|How Can I Get To Heaven|
In Matthew 19:23-26 (NKV), Jesus made some rather startling comments concerning the possibility of mankind gaining an entrance into heaven.
A rich young man, and a man whom Jesus loved, had just walked away from Him.
And as he walked away, Jesus, Who no doubt was shaking His head in sorrow, “said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. “And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, Who then can be saved?" Matthew 19:23-25
That’s a really important question, isn’t it? "Who then can be saved?"
And I’m sure Jesus’ answer was anything but what they expected.
Looking at His disciples, no doubt to get their full attention, He said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Did He really say that?
Did Jesus really say not only is it hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, but it is impossible for anyone to do so?
Yes, He did.
But, what about the multitudes of people who believe they can sufficiently obey God’s commandments to gain an entrance into heaven, or, at least, if they haven’t quite obeyed all of God’s Laws, they can do enough good works to put themselves on the plus side of the ledger?
What about them?
First of all, let me hasten to say that God’s Word absolutely refutes the idea that we can work our way to heaven.
In fact, Ephesians 2:8-9 says,“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
And Titus 3:5-6 plainly teaches that it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
And added to all this, the Son of God, Who certainly should know what the criteria for entering heaven is, has told us that "With men this is impossible.”
And why is it so impossible?
It is impossible because God is righteous, and man is entirely sinful.
And as you might expect, those two conditions are completely incompatible.
But it wasn’t always that way.
In the beginning, when God created Adam and Eve in His likeness, they were entirely without sin.
However, under the influence of Satan’s lie, they rebelled against God.
Yes, sin had entered the world, and became part of human nature.
Genesis 5:1-3 “This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and, after his image, and named him Seth.”
Do you see the transition?
God created Adam in “the likeness of God.”
However, after Adam sinned and was cast out of the Garden of Eden, he---“begot a son in his own likeness,” and “after his image.”
Yes, Seth became a partaker of Adam’s sin nature.
And not only did this apply to Adam’s firstborn, but to the entire human race.
We are sinners by inheritance, and, as a result, we are sinners by our own actions.
OK, but how bad do our sins have to be to keep us out of heaven?
After all, most of us haven’t robbed a bank, or committed murder, or lied under oath.
Well, in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus opened our eyes concerning God’s view of our sin:
V 21-22 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder”. . . “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”
V 27-28 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Yes, as 1 Samuel 16: 7 tells us “. . . man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
And God sees us just as we are.
No wonder Romans 3:23 sums it up with the words, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
And Romans 3:10 comes to the same conclusion, “There is none righteous, no, not one.”
So then, when it comes to qualifying for heaven, Jesus’ words ring true: “With men this is impossible.”
However, He also said, “but with God all things are possible."
Yes, “with God all things are possible," but all things are not easy.
As Abraham once said, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
And, of course, the answer is yes.
God cannot snap His fingers and simply say “I will forget about your sin.”
The “wages of sin is death,” and those wages must be paid.
And that’s exactly what God was willing to do.
To put it in the words of John 3:16, “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.”
Can you imagine a love that would compel you to sacrifice your own son to save those who were your enemies?
And can you imagine a Son who would change places with such sinners and allow them to change places with Him?
Well, that’s what happened on the cross of Calvary.
John the Baptist called Jesus “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
And that’s exactly who He was.
On the cross, Jesus became our sacrifice for sin.
Yes, He became our substitute.
It must have grieved God’s heart more than we can possibly imagine, but 2 Corinthians 5:21 confirms that earthshaking event.
“For He (that is God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
And that is the cost of the free gift that is offered to you.
Certainly, “. . .the wages of sin is death.”
Not only does that mean physical death, which we are all familiar with, but it means spiritual death as well, separated from God, lost in hell for all eternity.
However, this verse also says, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
And not only did Jesus bear the punishment for our sins, but He rose from the grave, victorious over sin and death.
It has been said that the gospel is like the ocean.
The greatest theologian cannot fully plumb its depths, and yet the smallest child can wade into its waters and receive its full benefit.
So, let me make it simple.
Let me give you the ABC’s of the gospel which Pastor J.D. Farag of Mid-East Prophecy Update uses so effectively.
A - You must admit (acknowledge) that you are a sinner.
Romans 3:10 tells us that "There is none righteous, no, not one.”
And Romans 3:23 confirms the bad news: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
However, even though Romans 6:23 tells us “the wages of sin is death,” it also tells us that “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
However, acknowledging your sin is only the first step.
Not only must you acknowledge your sin, but you must repent.
B - Believe Jesus is Lord and accept God’s gift of salvation through Him.
What is impossible for man is possible with God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace (that is God’s love) you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
And Romans 10:9-10 promises us “that 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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
C - Call upon His name.
That is the name of the Lord Jesus.
And Romans 10:13 promises us that “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."
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If you have truly repented of your sins, and if you believe in your heart that the Lord Jesus, and only the Lord Jesus, has died for your sins, you can call upon His name in prayer, and you “shall be saved."
Prayer is just talking to God in Jesus’ name.
You might like to say something like this:
I repent of my sins, and I thank the Lord Jesus for saving me from their penalty. I believe and trust that His sacrifice on the cross is able to make me a child of God. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for loving me enough to save me from a lost eternity. Thank You for making me acceptable for heaven.
And on the authority of God’s Word, I can tell you that “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
You can be saved right now, and you can be saved for eternity.
It is the finished work of Jesus Christ.
And you do not have to hang on to your salvation. Jesus hangs on to you.
John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
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As a child of God, you will need the fellowship of other children of God.
The Bible teaches us that born-again believers, those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Saviour, are called the bride of Christ, and are part of His spiritual body on this earth.
You should look for such a group.
There are many religions and even those who call themselves Christians who are not part of Christ’s spiritual body.
When looking for fellowship, check out the congregation’s statement of faith.
Many churches have websites that include their statement of faith.
Or you can go to their church gathering and ask them for their printed statement of faith.
They must believe that all the Bible is God’s inspired Word.
They must believe that Jesus is their one and only Saviour.
And they must believe in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
Nothing can be added to it and nothing can be taken away.
He is able to keep His sheep, and you cannot be lost once you have been saved.
And if I can be of any further assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
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