- - Two questions we often here are, "If I die today will I go to Heaven?" and "What do I need to do to go to heaven?".
In this day and age, each of us seems to have our own belief system. Things we may have learned at home or things we may have learned as we grew older and started asking questions and did some reading. Most religions of the world have some form of belief system of what happens when we die:
- Islam- Muslims believe that after our physical death on Earth, our soul lives on and goes to the Angel of Death to wait for Judgment Day. The Qur’an teaches that on the day of judgment, the righteous will go to J (Paradise) and the sinners will go to Jahannam (Hell).
- Judaism - Judaism is ambiguous about what happens when we die. While Jews tend to focus more on their life on Earth, most Jewish people believe in an afterlife, and it can come in many forms. Some Jews believe in reincarnation, while others believe in the World to Come, which is similar to Heaven. They also believe that their lives are put on a scale and the “good” should out weigh the bad things.
- Buddhism - Buddhists believe that when they die, they are reincarnated into another body. After death and before rebirth, each person passes through the state called Bardo, which can be a time of great insight and liberation. For Buddhists, the ultimate goal is to break out of the cycle of reincarnation by attaining Nirvana, which is an end to suffering. In order to reach such a state of enlightenment, Buddhists believe they must meditate and purify their minds.
- Hinduism - Hindus share similar beliefs with Buddhists when it comes to death and the afterlife. They also believe in reincarnation, and believe that they can be reborn not only into humans, but also into animals, plants, or even insects.
- Atheism - Those who do not have a belief system or do not believe in the afterlife may have a number of different views about death and dying. Unfortunately, an atheist believes that they have no religious belief but atheism is a religion in the true sense of the definition of religion. Atheism is a religious worldview. Their assurance is rooted in faith rather than in proven facts. Atheists claim to know something fundamental about reality that has not been or cannot be proven. People like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are leaders in this belief system.
- Christianity - Most Christians believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the existence of an afterlife. Most believe that the decision to be what is referred to as that “Born-Again” experience in which we accept Jesus as the Savior of the World, the Messiah, who was God and Man and who died for man’s sin at the Cross at Calvary, that is what determines whether we go to Heaven or Hell.
So where are you, and what do you believe?
Why would anyone put off the most important decision they could ever make in their lives, concerning eternal life? WE SOMETIMES FORGET THAT WE ARE ALL TERMINAL. What is all this that I hear from my Christian friends about salvation.? Getting saved from going to hell when we die, what is this gift from God, this eternal life in heaven? What does this mean to be born-again
A B C’S OF GETTING SAVED AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN
This is what you do to get saved from hell and have eternal life in heaven
The classic passage from the Bible that answers this question is John 3:1-21. The Lord Jesus Christ is talking to Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin (the ruling body of the Jews). Nicodemus had come to Jesus at night with some questions.
As Jesus talked with Nicodemus, He said, “‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. (Oh Jesus is telling him that Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit). You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again” (John 3:3-7).
The phrase "born again" literally means "born from above." Nicodemus had a real need. He needed a change of his heart—a spiritual transformation. This New Birth makes us new creations. Being born again, is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the person who believes (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1-4, 18). John 1:12, 13 indicates that being "born again" also carries the idea of "becoming children of God" through trust in the name of Jesus Christ.
The question logically comes, "Why does a person need to be born again?" The problem goes all the way back to Genesis 3 when man sinned in the Garden of Eden and from then on we were born with a sin nature. Yes, even the best of us, we are all separated from God from sin.
The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:1: "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (NKJV).
To the Romans he wrote, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Sinners are spiritually “dead”; and when they receive spiritual life through faith in Christ, the Bible likens it to a rebirth. Only those who are born again, have their sins forgiven and can have a relationship with God.
So what do I have to do? It's really as simple as "A, B, C":
ADMIT THAT YOU’RE A SINNER. Most people do not want to believe that they are sinners. We spend so much time comparing ourselves to others. We think we are good but this is where that godly sorrow leads to genuine repentance for sinning against the righteous God and there is a change of heart, we change our mind and God changes our hearts and rejuvenates us from the inside out.
BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOUR SINS ON THE CROSS, WAS BURIED, AND THAT GOD RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Jesus from the dead. This is trusting with all of your heart that Jesus Christ is who He said he was-the Son of God.
CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD. This is trusting with all of your heart that Jesus Christ is who He said He was. Every single person who ever lived since Adam will bend their knee and confess with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.
I am including a simple prayer but this is only a thought or an example. You do not have to pray this exact prayer to be saved - you only need to Admit, Believe and Call upon the name of the Lord.
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. Amen.”
How does that come to be? Ephesians 2:8-9 states, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."
When one is saved, he/she has been born again, spiritually renewed, and is now a child of God by right of new birth and a new creation. Trusting in Jesus Christ, the One who paid the penalty of sin when He died on the Cross, is the means to be "born again." "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Getting saved requires only faith in the Cross and what Jesus did for each one of us on that cross. He took our sins and all we need to do is have faith, to trust in God, to believe that Jesus died for all our sins.
We forget that God loves us and has a plan for each of our lives. But we have been separated from God because of our sin. God sent His Son to die for our sins. In today’s English we would say He took the bullet for us. Yes, I know there are many who think we aren’t so bad but the Bible says that people are sinful and they have been separated from a Holy, Pure God. So in love God sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins and in this way we could have a relationship with God and when we die we will be with Him forever and ever.
Well, are there any other ways to God? No! The Bible tells us that accepting Jesus in faith is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6)
We can’t earn salvation; we can’t buy salvation, but we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness.
Once you have done this, then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the honest attitude of your heart.
If you have ever asked yourself "where will I spend eternity", take that step of faith today and determine your eternal destination. Don't put off your eternal reservation even one day longer. Remember ETERNITY IS A REALLY LONG TIME, so be sure you know where you are spending it!