Do you believe that Jesus, the Son of God, and God the Son, died for all of your sins the cross, was buried, and rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures? (1st Corinthians 15:1-4)
If you believe this Gospel for even one moment, if you believe in Jesus, that Jesus did it all for you, and your good works before, during or after coming to faith in Jesus play zero part in your salvation, then you are permanently saved, and sealed forever for Heaven. (John 6:47, Ephesians 1:13,14)
If you do not believe in Christ, and you never believed in Christ, and you never do believe in Christ before you die, then you will go to Hell, a real physical Place of burning fire, to be tormented forever for your sins, and you will be removed from the presence of God forever.
God loves you and wants you to be with Him forever, instead of being punished for your sins away from His love and comfort forever.
This is the truth the Bible teaches about eternal salvation. It is the ultimate question. Amen.
Satan constantly bombards people’s minds with all kinds of lies straight from Hell, such as these:
“There is no Satan.”
“There is no Hell.”
“Hell is not forever.”
“Hell is a party and all your friends will be there.”
“Any suffering in Hell is minor.”
“There is no afterlife.”
“Heaven is a fantasy not a reality.”
“There is no God. God is just a silly childish idea in your mind like the Tooth Fairy.”
“There is no God.”
“You are God.”
“Life is common in the universe.” (This from “scientists” who purportedly rely on ‘evidence’ in their profession.)
“There is no evidence of ‘design’ that God created the universe.”
“All life evolved from a common ancestor that arose from the cosmic soup billions of years ago.” (Used to be ‘millions’ of years ago.)
“We are entering the Next Ice Age.” (1980s)
“The earth is warming up dangerously.” (2000s)
(In contrast to God’s clear statement in Genesis that there would always be seasons of cold and heat until the end.)
“There is no absolute morality–no good and evil.”
“People are naturally ‘good.’”
“There is no ultimate meaning to anything.”
“Whatever you believe is true for you.” (Unless you believe the doctrines of Christianity.)
“There are many groups of people older than the people mentioned in Genesis.”
“Christians are incapable of rationality.”
(The world’s new definition of “tolerate” is *to not disagree* with anything that attacks God and His Word.)
“God goes by many names–every other “God” out there is the same as the Christian God: Allah, Buddha, Krishna, etc. …”
“All religions are equally effective to save your soul.”
“The Bible is just a bunch of myths that ignorant and uneducated people believe.”
“Jesus was just a man.”
“Jesus’ bones are buried over in the Holy Land.” (director James Cameron.)
“Jesus never said all these things that are attributed to Him in the Bible.”
“The historical reality of Jesus is nil. He never existed. He is just a myth.”
“You are a good person. You don’t need Jesus to forgive your “sins.”
“Jesus never rose from the dead.”
“There is no such thing as sin or evil.”
“All sins are the same in degree of wrongness.”
“The Bible is just the words of men.”
“The Bible has been vastly altered since it was first written.”
“Science has proven the Bible wrong.”
“Women are the same as men.”
“Women can be pastors.”
“A woman has the right to end her pregnancy.”
“Homosexuality is normal. Practicing homosexuality is something to be proud about and to celebrate.”
“Science conflicts with the Bible.”
“The universe is billions of years old.” (The Bible genealogies and recorded lifespans indicate about 6,000 years.)
“Your lifelong discipleship good works are part of your ~justification~. They are necessary for your salvation.” (Wrong. Salvation is a free gift to those who believe in the God-man Jesus who died on the cross for all sins and rose again on the third day. (1st Corinthians 14:1-4) )
No, I don’t think that Heaven and Hell are made-up ideas designed to control people. I believe that they are realities because the Bible teaches that they are real places that people will go to in the afterlife.
One of the thoughts I’ve had on this subject is that the life we live in this world leaves so much to be desired that Heaven does not seem like a story. It seems like the fulfillment of all human hopes and wishes. There will be no death in Heaven. There will be no sin or evil in Heaven. There will be no pain or suffering in Heaven.
Heaven will leave nothing to be desired. Infinite fulfillment.
And Hell fulfills the God’s justice.
Unfortunately, without salvation through faith in Jesus, we would also be among those who will receive God’s just punishment because of their sins.
