Valley Baptist Church
Where Will I Go When I Die?
This is the most important question of your life. The consequences of how we answer this question will continue for all eternity – that is forever and ever. The results of some choices last for a life time, and we should consider them very carefully, but still if we make a mistake, it’s over in seventy-plus years anyway. When you consider this question, you’re “playing for keeps”.
A vitally important factor when facing the question of how to get to Heaven is: who’s authority am I going to accept for the answer? Many would presume to give you an answer, but do they actually have the authority to offer Heaven to you on their terms? It’s like a fraudulent salesman selling you an airline ticket which will not be honored at the gate. The airline will not honor a ticket which is not sold under it’s authority. After all, it is their airplane and they are in control of who gets aboard. God has not given some man the authority to give you a “pass or don’t pass” for Heaven. Nor has He given that power to some church, or religion, or “ism”. Beware of any religion claiming their sect as the gate to Heaven.
Jesus Christ said very plainly that He is the one and only way to Heaven. “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by Me”. (John 14:6)
The place where we find Christ revealed is in the Bible. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27) The Bible is all about Him.
The Bible is also authoritative because it is the divinely inspired Word of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (II Timothy 3:16) It was given to us by the Great Creator God who created the vast universe, as well as Heaven and Hell and the human race. He created it all. He controls it all. He writes the rules – all the rules. He is the one who writes the rules for human behavior. He writes the rules determining who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell.
The Bible is the place where we must turn to find the real way to Heaven. Wouldn’t it be wise to spend a few moments to see what the Bible says about “how to be saved”?
YOU CAN KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO HEAVEN
God tells us we can know we are saved and on our way to Heaven. “”He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
(I John 5:12,13)
Eternal life is necessary for living in Heaven, just as physical life is necessary to live in this world. It is not a matter of hoping you are going to make it to Heaven because you have “been good enough”. It is a matter of knowing because you have Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Either you have had an experience of receiving Him as Saviour, and have eternal life, or you have not.
WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO HAVE THIS EXPERIENCE OF RECEIVING CHRIST?
This salvation experience is necessary because of sin. Sin is defined as the breaking of God’s law. (I John 3:4) We are all guilty of sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). An honest observation will reveal that every last one of us is guilty of sin. That surely includes you, my friend.
There is a consequence of sin. “For the wages of sin is death;” (Romans 6:23a). The death spoken of here is eternal death in the Lake of Fire. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Revelation 20:14) Wages are something we have earned, something we deserve. Sin has earned Hell for each one of us (who have a sound and mature mind). My friend, this includes you as well as all the rest of us. Because of this reality, every one of us stands in need of a Saviour – not a religion, but a Saviour — the Saviour!
CHRIST DIED IN OUR PLACE
God has made a way for us to escape Hell, even though we all stand condemned by our record of sin. God’s plan of salvation is a plan of substitution – allowing the death of someone else to be substituted for the death which we deserve. The death of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary is substituted for our eternal death in Hell. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
ETERNAL LIFE IS A GIFT
It is very important to understand that eternal life is a gift. “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b) You can do nothing at all to earn your way to Heaven. There is a world of difference between wages and a gift. A wage is something you deserve because you earned it. You have worked for it.
A gift must be absolutely free. You cannot earn it, work for it, or pay for it in any way – otherwise it ceases to be a gift. God’s gift of salvation to you must be received as a gift. He will not allow you to pay for it or even help pay for it with any kind of good works, religious deeds, or what have you. His terms for your entry into His Heaven are “FREE”. The terms are not negotiable.
THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE MUST BE RECEIVED
Even though a gift cannot be paid for, it still must be received. Supposing someone offered you an expensive automobile as a gift. All that would be required of you is that you sign the title of ownership and thereby acknowledge ownership of the vehicle. You would not be allowed to pay anything for the vehicle, but you must acknowledge receiving it by signing your name. Desiring to have the car is not enough. You must be willing to receive.
To know that you need the gift of eternal life is not enough. To want it is not enough. You must make the transaction of receiving it.
HOW DO I RECEIVE THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE?
God tells us how to receive His gift of eternal life in Romans 10:9,10,13. “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. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Receiving the gift of eternal life is accomplished by simply calling upon Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and take you to Heaven. But it is a call from the heart – it is not just the repetition of words with the mouth. The heart is that place within each of us where the truly important decisions are made. What we are in our heart is what we truly are.
It is a call based upon understanding God’s terms of salvation. The understanding required is the understanding of the things presented above. It does not “take a rocket scientist”. A child can do it.
It is a matter of completely trusting Jesus Christ to take you to Heaven. He died to pay for your sins on the Cross. He arose from the grave to prove that His sacrifice for your sins was accepted.
IT’S UP TO YOU NOW!
The price for entry into Heaven (eternal life) has been paid.
How to receive God’s gift of eternal life has just been explained to you. What are you going to do about it? Will you turn to Christ now and claim Him as your Saviour? A simple prayer to Him from the heart is all that it takes for the salvation of your soul.