Salvation

Have you ever wondered, "Am I good enough for heaven?" It's an important question! There is one popular opinion...and a very different answer found in the Bible.

Most People Say, “Good People Go to Heaven”

This opinion is popular. On the surface, it seems fair. However, there are problems with this theory:

The Bible presents a standard of perfection. It never says anything about being “good enough” for God or heaven.

For no one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God's law, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying it.—Romans 3:20
For the wages of sin is death….—Romans 6:23

Another problem—you never know your “grade.” How do you know if you’re good enough?

No one is good—not even one.—Romans 3:10

Also, this contradicts the teaching of Jesus. He taught that the best of the best are not good enough to reach God.

But I warn you—unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can't enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!—Matthew 5:20

If good behavior gets us to heaven, then Jesus raised the bar too high!

"You have heard that the law of Moses says, `Do not commit adultery.' But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”—Matthew 5:27-28
"You have heard that the law of Moses says, `Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.' But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.—Matthew 5:21-22

In fact, the actions of Jesus mocked the good-people-go theory.

One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, "So you're the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you're at it!" But the other criminal protested, "Don't you fear God even when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn't done anything wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom." And Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise."—Luke 23:39-43
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”—John 14:6

The Bible Says, “Forgiven People Go to Heaven”

The message of the Bible is this—God loves people deeply. Although people rebel against God, He provides what’s necessary for them to experience eternal life with Him in heaven. However, each individual person must choose to follow Christ.

1. God loves us and created us to live in relationship with Him.

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.—Jeremiah 31:3
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.—John 10:10

2.  We reject our holy and loving God each time we chose to sin. We deserve punishment.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us—1 John 1:8
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.—Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Romans 6:23

3.  Jesus Christ took the penalty for our sins upon Himself when He died on the cross.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."—John 14:6
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.—Romans 5:8

4.  You must make a personal decision to become a follower of Christ.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.—I John 1:9
If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.—Romans 10:9
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.—John 1:12-13

Prayer of Decision

Do you recognize that God loves you; your sin keeps you from God; and that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead? Are you ready to begin life anew with Jesus as the One who saves you and rules your life? If so, use the prayer below as a guide to begin your new life with Jesus.

God, thank you for loving me just as I am
Yet I recognize that I have sinned against You
And I am separated from you because of my rebellion
I realize the punishment for my sin is death
Yet I believe that Jesus died in my place
And I believe that Jesus rose from the dead to give me a new life
Right now I give my life to Jesus
I choose to follow Christ the rest of my life
I choose to have a growing friendship with You
As I learn to obey you each day
I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

If you prayed this prayer to commit your life to Jesus Christ, please let your friends at Walnut Ridge know! Or if you have questions, we'd love to discuss them. Just fill out the simple form below.