This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #373 titled, “How Can You Know for Sure You’re Going to Heaven?” I’m here to remind you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.
A recent poll indicated that for every American who believes he or she is going to hell, there are 120 who believe they’re going to Heaven.
This optimism stands in stark contrast to Jesus Christ’s words written in the Bible in Matthew 7:13–14: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
The truth is that according to the Bible we don’t automatically go to Heaven. In fact, Hell—not Heaven—is our default destination. Unless our sin problem is solved once and for all, we can’t enter Heaven. That’s the bad news.
But once that’s straight in our minds we’re ready to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Jesus took upon Himself, on the cross, the Hell we deserve so that we could experience for eternity the Heaven we don’t deserve!
THE ONLY TWO OPTIONS
There are two possible destinations when we die: Heaven or Hell. Can we really know in advance where we’ll go? John, one of the writers of the Bible, said this in 1 John 5:13: “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.”
We can know for sure that we’ll go to Heaven when we die. Do you?
To sin means to fall short of God’s holy standards. Sin is what ended paradise in the Garden of Eden. And all of us, like Adam and Eve, are sinners. The Bible says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. Sin separates us from a relationship with God and it deceives us and makes us think that wrong is right and right is wrong. Sin has terrible consequences, but God has provided a solution: Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, loved us so much that He left the riches of Heaven to become a man and deliver us from our sin. John 3:16 says, “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”. He came to identify with us in our humanity and our weakness, but He did so without being tainted by our sin, self-deception, and moral failings. Jesus died on the cross as the only One worthy to pay the penalty for our sins demanded by the holiness of God: The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He [God] hath made Him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”. But in victory over death, God raised Jesus from the grave, defeating the consequences of sin.
When Christ died on the cross for us, He said, “It is finished”. In those times “It is finished” was commonly written across certificates of debt when they were canceled. It meant “Paid in full.” Christ died so that the certificate of debt consisting of all our sins could once and for all be marked “Paid in full.”
THE CRITICAL DECISION
Only when our sins are dealt with in Christ can we enter heaven.
We cannot pay our own way. Jesus said in John 14:6, “…No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”. The Bible says in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”. Because of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross on our behalf, God freely offers us forgiveness.
To be forgiven, we must recognize and repent of our sins. Forgiveness is not automatic. It’s conditioned upon confession: 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. Christ offers to everyone the gifts of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life. The Bible says in Revelation 22:17, “And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely”.
There’s no righteous deed we can do that will earn us a place in heaven. We come to Christ empty-handed. We can take no credit for salvation. The Bible states in Ephesians 2:8–9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”. This gift cannot be worked for, earned, or achieved. It’s dependent solely on Christ’s generous sacrifice on our behalf.
Now is the time to make things right with God. Confess your sinfulness and accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on your behalf.
You are made for a person and a place. Jesus is the Person, and Heaven is the place. They are a package— they come together. You cannot get heaven without Jesus or Jesus without heaven. The Bible says in Isaiah 55:6, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:”. For all eternity you’ll be glad you did.
If you understand what God has done to make forgiveness and eternal life possible for you and if you are willing to trust Jesus Christ with all of your heart so you can go to Heaven, please pray with me what is called the sinner’s prayer: Holy Father God, I acknowledge that I am a sinner and I admit that I have sinned against You and that I have broken Your Ten Commandments. I have lied before. I have stolen things before. I have lusted after people and things before. I have dishonored and disobeyed my parents. I have taken Your holy Name in vain. For Jesus Christ’s sake, please have mercy and grace upon my soul and forgive me of all of my sins, my failures, and my faults. As I now believe in Your Holy Son the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that He suffered, bled, and died on the cross for my sins, was buried and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to repent of my sins past. Help me to turn from my old, evil life and follow You in the new life. For it is in Your Name I pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this Gospel presentation. If you have decided to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour after listening to this podcast, please email us at [email protected] and let us know. To find out more about what you need to do after trusting Christ as Savior, visit GospelLightSociety.com and read “What to Do After You Enter Through the Door”.
The tract this podcast is based on is written by Randy Alcorn and published by Crossway, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to spread God’s Word to the world through the printed page and other media. You can order copies of this tract online at Crossway.org.