Many people today seem to believe that one needs to be good in order to go to heaven. Actually, the Bible tells us that we must repent of our sins and be forgiven of our sins, in order to go to heaven.
Luke 13:3 says, "Except you repent, you will all likewise perish." In the Bible, "repent" means to turn from our evil ways and put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. In other words, we must admit our sin and ask God to forgive us.
Some would say, "I have no sin that I know of in my life; I'm basically a good person." The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that "all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God." This means we have missed the mark, the standard of God.
We may be good, and many are good, and this is fine and commendable, but we are sinners and unworthy of God's heaven, because we have not committed our lives to Him and followed His plan of salvation.
This plan is simple as A,B.C: Admit our sin; Believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life as a sacrifice for our sin; and Commit our life to Him in prayer. Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Again the Bible, God's Holy Word, says, "If we confess our sins, He ( God) is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness"(First John 1:9). Please read verses 8-10 in this chapter.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2; 8, 9: "For by Grace are you saved through faith, and not of yourselves, not of works lest any man should boast." This verse gives us a basis for us to declare, "I am a sinner saved by grace."
This grace is the love of God, which He showered on mankind through the birth, life, and death on the cross, of His precious Son, Jesus Christ. After His agonizing death on the cross, Jesus was buried just as anyone is when they die, but this is where the similarity stops, for He was raised from the dead, resurrected on the third day afterward, a fact witnessed by hundreds of people who saw Him and talked with Him.
After several weeks, many of these devout and trustworthy people witnessed His ascension to heaven! This is grace, the amazing love of God that saves even the lowest, worst person in the world, forgives him/her completely and remembers their sin no more!
But there is a condition here that we must meet in order to receive our forgiveness. We must have faith in God. This means we must believe in Him, His son Jesus and in His Holy Word, the Bible. We only have to believe, which is having faith in God's great plan of salvation. This is not work, it is not the action of being good in order to go to heaven. Rather than being good, we must be forgiven by God through the death of Christ on the cross. Ephesians 1:7a states: "In Him [meaning Jesus] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." Our salvation, the act of God redeeming us through the death of Christ on the cross, hence His blood, can be accomplished in no other way.
We use the word "Faith" to construct an outline of how the Bible answers the question, "In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven?"
The "I" in faith stands for "Impossible." It is impossible for God to allow sin into heaven. We have all sinned, every person in the world today is a sinner, either without God and on the road to hell,( recall Luke 13:3) or a sinner saved by grace.
So we ask, "Are you a sinner saved by grace?" If so, praise God and live your life worthy of His teachings and His Word. If not, please consider placing your faith in Jesus Christ, put your trust in Him and be saved today.
Please call us at (770) 603-PRAY and allow us to pray for you. Ask for me, Brother James, and leave your name and phone number. I will call you back and share God's grace with you -- God's riches at Christ's expense. May God bless you.