Are you going to Heaven?
“…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
Are you going to Heaven? This is the most important decision we will ever face in our lives. Our eternal destiny hinges on the choice we make about the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Revelation 20:11-15, John wrote:
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Later, quoting the words of the Lord, John wrote in chapter 21:
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Are you sure you are going to Heaven?
How will you measure up in judgment before a perfectly righteous and holy God? Upon what are you relying to find acceptance with Him? Is it your own merit? Is it because you think you're not as bad as other people? Paul wrote that salvation is “not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:9). Thank God there won’t be any boasters in Heaven bragging about how they achieved eternal life on the basis of their own merit or their own works or their own goodness. God isn’t coming to us on our terms. We must come to Him on His terms. God, in His perfect holiness, cannot and will not overlook sin and smuggle a few people into Heaven. Did you notice how John said that “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone?” Have you ever lied? We all have. As Paul wrote, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
But the good news is that God loves you more than you will ever know. God is “rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us” (Ephesians 2:4). Salvation is “a gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). God “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all” (I Timothy 2:4-6). The Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins on the cross through His death, burial, and resurrection. His death was the payment, and His resurrection was the receipt. He died your death and He died my death on that cross. All we have to do to be saved is place our faith in Him.
Consider these words from Romans 3:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
We can be declared righteous by God through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, because God sent Him forth to be a propitiation for our sins, which is a full and satisfying payment for our sins. God the Father is satisfied that the payment of Jesus Christ for our sins is complete. Once we believe and place our faith in that payment, there’s no more wrath. When you believe, when you accept by faith that Christ died on the cross for your sins, that He was buried, and that He rose again, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is put to your account and you are declared righteous. God the Father takes your sins and places Christ’s full and satisfying payment to your account. God then sees you righteous, and He declares you righteous. There’s nothing but grace and peace between you and God. He's forgiven "all trespasses" (Colossians 2:13). He has made you “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). And you are "sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" (Ephesians 1:13). This is all because Christ became a propitiation for our sins.
Consider these words from Romans 5:
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
We are declared righteous “through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:25). We are “justified by his blood” (Romans 5:9). We have “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). We are “made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). We have peace with God “through the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20).
In 2 Corinthians 5:21, we read:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
In Ephesians 2:8-9, we read:
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
In Romans 4:5, we read:
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
The issue is not what you can do for God to earn His acceptance, but rather, your acceptance of what He has done for you. You have no righteousness of your own before God. To have eternal life, you must by faith be found in Christ having His righteousness (Philippians 3:9). This is the only battle you’ll ever win by surrendering all to Him. God's abundant grace flows out freely to all who believe. No man will be condemned merely because he is bad but because he refused to accept the grace of God as shown in Christ (II Thessalonians 1:7-9). God is now in Christ beseeching us all to be reconciled with Him on the ground of our acceptance of His Son who was made to be sin for us. God is ready to save you right here and now. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Yesterday’s past. Tomorrow may be too late. You only have today. Will you place your faith in His death, burial, and resurrection as a complete and satisfying payment for your sins? Will you be reconciled with God by believing in His Son? Why not trust Jesus Christ for the payment of your sins and be saved this very moment? Will you do that? Paul wrote, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Go ahead and pray. The sinner's prayer doesn't save anyone, as faith alone saves, but God would love nothing more than to hear that you've acknowledged your new faith in His son's payment for your sins on the cross and to hear you thank Him. Thank Him for giving you His free gift of eternal life through our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I love the opening words of Galatians 1:
3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Read a thorough examination of the Gospel in Pastor Joel's new book Empowered by His Grace!