What does it take for a person to go to heaven? Is being a nice person good enough for someone to become saved? If you are a bad person, does it mean you can’t be saved? What does it mean to become a Christian? The Biblical answers to these questions can be found in the acronym: FAITH.
We cannot have an eternal life in heaven without God’s forgiveness. The Bible clearly shows us that no one is perfect. For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Whether through greed, lust, selfishness, etc., everyone has sinned in one way or another. The fact is we just don’t measure up. In order to be in God’s Holy presence we must ask for His forgiveness. If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
We must understand that God's forgiveness is available to everyone. There isn't anything we can do that hasn't been done before. God has saved adulterers, liars, murderers, etc. before and He isn't going to stop now. If someone truly repents and asks for God's forgiveness, God can and will save him or her because He loves us. For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
It is impossible for God to allow sinners into heaven. It is difficult for our human minds to understand, but God is Holy and unless we have been cleansed of our sins, we cannot be with Him. That is what death vs. eternal life is all about. Death is when we die and are separated from God; whereas Eternal Life is when we get to be with God for eternity. For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. (Romans 6:23)
When we ask God for His forgiveness we must be willing to turn from our sinful, selfish ways, and make Him the center of our life. Change doesn’t typically occur overnight but instead it is a maturing process that takes place over time. Anyone who has been a Christian for any length of time knows that we will never be perfect. But, this isn’t an excuse for not trying to be. If you see someone who is compassionate, loving, kind, unselfish, etc., more than likely you are looking at a Christian who has turned from his or her sinful/selfish ways and is trying to conform to what God wants.
There is a heaven and even though many people don’t want to talk about it, there is a hell also. Heaven is for those who will be spending an eternity with God while hell is for those who don’t repent of their sins and will be eternally separated from God. Heaven is all about peace and love while hell is all about torture and torment. That is why Christians try so hard to lead others to Christ. They don’t want anyone to suffer. It truly is a life or death situation. The decision that people make to either accept or reject Jesus as their Lord and personal Savior has eternal consequences. If you ever encounter a Christian who, in your opinion, might be a little too pushy, just realize that his or her heart is in the right place. Christians don’t want anyone to suffer. They are looking forward to spending an eternity with their brothers and sisters in Christ worshiping the Lord and experiencing a level of peace and joy that is indescribable.
If you are missing the peace that comes from being a Christian, I hope you will pray this prayer:
“Lord, Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and have displeased you in many ways. I believe you died for my sins, and only through faith in your death and resurrection (when God raised you from the dead), can I be forgiven. I want to turn from my sinful ways and I ask you to come into my life as my Savior and Lord. From this day on, I will seek your guidance to live the life that you would have me live. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving me. Amen.”
If you did say this prayer, please tell a Christian friend about this most important decision. If you aren’t attending church somewhere we hope that you will find a good church to join. One thing to keep in mind is that you aren’t going to find a bunch of perfect people at church. What you will find are people just like you who have accepted the fact that they aren’t perfect and want the love and support from their church family to help them grow in faith.