Monday, January 30, 2006

WHAT MUST I DO TO GET TO HEAVEN?


Many people believe that at the end of their life, God will judge their works. If the good outweighs the bad, then they are accepted into heaven. Many people, when asked why they are going to heaven, quickly point out that they have never murdered anyone. They compare themselves to other people.
Is this thought correct? Does the Bible teach that we can make it to heaven on our own merit?
The Bible tells us that God is perfect, He is holy and blameless. It also tells us that we are not. We have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Everyone of us has done something wrong. Over the course of our lifetime, we have all told lies. We have stolen or cheated. We have gossiped or approved gossip. We have lusted after people or coveted material possessions. When you start thinking about all of the sins we have committed, can we really say with a straight face, "I'm a good person"? Of course not.
The Bible says that we are condemned through the sin of Adam. Everyone of us has sinned and we are not worthy of heaven.
Under the law, God accepted animal sacrifices as a temporary covering for their sins. We know it was temporary, because every year they would have to sacrifice another animal. The Bible also teaches us that the blood of animals cannot take away the sins of the world.
We see the ultimate sacrifice through the Son fo God, the Lord Jesus Christ. This death was prophesied over 1000 years before Jesus Christ. In fact, we see over 30 direct prophecies about Jesus Christ. All of these were fulfilled literally. It was not coincidence. It was not dumb luck. Jesus died and rose again on the 3rd day.
The next question is this: If Jesus died for the sins of the world, then isn't everyone saved? God gives us the opportunity for salvation. He provided the way for mankind to achieve heaven. And the Bible says it's not by our works, but by His Grace upon our faith.
Many people think they are going to heaven because they go to church. They think that water baptism has saved them (or even confirmed them). They think that circumcision or following the law can save them. We see that salvation has always been by grace through faith. We see this with two specific people.
1) The thief on the cross did not have time to go down and be water baptize nor did he have time to do any good works. Yet Jesus told him that he would be with Jesus that day in paradise.
2) The jailer in Acts 16:31 asks Paul what he must do to be saved. Paul did not respond with a
) let me check and see if you were elected,
b) umm you need to be water baptized before you can become saved
c) have you been circumcised yet? (did he check?),
d) NO, he responded with this simple statement: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.
I tell you the same thing: If you want to go to heaven, if you want to have confidence in eternal life...."Believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross, that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures. The moment of true belief, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit seals you, baptizes you into the Body of Christ, circumcises your heart, indwells you...etc. The moment you believe, you are a child of God, not based on your works, but based upon the faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
It is the best choice you could ever make!

7 comments:

bman said...

Very true and practical Karl....

Thanks...

Ellie said...

I have your same belief about salvation and redemption through the Blood of The Lamb Jesus Christ.I also believe that Faith is vital to this belief.I believe that good works are the result of our Love for God and what we do in response to our salvation,redemption, God's Love, etc.I believe that works may play a role in terms of our placement in Heaven, "My Fathers House Has Many Mansions."
I recently has a conversation with my inlaws, regular church goers and they sent their 4 boys to Christian School and went without things to accomplish this. A friend who they know from Texas where they used to spend the winter months had passed away.They were mourning her death. I asked them if she was saved. My mom in law said that she hadn't lived the life of a saved person and they hadn't talked to her about savation.The implication was that some are chosen to be saved and she wasn't.Also that it's works that get you to heaven and she hadn't lived a good life. Can you imagine the shock when I corrected them with the use of scripture????
I feel such sadness in my heart over all those well meaning Christians who have missed the point of salvation and believe thay have earned it.And all the souls that are lost through their ignorance.

Does anyone have anything they can say to sooth the hurt in my heart over all these people who may be lost to salvation because of the ignnorance of Christians who fail to share the message of Salvation??

Spread the word, JESUS SAVES!!!!!

Nate said...

Karl

I would like you to post and or recomend books about the reason that you and your theologians do not believe in water baptism.

Gretchen and I have talked about this for a long time but I still do not fully grasp it.

Also does Satan believe that Jesus died according to the scriptures and that he rose on the third day?

Thanks Pastor Karl.

karl said...

sure nate, will do. i could send you a book if you want a free book. i know you don't like to read...
just kidding
about Satan: is there a reason that you ask? I know that we need to remember that knowing or believing something doesn't mean that you are placing faith in that object.
unless you are that guy in my church who believes that Satan will get a chance to be saved....

Nate said...

Thanks Karl. You can send me the book, but I would like to have some blog-interaction as well.

The reason I say that about Satan is that- doesnt Satan believe that Jesus died and rose on the 3rd day?
James says that even the devils believe; and they tremble.

karl said...

James 2:19 says that the demons believe in one God. It doesn't say that they believe that Jesus died and rose again on the third day. And again, it doesn't say that Satan believes in God, just that they believe that God exists.

so interesting subject, worthy of a discussion for sure.
and yes I will get to the water baptism issue.

Nate said...

What I am saying is that demons and Satan fit this criteria for belief. I am sure that Satan and demons witnessed the ressurrection. Something that we do not have- we take it by faith.

Maybe the criteria for heave should be more qualified. Define belief as well as define what the fruits of that belief are.

Many will say Lord, Lord... I am sure that these people "believe", but they are going to hell.

I do not mean to nitpick, but a lot of people today will be in shock when they they are not allowed into heaven. The Gospel is much more than just saying that you believe that Jesus died and rose for the forgivenss of sins.

Thanks Karl.