If we ask anyone on the street what one has to do to get to Heaven (assuming they believe in Heaven or afterlife), the overwhelming response would either be “Be a good person” or “Do good works”.
Most, if not all, religions are based on ethical philosophies or perspective. Therefore, it is not surprising for us to believe that going to Heaven is a matter of being a good person – following the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule. But is this the Truth?
Good news: God loves us very, very much. Truth #1: He created us with the intention of having a personal relationship with Him forever and ever.
Bad news: God gave us the grace to have a choice, yet we chose to disobey. Truth #2: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)”
Conclusion: God is good and we, human beings, are not. Truth #3: No one is ever good enough “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)”
What now? Well, “…the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23)”. Truth #4: All of us will die. We do not know when, where and how. But we know that life is too short, right?
And then? “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27)”. Truth #5: We will all be judged accordingly – not only for the things we did and did not do, but even the things we have thought of – every. single. thought. Since we are all sinners by thought, words and actions, we are all qualified “… to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.. (Revelations 21:8)” forever and ever. And no man is excused.
Who would want to accept Truth #5, right? No one. This is the reason why we have/ found our own ways to have eternal life rather than eternal death. These are:
- We try to be morally good.
- We try to do good works or deeds.
- We try to become a part of a religious affiliation.
- We try to acquire knowledge and understanding.
Truth #6: None of these ways is enough in order for us to have eternal life. Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”. Therefore, we cannot come to the Lord one day and tell Him how good of a person we are, what we have or what we have done.
What is the way then? The famous John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Truth #7: Jesus Christ is the only way, the only truth and the only life. No one can come to the Father except through Him.
But why Jesus Christ? Because Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God who lived a sinless, blameless and holy life. He died for all of our (past, present and future) sins, and He rose again in order to obtain our redemption from sin. Truth #8: God loves you/ us very, very much.
So if it is Jesus Christ… what now? In John 5:24, Jesus said “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” Truth #9: You are hearing His word right now. But the question is do you really believe?
To believe in Jesus Christ is different from knowing who He is. Everyone knows Him already, even those who persecuted Him, but not everyone believes. To know Jesus Christ is like driving your car and knowing that He is right there – sitting in the front passenger seat; but to believe in Jesus Christ is to leave the driver’s seat and allow Him to do the driving.
We have been driving our own lives for the longest time. We have been trying so hard to live our lives as if we can control it perfectly. But we get tired, we lose hope, we make mistakes and we know that we cannot drive it the way it should be driven.
Maybe it is not about giving up or trying harder anymore, maybe it is about surrendering the steering wheel to God.
If you would like to surrender your life to Jesus today, I would like to invite you to a short prayer:
Dear God, I realize that I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross in order to take the penalty of my sins. I ask Jesus Christ now, my Lord and personal Savior, to come into my life and to save my soul, and to guide and direct my life from this point on. In Jesus’ Mighty Name I pray, Amen.