OK, my turn to ask questions!
Are you good enough for heaven? How good are you?
It's easy to rank ourselves when we compare ourselves with other people. Let's say you rank some random & historical people on a scale from -10 (worst) to +10 (best) as in the chart below. It's easy to think highly of oneself when lined up against those that have done some really "bad" things. It's funny that sometimes we still don't feel too badly about ourselves even when we're lined up against someone "good". We just say they are "exceptional" or "better than average". That is because most people are biased in favor of themselves!
God tells us that it is unwise to compare ourselves with others (2 Cor 10.12). God also tells us that man's "goodness" is worthless compared to His perfect righteousness & holiness (Isa 64.6). He is the standard that we all fall short of (Rom 3.23). So for visual sake, let's consider God's true goodness to be 1 million, though His goodness far exceeds any number. Now, let's adjust our scale accordingly.
Uh oh! Funny how everyone is on level ground now! And how far we all miss the mark! We have a problem: We have to be perfect to enter heaven (Mt 19.16, 21, 16-26). We already know that trying to be "good enough" is a useless attempt to get to heaven. God also tells us that being born into a religious or even Christian family isn't going to cut it either (Rom 9.7-8). Though certain religious ceremonies, sacraments, rituals or rites may be important & have their place, trusting in them to gain God's approval for heaven is equally futile (Gal 2.16, 3.3, 6.15, Col 2.8, 21-23, Heb 13.9). Though beneficial, even reading the Bible isn't going to get you into heaven (Jn 5.39-40). We really don't have any options apart from what God has to offer.
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." - Mt 19.25-26
God has generously & graciously told us in the Bible of the only way we can come to Him & have eternal life. It begins with us realizing that there's nothing we can do to gain entry into heaven on our own, but must be willing to come to God His way & on His terms. We must agree with God that we have done things (sin) that violate His perfect holiness, separate us from Him & that they are deserving of His justified wrath. If we confess this to God, trust that Christ Jesus, His perfect Son, was sacrificed on the cross for our sin & was raised to life to prove he can give us eternal life, then we will definitely have eternal life & immediately enter a real relationship with Almighty God.
I'm so glad there is another chart!
When we accept God's way, God performs a great exchange (2 Cor 5.21): He takes our deserved punishment & places it on His only Son, Jesus Christ, through His crucifixion on the cross, then He takes Christ's perfect righteousness & places it on us, elevating us to God's standard. This is how God simultaneously satisfies His justice & love for us. This is how we are forgiven of all sin. This is how we escape God's coming wrath. This is how we are qualified for heaven. This is how we know God. This is eternal life.
Now, at this point, some people might have you say a scripted "sinner's prayer", but God want's you to say what's on your heart. However, the point is that you realize you have sinned against God, decide you don't want to do that any longer, pray to Him for forgiveness realizing Christ was punished in your place for all your sins & begin an eternal relationship with your new Heavenly Father who is your Maker & the Almighty Ruler of the universe. Ask Him for guidance, ask Him for help & He will be faithful.
If you have done this, welcome the family of God!!! Please contact me & let me know if I can be of any assistance!
If you still think you can get to heaven by some other means, please click here.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. - 1 Jn 5.13
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit - 1 Pet 3.18
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. - Rom 3.23-26
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. - Jesus in John 15.13
Below may be a helpful book for anyone wanting to know more about the afterlife.
Here are some questions that God asks us. Not that He doesn't know the answers, but rather wants us to think about them.
Where are you? - Gen 3.9
I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me? - Jer 32.27
Declare what is to be, present it— let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. - Isa 45.21-22
"But what about you?" He (Jesus) asked. "Who do you say I am?" - Mt 16.15
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? - Mt 16.26
"Why do you call Me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone." - Lk 18.19
Here are some more questions I have for you.
Why couldn't God have used the Bible as a means to communicate to the people He created?
What was so powerful about Jesus that caused most of the world to use the time of His existence as a reference point (i.e. our year)?
If everyone realizes they won't live forever, why don't they contemplate the afterlife & earnestly search for truth about it?
If God truly loves us, why wouldn't He provide a way of salvation for us & why couldn't it be through Christ?
If Jesus' followers, namely the disciples, had not really seen a resurrected Christ, why did they die horribly to defend their faith in Him?
Are you confident enough in what you believe to die for it?