Heaven is a place many people talk about and many people are unsure about. Not everyone knows with certainty that they are going to go to Heaven. Others just assume they will because that is how they have always figured it would work out. The truth is that the same God who tells us about Heaven in His Word also tells us how to get there. We don't begin by just assuming that we will go. Rather we begin with understanding that:
I. All People Are Sinners Before A Holy God
Romans 3:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:"
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
This means that all people, including you and including every member of our church, have fallen short of God's standard of holiness. We have broken his law and are imperfect people. We have a hard time accepting this when we compare ourselves with each other. However, I am not called upon to compare myself to others. When I compare myself to God it is easy to see that I am not like Him. I am guilty before Him as a sinner.
II. There Is A Penalty Placed Upon Sin
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Just as crime has a penalty before a human judge, so does sin have a penalty before God who is the judge of all the earth. Man left to himself is condemned to pay for all of his sin for all of eternity in the lake of fire. This is known as the second death (Revelation 20:14&15). People often think that their good deeds can somehow offset their bad deeds but we are not told that the penalty for doing wrong is to do good. Furthermore, we are not told that the wages of sin is to go to church or to be a good citizen. The wages of sin is death. God has established that penalty and man left to himself will suffer the penalty for his sin.
III. Christ Has Willingly Paid The Penalty For Man's Sin
Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
God's holiness demands that sin be paid for. God's love provided a way that man's sin be paid for him. That payment was made when Christ, God the Son, came to earth and died on Calvary's cross as the payment for man's sin. Christ was without sin and therefore had no need of payment to be made for Him. When he hung on the cross he was punished in your place and mine as he made the payment for our sin. I John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." The word "propitiation" means "full payment." Christ has fully paid the debt for sin.
IV.You Must Believe on Christ in Order to Be Saved
Romans 10:9&10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Man's condition is simple. He is lost in sin and condemned to pay for his sin in Hell. God's love is clear. He has sent His only begotten Son to pay for the penalty for man's sin. Man is left with a choice. He can continue in his sin or he can turn to Christ and believe on Him. What does believing on Christ entail? It is not simply acknowledging His existence. Even the devil believes there is a God (James 2:19). It means that you must acknowledge your position as a sinner and turn to Christ believing He alone can save you from your sin. When this happens you are entering into a relationship with God, your sins are forgiven, and Heaven will be your home. If you are convicted of your sin and of your need for Christ as your savior then please don't wait to come to Him. You may pray a prayer of faith such as this:
Dear Lord Jesus,
I admit that I am a sinner and that I don't deserve to go to Heaven. I believe
that you sent your Son Jesus who died on the cross to pay for my sin. I am sorry
for and repent of my sin. I trust Jesus, and Him alone, to forgive my sin, to
become my Savior, and to take me to Heaven when I die. Thank you for saving me.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.