Saturday, February 18, 2012
Where Will You Spend Eternal Life?
Where Will You Spend Eternal Life?
What Is The Issue?
The most important issue you will ever face in life pertains to where you will spend eternity.
For many years, this matter of eternity was unresolved in my own life. I was raised in church, believed in God, and tried to be a good person. I believed heaven existed, and I hoped to go there when I died. However, I lacked the assurance of knowing that I had eternal life. Part of the problem was that I wasn’t sure what it took to get into heaven. I was told 3 steps at first, THEN, there were many other things I needed to do to actually be saved. I actually heard a message in Bible College that said "giving money" was a prerequisite to salvation. I believe in "giving" because the Bible commands us to. But not as a prerequisite to salvation Like many people, I assumed that acceptance by God was largely based on my own works and efforts. In other words, I believed if I was good enough, then God would let me into heaven. But there was a nagging concern that maybe I wasn’t quite good enough. After all, I really didn’t know exactly what was "good enough" as far as God was concerned. Eventually I saw some wonderful truths in God’s Word (the Bible) that answered my questions and enabled me to receive God’s gift of eternal life.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
1. God loves us and does not want us to perish.
John 3:16,17 — 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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
1 Timothy 2:4 — [God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2. All people have sinned. Sin causes separation from God.
Isaiah 59:2 — But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you….
Romans 3:23 — For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
James 2:10 — For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
3. Heaven is a free gift. You cannot earn or deserve heaven.
Romans 6:23 — For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8,9 — 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.
4. God wanted us to be brought back into relationship with Him. For this reason, Jesus paid the penalty for our sin when He died upon the cross.
Romans 5:8,9 — But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
1 Corinthians 15:3 — For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.
5. We receive God’s forgiveness through faith, by trusting in Christ.
John 1:12 — But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name.
Romans 10:9,10 — …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.
YOU CAN RECEIVE THIS GIFT RIGHT NOW!
You can place your faith in Jesus and receive God’s gift of eternal life right now. I encourage you to agree with God’s Word and express your faith toward God by praying the following prayer:
Thank You that Your Son Jesus came to this earth, lived a sinless life, and died on the cross for my sins. I believe He rose from the dead so I could receive forgiveness, become Your child, and receive the gift of eternal life.
I come to You now and repent from all sin. I not only receive Your gift of forgiveness, but I give You all of my life and all of my heart. I believe you have accepted me because Jesus said, “...the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). You also said, “...whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Thank You for saving me, making me Your child, and helping me to live for You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
NOW THAT YOU’VE RECEIVED THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE…
1. Realize that in receiving the gift of eternal life, you have taken a wonderful first step. God not only wants you to have this gift, but He also wants you to get to know Him, to follow Him, and to serve Him with your whole life.
2. Get a Bible and begin reading! I recommend you begin with the Gospel of John. This book of the Bible will give you a tremendous introduction to who Jesus is. I also recommend you read a Bible that is translated into modern language. You might consider the New International Version or the English Standard Version.
3. Find a good church and attend regularly. It is important to become a part of a good church that believes in the Lordship of Jesus, the authority of the Bible, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Your spiritual walk and your spiritual growth can be greatly helped by your involvement in a good church. I encourage to come and visit GraceTown Church in Columbus, Ohio.
4. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit! God’s plan is that you walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit already lives in you if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, but there is an additional experience by which He fills you with power. In the Bible, you can read all about the outstanding works of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts.
5. Be baptized in water. This is an outward demonstration of the fact that you have become identified with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Book of Acts records numerous instances of early Christians being baptized in water in obedience to the instructions of Jesus.
IF YOU ARE TEMPTED TO DOUBT…
If you are ever tempted to doubt the fact that you are now a child of God and will spend eternity with Him, know that the Bible has many tremendous promises to further assure you. Here are three scriptures that are especially comforting:
John 5:24 — Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
John 6:37 — All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
1 John 5:13 — These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.