provided both a basic form of the Gospel in short, but below that, we've supplied a deeper explanation with proof scriptures so that you might understand it more fully.
~ For every single one of us, there is good news and bad news we all must hear.
Here's the breakdown:
THE BIBLE says there is only one way to Heaven
Jesus said: "..I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
Heaven isn't earned; Good deeds (works) do NOT save you.
"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)
Being "good" or "nice" can't save you. Our definition of 'good' is nothing compared to God's.
So, how could we ever say we're "good enough" to deserve Heaven?
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;..."(Isaiah 64:4)
"For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23)
Do you think you're good enough to make it on your own merit?
God is holy
If you have ever told a lie, stolen something (regardless of value), taken God's name in vain, looked at another person to sexually lust after them, hated or grudged against others,
than you've violated God's moral law and statutes, as we ALL have.
Yes, even wrongful thoughts and desires are serious to God. Here's examples, Jesus said:
“... whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
Now, because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death.
"For the wages [payment] of sin is death;..." (Romans 6:23).
This includes a spiritual death, eternal separation from God in Hell.
"So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: "...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:27)
It sounds impossible to get to Heaven, doesn't it? But...
Now The Good News...
God doesn't want us in Hell.
He loves us and wants to save us from the path we blindly follow to destruction. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
Repent: The word repent means to change your mind.
Jesus said: "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:5)
To "change your mind" (repent) about what ?
You may need to change your mind from disbelief unto belief in Christ, who He was and what He did to save you. Or, to change your mind about your good deeds having any form of merit to earn or deserve Heaven, or even prove or evidence one's Salvation.
No amount of "good" we do can erases our sins, and sin has a price which Christ paid for in full. You must realize the seriousness of sin and turn your mind and faith toward Jesus our God... ALONE.
Our sins are like crimes before God and each person owes a huge fine.
Someone has suffered in your place and paid the fine for you. "How can I accept this gift..", you ask...?
Believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead.
"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)
"...Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3b-4a)
We broke God's law and couldn't pay the fine; Jesus suffered innocently on our behalf, bearing our sins, substituting Himself for us to pay that sin debt we could never pay, so that all we must do is receive the free gift.
Simply believe these truths, relying completely upon Christ's perfect work 100% and NONE of yourself (works, penance, proof, evidence or any supposed good deeds or lifestyle).
You may want to mark this moment in prayer. The prayer doesn't save you, but rather is simply an expression of your inward decision and conviction of the truth as you talk to God.
A quick recap:
Realize you're a sinner just as we all are, believe Jesus paid for ALL your sin, trust Jesus ALONE (not your good works). Receive the FREE GIFT of Salvation through belief in the finished substitutionary works of Christ, nothing less and nothing more, to rescue you, to save you. He shed His blood for you, He loves you that much. Trust Christ alone as your Savior.
DON'T WAIT, NOW IS THE TIME TO ACCEPT JESUS AS SAVIOR.
"..behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)
If you're convinced you might ask "Ok, I do believe and would like to talk to God about it, but what should I say?".
You might pray something like this:
"Dear Lord, I realize I am a sinner; I want to be saved from Hell. I believe you came to Earth in flesh as the Christ, to shed sinless, innocent, precious blood for me, to suffer and die for my sins and was raised from death. I'm sorry for my sins and I now receive your free gift of Salvation. Thank you for saving and forgiving me, for the blessing of pardon freely given so I can be in Heaven with you when I die. You provided the perfect and complete payment, paying a debt I could never pay to save me from Hell. I could never deserve Heaven, but thank you for loving me enough to pay for my sins to rescue me. Now, Please direct my path from this day forward. Thank you for saving and securing me forever, never to be lost again. Please help me to honor you with a life pleasing to you as a good child of yours. In Jesus name I pray, Amen."
These are NOT magical words, its just you talking directly to God. Say it in your own way, in your own words, just mean it from the heart. Its not even a special prayer that saves you, rather, this is just a way of marking a moment in time when you called out to God in belief.
His Holy Spirit will come and live in you and will help you mature as a new child of God, little by little and day by day if you or as you learn to yield to the Lord's will.
"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. I and my Father are one." (John 10:28-30)
If you've received Christ Jesus as your Savior, congratulations! Now, as a Christian, live out your love and appreciation for God and His salvation He's blessed you with by living for Him and seek to please Him. It doesn't’ determine your salvation, but now that you belong to Him, He desires to transform you and have fellowship with Him. Learn to yield to His will, and walk with Him out of love. He has a plan for your life, and wants you to be a part of His eternal plan and fulfill the purpose He has in store for you, to make a difference in the lives of others by magnifying His name and sharing this Gospel. It doesn't save you, Christ took care of that. The Lord's desire is simply for you to grow in this new life, to be more like Jesus, and for you to fulfill your roll to help others to know Jesus that they too can be saved and then transformed as well. Do it out of love and appreciation for our savior. If Christ loved us enough to be publicly beaten, humiliated and die for us, to live pleasing to Him and serve is the least we can do. And to those who are faithful now while on Earth, they will be rewarded greatly in the ages to come with blessings to enjoy forever.
“ If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. “(Galatians 5:25)
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; “(Colossians 1:10)
Some things you can do for God, others and help your own growth:
Be baptized, worship, have fellowship and serve with other Christians in a church where salvation through Christ alone is preached and the Bible is the final authority.
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (Matthew 28:19)
"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 10:25)
Read your Bible often and regularly to get to know Christ better.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalms 119:105)
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Timothy 3:16)
Talk to God in prayer every day.
"Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6)
Tell others you have accepted Jesus and Share the Gospel with others.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to EVERY ONE that believeth;.." (Romans 1:16)
"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16)
...And always remember, Christ is with you.
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Phil 4:13)
"...I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:20)