Peace With God
“For God so loved the world…
Has anyone ever taken a Bible and shown you how you can know for sure that you’re going to Heaven?
John 3:16 says, “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.”
The Bible contains both bad news and good news. The bad news is something about you. The good news is something about God. Let’s look at the bad news first…
Bad News #1: You are a sinner.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
The word “sinned” literally means that we have “missed the mark”. When we lie, hate, steal, lust, gossip, etc…we have missed the perfect sinless standard God has set. For instance, suppose you and I were to each throw a rock and try to hit the North Pole. Well, you might throw farther than me or I might throw it farther than you…but we’re both going to end up a couple of thousand miles short…we’re both going to “miss the mark”. When the Bible says, “all have sinned and fall short,” it means that we have all come short of God’s standard of perfection. In our thoughts, words, and deeds, we have not been perfect or holy, like He is perfect and holy (without sin).
But the bad news gets worse.
Bad News #2: The penalty for sin is death.
“For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord ” – Romans 6:23
Suppose you worked for me and I paid you $50. That $50 was your wages. That’s what you earned. The Bible says that by sinning we have earned death. That means we deserve to die and be separated from God forever. That is what Jesus meant when He said “perish” in John 3:16.
But since there was no way you could come to God, the Bible says that God decided to come to you!
Good News #1: Christ died for you. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
Suppose you are in a hospital dying of cancer. I come to you and say “Let’s take the cancer cells from your body and put them into my body.” If that were possible, what would happen to me?…I would die. What would happen to you?…You would live.
The Bible says Christ took the penalty that we deserved for sin, placed it upon Himself, and died in our place. Three days later Christ came back to life to prove that sin and death have been conquered and that His claims to be God were true.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 says… “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
And just as the bad news got worse…so the Good News gets better!…
Good News #2: You can be saved through faith in Christ.
“For by grace (undeserved favor) you have been saved (delivered from sin’s penalty) through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
Faith means “trust”. Trusting in Christ, who is your sin bearer, as your own personal Savior. Romans 10:9,10 & 13 say… “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 it is with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. For whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
You must depend on Him alone to forgive you and to give you eternal life. In John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Just as you trust a chair to hold you through no effort of your own, so you must trust Jesus Christ to get you to heaven through no effort of your own.
But you may say:
- “I’m religious.”
- “I go to church.”
- “I don’t steal.”
- “I’m a good person.”
- “I help the poor.”
These are all good, but good living, going to church, helping the poor or any other good thing you might do cannot get you to heaven. You must trust in Jesus Christ alone, and God will give you eternal life as a gift! Does this make sense to you?
Is there anything keeping you from trusting Christ right now? Think carefully. There is nothing more important than your need to trust Christ. Remember! It is not a prayer that saves you. It is trusting Jesus Christ that saves you. Prayer is simply how you tell God what you are doing. You can talk to God and ask to be saved today! Would you like to tell God you are trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior? If you would, why not pray right now and tell God you are trusting in His Son?
You might pray something like this:
“Dear God, I acknowledge that I am a sinner without any hope of saving myself. I believe that Jesus is the Savior You sent to die for my sins personally. I choose this moment to trust Jesus Christ alone for my salvation. Please come into my life and make me the person You want me to be. I love You and thank You in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
What has just happened? What does all this mean?
In John 5:24 Jesus said, “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.”
- Did you “hear” God’s Word?
- Did you “believe” what God said and trust Christ as your Savior?
- Does “has everlasting life” mean later or right now?
- Does it say “does not come into judgment” or might not?
- Does it say “has passed from death” or will pass?
- Remember, Eternal life is based on “fact”, not feeling.
WHAT NOW? After you trust Christ as your only way to heaven, (Acts 4:12), here’s how to grow in your new relationship with God.
- Obey the Lord Jesus Christ’s command to be baptized to show others you trust in Jesus (Acts 8:36-38)
- Talk to God through prayer (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Starting in the Gospel of John, read and study the Bible every day (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- Worship & serve with God’s people in a Christ-centered, Bible-teaching church (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Tell others about Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19)