Many people today in various churches believe that something more than, “believe in Jesus” is needed for salvation. (This is the deadly false doctrine called, “Lordship Salvation” taught by the Roman Catholic Church, and by ~many~ Protestant churches today.” It is the number one lie of Satan.)
Some of the things that people believe they need to do to get saved or maintain being saved are:
1) “repentance from sins” (turning from sins)
2) being water baptized
3) attending church (or Mass),
4) avoiding big sins
5) doing good works of discipleship
6) loving your neighbor as yourself
7) forgiving people
8) giving money faithfully to the work of the church
9) being positive and joyful
10) knowing the Bible
11) raising good kids
12) being tolerant
13) attending Communion or Lord’s Supper regularly
Now these are all positive things, but you can’t get saved by doing ~any~ of them. These are all the works of ~men~.
~The Bible says very clearly, over and over, that no one can be saved by doing good works.~
~The Bible says very clearly, over and over, about 150 times, that the ~only~ thing that is necessary for a person to be saved is for that person to BELIEVE IN JESUS.~ The Philippian jailer asked Paul the apostle, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul answered: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:30,31)
Jesus said the same thing in John 3:16 and John 6:47:
“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.” –John 3:16
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” –John 6:47
~Nothing else~ is required of you for you to be guaranteed of salvation, to be completely forgiven, to be transformed, and to be guaranteed to go to Heaven when you die.
Jesus did it ~all~.
Anything you add to believing in Jesus, anything else you are trusting in, in addition to Jesus, to be saved, creates a false Gospel that cannot save you.
If you add your good works or your discipleship to the Gospel of Jesus, it becomes a false Gospel (see Galatians chapter one).
~Trust in Jesus ~alone~ and you will be saved.~
Don’t make your good works or your discipleship or your ~repentance from sins~ or your water baptism part of salvation–they are not part of salvation.
Secondly, we are only kept in ~fellowship~ with God through faith in Jesus.
Our good works done as believers, motivated by the Spirit of God, are ~not~ what saves us –they are ~not~ part of salvation, they are the ~result~ of salvation.
Only the perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus can save us.
Doing sins does not damn us and doing good works does not save us.
Our sins have been forgiven by Jesus.
Our sins would have damned us, but they have ~all~ been paid for by Jesus’ dying on the cross.
Repentance means to “change your mind” and to realize that your are a sinner and that Jesus is God and Savior. The repentance spoken of in the Bible in association with salvation is not, “repent of your sins,” but, “repent” (change your mind about your unbelief–and believe in Jesus.)
The Bible ~never~ commands us to “repent of our sins” in order to be saved.
Certainly, changing our minds about sins and stopping doing sins is a good thing, but doing this will ~not~ save you.
Only believing in Jesus will save you.
The baptism that saves your soul is ~not~ water baptism, but ~spiritual~ baptism, where we are baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ, invisibly, at the moment of belief. (Romans 6:3-4)
Our attempts at being good, our good works and our avoidance of sinning does not qualify us for fellowship with God.
Only Jesus’ forgiveness and righteousness can qualify us for fellowship with God–only He makes us pure in the sight of God.
So here we see freedom in salvation through faith in Christ, and freedom in fellowship with God through faith in Christ.
Believe in Christ, and you will be saved.
(Another way of saying this is to “trust in Jesus as your Savior from sin and Hell.”)
If you believe in Jesus you will also be sanctified, if you follow the Spirit and do good works.
Only belief in Jesus saves anyone from their sins and from Hell.
Only believing in Jesus is the way to Heaven. (John 6:47; John 3:16; 1st Corinthians 15:1-4; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:13,14; Ephesians 2:8,9)
Every religion on earth, and all throughout history, has a doctrine about each one of the following four things:
The question is, what is the truth about each of these four subjects?
The answers, according to the Bible, are:
God is the Creator of the Universe.
Morality is the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.
Reality is that you are not God and that God is not part of the world.
Salvation from sin and Hell is found through faith in Jesus the crucified and risen Savior.
False religions have false answers to these questions.
These answers are God’s answers that He has revealed through His written Word.