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  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15 

 

How to get into Heaven

'Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.' (Matthew 7:13-14)

Going to Heaven is one of the easiest and one of the hardest things to do, please let me explain.

The broad path

What is Jesus telling us in this scripture, when He said, 'broad is the way, that leadeath to destruction and many there be which go in thereat'? He is telling us that there are so many people in the world - today billions of them, and that includes many of those who are religious, that they are going by the wide open way, the way that can be clearly seen, but like two hills at either side, they narrow down to a canyon, and then to death.

According to a 2010 study by the Pew Research Centre (a nonpartisan 'fact tank' which reports on trends, issues and attitudes around the world), there are some 5.8 billion people who identify with a religion, and of those 2.2 billion identify as Christians (and of these there are 1.1 billion Catholics).  It's easy to do and can even give you some social kudos - You join a local Christian denomination, do what the minister say, make friends, attend coffee mornings, be nice, be pleasant.  How could it be that so many people - that's 84% of the world identifying with a religion and 32% of the world identifying with a Christian religion, doing what they're told, that still so many people are going to Hell?arran

The Narrow Path

'..strait is the gate, and narrow is the way .... and few people there be that find it.'

Jesus is therefore telling us that the way to get to Heaven is not through the socially accepted channels, ie church attendance won't get you to Heaven, being a 'great guy' won't get you to Heaven, donating generously to charity won't get you to Heaven.  Although these things may be proper in their own place, this is not what gets you into Heaven, even if you were to do all of them! There is another path, a narrower path, a strait path.

We are all sinners - yes it's true you and me too!

'For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;' - Romans 3:23

Like the bible verse says above, the reality is, no matter how good a person you are, or may be, you are only a good as compared to another person, and no one not even the other person is without sin! The reality is, no matter how good a person we are, you and everyone else has done at least one thing.  Maybe they told a lie about something? Maybe they lusted after a woman (or a man), maybe they had evil thoughts about someone, hated them, wanted revenge, maybe they spoke ill about them, maybe got drunk one night, maybe they've sinned even more - killed someone.  The reality is, no matter how good a person you think you are, you have done at least one act, or thought in your life which is sinful, we all have.

The bible tells us, and we know it's true! That every person is a sinner, you and me both. The law of the bible - that's the commandments and everything else included, is a measuring stick by which we compare ourselves to, we fall short of the glory of God, which is moral perfection.  Just one sin, which we commit by nature or by choice, is enough to prevent us from going to Heaven to be with a perfect God, and therefore to be sent to Hell to be tortured in eternal fire (which is a just judgement when judged by a morally perfect God).

The solution

'..repent ye and believe the gospel.' - Mark 1:15

In order to avoid going to Hell, we are told in the above verse that we have to repent to believe the Gospel.  What does it mean to 'repent'? In modern general usage it usually means to say we are sorry, but in the BIBLICAL sense it means to HAVE A CHANGE OF MIND, which is from the Greek word Metanoia.  What is it we have to have this change of mind about? Just like the rest of the scripture says, we have to repent (have a change of mind) from not believing to BELIEVING the Gospel.

What is 'the gospel'

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:’ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

The Gospel is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and bodily rose again on the third day.

Since we cannot save ourselves, God in His unconditional love sent Jesus, his only begotten Son, who knew no sin, so that he may bear the burden of our sins in our place.  Jesus, the Son of God, who died for our sins, was buried and then bodily raised up three days later. That's it! We simply change from not believing, to believing that Jesus DIED on the cross for our sins, was BURIED and the bodily RESURRECTED from the dead three days later.

Eternal Life

That's it, no amounts of good works will save you, no amounts of feeling bad will save you, we realise we are GUILTY SINNERS under the EYES OF A PERFECT GOD, and we therefore BELIEVE in Christ Jesus in order to have remission for our sins. Jesus died for our sins, He paid a debt He did not owe because we could not re-pay it.  All He asks for you to accept this payment of debt is to BELIEVE ON HIM!!!!

'come now, and let us reason together, siath the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.' (Isaiah 1:18)

RECAP

This is WHY it is so difficult, but yet so easy to go to Heaven, so many people rely on themselves, they think they can contribute to their own salvation, so they add works of going to church, giving to charity etc, but we are saved by believing.  Some people think they are not good enough, but God tells us that even one sin is enough to make us guilty of them all! (James 2:10), no matter who you are, God is no respecter of persons! (Romans 2:11)

Again, some people substitute faith instead with a self-righteousness, whether they realise it or not, a man made faith, such as communion, infant baptism, last rites, but, none of these things are required or pave the way to go to Heaven.  Adding to or replacing belief, that's the BROAD PATH! Only the NARROW path by listening to what Jesus tells us are we saved, and once we are saved, we are always saved, as it is by faith. God's plan is simple my friend. Doing good things is right in its place, but we do these things because we ARE saved, not to BE saved.

GOD TELLS US HOW TO GO TO HEAVEN, BY BELIEVING ON JESUS THE SON OF GOD

There is nothing wrong with going to church, indeed, going to church can be a great thing if it is a good church, the problem arises in such circumstances when people look to replace faith (belief) with religion.  Indeed it is our faith, in order to get to Heaven, which rests entirely on Jesus:

arrantopEphesians 2:8-9, 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any mand should boast.'

John 11:25, 'Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall live.'

John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."

John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.'

SINNERS PRAYER

Although it's not necessary, you may want to say this prayer with me, the important thing is that you are saved simply by BELIEVING on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, not by praying, but putting your belief into words may help you,

Dear Jesus,
I admit that I am a sinner deserving of Hell. I am guilty for breaking your holy commandments. I believe that you died on the cross to pay for my sins, were buried, and bodily resurrected three days later. Please forgive me of my sins and take me to Heaven when I die. I now believe upon You alone, apart from all self-righteous works and religion, as my personal Saviour. Thank you. Amen.

Getting saved means admitting we are a sinner deserving of Hell, of breaking God’s Holy commandments, and believing that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, was buried, and bodily resurrected three days later. We ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins and to believe on Him alone, apart from our self-righteous works and religion, as our personal Saviour.

 

19th May 2017

 

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