Yeah, I know… maybe it is trite, but little kids can get this … while the brilliant come up empty.
The simplicity of salvation, once you see it, is simply breathtaking. But it takes humility … the kind kids have.
Heaven? Sure, who wouldn’t want to go? Maybe you haven’t checked out the other place yet: a place so hot light can’t exist … the furious, in-your-face hatred of One so dreadfully powerful … NOT an option.
So, where do we start? Every religion claims the answer, and no two are just alike. They could all be wrong … sure … and maybe you’re cool (pun intended) as long as you’re sincere.
Then again, only one way … taken from a bunch of contradictory ways … can be correct. And, being wrong about this just might make a difference in the end … just maybe.
The Bible claims that what you believe about salvation makes a BIG difference. It also presents a way to Heaven that’s fundamentally unique, different from every religion you’ll ever explore.
And it’s simple.
The Bible also claims you can know for SURE. You won’t find that anywhere else either.
… And… if you don’t know for sure, and you’re sane … you’re also scared spit-less. Sane? A religion that leaves us unsure about eternity? Nope. That’s crazy!
And it’s GOT to be simple for us … simple, simple, simple. It is.
Square 1 You can know for sure where you’ll spend eternity. You that believe on the name of the Son of God … may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13). If you aren’t absolutely sure, right now, with no reservation whatsoever, that you are going to Heaven when you die … make up your mind: don’t settle for less. You don’t have to … and you shouldn’t. You can be sure of this … sure unto joy.
Square 2 If finding salvation, or keeping it, has anything to do with being good then being SURE of Heaven implies you can define EXACTLY how good you have to be. Impossible, unless the standard is perfection.
Perfect. That’s God’s standard: The wages of sin is death. (Roans 6:23) The soul that sins, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4). If you’ve ever sinned you’ve blown your chance to earn your way to Heaven. Are ya perfect?
Truth is, you aren’t good. No one is. There is none that does good, no, not one. (Roans 3:12) The more light you have the more of your filth you can see. If you can’t see your filth … you’re in the dark. Got light?
Square 3 Since we’re all helpless here, God’s done something about it. No, He hasn’t lowered His standard, and He’s not looking the other way.
He’s looking at Jesus … not at you!
Jesus Christ is God’s Son. Jesus is perfect. God sent Jesus to earth to die on behalf of sinners just like you. God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Roans 5:8)
When God looks at Jesus, He’s looking for you. For God to find you in Jesus, you must believe in Jesus, believe He died for you. You must be certain that you’re safe from God’s anger because of what Jesus did.
What must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved. (Acts 16:30-1)
When you first believe in Jesus, believe that He died for YOU, something special happens: Jesus takes your place … God the Father puts everything you’ve ever done (or ever will do) wrong on His Son. When God looks at Jesus, God sees you. Jesus is guilty instead of you — God kills Jesus instead of you. When God looks at you, He sees Jesus’ perfection: you are righteous instead of Jesus … Jesus’ blood has washed away all your sin.
When you believe in Jesus, an innocent Man dies in your place, becomes your sin, and you become His perfection. He has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) The transaction is perfectly just, and perfectly secure.
The only way a believer in Jesus can end up in Hell is if God fails … Not gonna happen.
And think about it, we could never be sure about Heaven any other way. It’s so simple! So perfect! So beautiful … only God Himself could have designed it. He did, and He did it for you.
Just believe in Jesus. It’s that simple.
He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)
For now, God is looking at Jesus, looking for you in Jesus. But, like the good Book says here, if you don’t believe in Jesus, God will eventually look you over … all on your own … and you’ll be toast. Not good.
Square 4 The million dollar question is this: How do I know if I believe in Jesus? That’s simple too! Do you act like it? Believers love Jesus; we want to obey Him – and we know we’re as safe from Hell as He is, even when we fail, because He died for us. We aren’t perfect, but we know where we’re going; it’s a life of faith.
Faith is absolute certainty. He that doubts is … not of faith. (Roans 14:23) Do you KNOW you’re safe from Hell because Jesus died for you? Do your actions, thoughts and feelings agree? If you’ve never been absolutely sure of your safety in Jesus, or if you think you found safety apart from Him, or if you’re sinning on purpose … you’re in BIG trouble.
The only way to be so sure about Jesus is for God to help you. Faith is a gift from God, and by it God enables (this is grace) sinners to believe in Jesus and walk with Him. For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works … For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God … ordained… that we should walk in them. (Epesians 2:8-10)
Just check out the evidence: if you live like you have faith then you have it; if not, you don’t. Knowing … your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also … in much assurance. And ye became followers of … the Lord, having received the word … with joy. (1 Thessalonians 1:4-6)
When you follow Jesus in faith, you experience joy. Serve Him with all your heart, rejoicing in what God’s done for you … rejoice evermore. (1 Thessalonians 5:16) God intends for your joy to be full. (1 John 1:4)
But, what if … you don’t believe … you aren’t rejoicing … you don’t love Him? You need FAITH … now!
If you want to believe in Jesus and follow Him … don’t despair. You wouldn’t want to, deep inside, unless God intends to help you out. There is none that seeks after God (Roans 3:11) on their own.
But rather than you just sitting there, God wants to involve you … to pursue Him! God wants you … WOW!
So go after Him! Pester Him! Tell Him you want this belief, this faith in Jesus … and don’t take any silence or delay as a “No.” Persist. He’s not mean, obviously … you wouldn’t be here if He was. He loves you! Sooner or later, truly, He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Find some believers. Start meeting with them. Worship with them, question them, challenge them … listen, ponder, seek … THINK! Check out EVERYTING they say for yourself in the Bible … and do what it says.
Now … you should be looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) Keep looking at what Jesus did; study Him and behold Him. When it comes to salvation, don’t look anywhere else. Rejoice alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ, and what He is for those who believe.