Our Only Hope
Does God exist? Is there life after death? Those are some common questions that many ask. There’s another question that while not as common, is just as important: How good do you have to be to get to heaven?
Well, God is holy and perfect, and He requires perfect obedience to His commandments. What hope is there, then, for ever having a relationship with God? Here’s how:
The Triune God created the universe out of nothing for His own glory. He then uniquely created human beings in His image to be in a loving relationship with Him forever. God promised man eternal life if he obeyed him perfectly, but death if he disobeyed (Gen. 1:26-28, 2:7-17).
Man disobeyed God because he wanted to think and live the way he wanted to apart from God. As a result, death came into the world: “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).
This death is both physical and spiritual. Physically, we will all die one day. Spiritually, we are conceived and born alienated from God and relationship with Him, and are slaves to sin, death, and Satan (Psalm 51; Eph 2:1-3).
This means that we’re all guilty before God, and one day we’re going to die and be judged by God for our sins. Here’s the problem: No amount of religion or good deeds can satisfy God’s justice and get us to heaven: “For by works…no human being will be justified in His sight…” (Romans 3:20).
If that were the end of the story, we would have no hope. By God’s grace, that is not the end of the story:
The Good News is that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, was sent into the world to take our place and save us. To do that, He became fully human as we are, yet without sin. He then did what we failed to do by obeying God perfectly. He went on to die on the cross so that He could bear the judgment of God that we deserved. He then He rose bodily from the dead so that those who by God’s Spirit repent and believe in Him could be forgiven of their sins and be in a relationship of love with God forever!
Getting to heaven then is not by our efforts or good works; but is based entirely on God’s grace alone and what Jesus Christ alone has done for you! It’s a free gift: “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:23).
So, how do you receive this amazing gift?
Jesus said, “…repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Repent: this means to turn from your sin and your way of thinking and living, and turn to God’s way of thinking and living.
Believe: this means to place all of your trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you: “For by grace are you saved through faith…it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
When you by God’s grace repent and believe, the Scriptures declare that you have forgiveness of sins and eternal life right now: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life” (John 6:47).
To summarize, here’s how we must respond to this Good News:
- Admit that you have sinned against God and are deserving of eternal condemnation, and that your own good morals and good works will never be able to make you right with God.
- Believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, and that He died for sinners like you, and rose bodily from the dead so that all who turn from their sin and trust in Him alone will have eternal life.
- Call upon Jesus right now by receiving Him as your Lord and Savior as you turn away from your sin and place all of your trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you.
Would you like to receive this amazing gift of eternal life? Here’s a suggested prayer:
“Dear God, I believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, and that he died for sinners like me and rose bodily from the dead. Lord Jesus, I now place my trust in you alone to save me! I turn from my life of sin and commit my life to you. Amen.”
If that prayer expresses the desire of your heart, and you have prayed to receive Jesus and commit your life to Him, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want very much to rejoice with you and provide any assistance you might need in your journey of faith.
Having committed your life to Jesus, here’s some important things that you need to do:
- The Lord commands believers to be a part of a local church. We encourage you to get connected to a church that preaches the bible and believes that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. We invite you to join us at Olive Street every Sunday at 10:30am.
- Read God’s Word daily so that you can grow in your faith. A good place to start is the Gospel of John.
- Pray every day. Talk to God and give Him praise and thanks for who He is and all that He has done; confess your sins to Him; pray for others and any needs that you might have; and pray that His kingdom would continue to grow and how He might use you to love and serve others to that end.