Did you ever discuss with anybody about what we must do to go to Heaven? Answers are usually given on presumption, and are never black and white. It is confusing!
One person may say, "You have to be good." That answer doesn't satisfy when asked "How good?" 10 different people will have 10 different standards to meet. What if yours aren't quite high enough?
Someone else will say, "You have to do good deeds." That sounds good, but what good deeds do I have to do? Again, everybody differs on what and how many good deeds we must do.
As we turn to religions, the confusion gains momentum, and the water turns muddier. Hundreds of religions in our world claim to have a "Corner-on-the-market". They are the only ones that are right, all others are wrong. You must be part of their crowd, or you don't have a chance to qualify. Other religions promote long lists of good works that must be done if you're going to qualify: baptism, catechism, confirmation, lent, penance, burning candles, indulgences, giving money, communion, church attendance, Bible reading, prayers, helping the poor, gifts to charity, church membership, and the list goes on depending on who you listen to!
Is God as wishy-washy as the answers man gives? Is He as confused as we are, Has He given us any definite qualifications to meet! Yes He has!
2. WHAT ABOUT WORKS?
The prophet Isaiah was inspired by God to address this subject by saying, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags." Isaiah 64:6 Note that the Lord said ALL OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (good works) are as filthy rags!
The great Apostle Paul said to the young preacher Titus in Titus 3:5, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us."
To the church at Ephesus, Paul wrote, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9
These verses show us clearly that to qualify to go to Heaven, it is not our good deeds that we do or our personal standards or our particular religious standards that will get us there. Qualification is in nothing that we can do.
These qualifications that men have set up are sincere, but wrong. The book of Romans addresses man's sincerity, but shows their error! Romans 10:2-3 says, "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."They were ignorant of God's righteousness and so they made up their own, but God's righteousness is measured by a Person and not a man-made standard, and that Person is Christ. The next verse, verse 4, says, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Jesus said, "For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall EXCEED (not meet, or equal - but EXCEED) the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees (Religious rulers of the day) ye shall in NO CASE enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
3. WHO QUALIFIES ON YOUR OWN TO GO?
The disciples, one time, heard Jesus say, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24 "When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed saying, Who then can be saved?" (verse 25).
To which Jesus answered, "WITH MEN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!" in verse 26.
It is impossible to save yourself It is impossible for you to do anything of your own works or merit to qualify to go to Heaven! JESUS SAID ITS Thank the Lord, the next thing He said was, "But with God all things are possible."
4. THERE IS ONE GROUP THAT QUALIFIES
It bears no denominational name and crosses all boundaries. They are called- SINNERS! Sinners who become believers. What do they believe? They believe what we just studied! That they cannot save themselves and therefore need a Savior!
If you could qualify of your own effort to go to Heaven, then why did Jesus have to die on the cross for you? If we could earn our own salvation, what a waste it was for Jesus to suffer for us and bleed to death in our place.
Jesus did not die to enhance our faith! He did not die to be a martyr for the Christian religion. THE BIBLE TELLS US WHY JESUS DIED. "Christ died for OUR SINS according to the Scriptures." I Corinthians 15:3
God showed His love towards us "... in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Please notice in this verse what we can be made because Christ died for us, "For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." II Corinthians 5:21
5. CAN I QUALIFY?
You cannot save yourself. No matter what you have done, or will do. Only Jesus Christ can save you. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. If with this knowledge you will turn from what you can do, and trust in what Jesus has done, and accept Him as your Savior, you will be saved and qualify to go to Heaven.
Acts 16:31 says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
If you're too proud to admit you're a sinner and cannot possibly save yourself, you'll spend eternity in Hell. The only ones who are going to Heaven are sinners saved by God's grace!
Will you believe? Will you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior today? He died for YOU! He was buried and rose again. He shed His blood on the cross for you, and His blood will do for you, what your good works cannot do for you; that is, save your soul! (Romans 5:9) God promises that if you'll call upon the Lord, He (not us) will save us.
With these thoughts in mind, make your decision for Christ today. Don't delay. Don't put it off Ask God to save you today!
If you'll take Jesus as your Saviour, pray from your heart, "Dear Heavenly Father, I cannot save myself, please save me. I do receive thy Son, Jesus Christ, and my Saviour, please give me eternal life, forgive me of all my sins and help me to live for you. I believe that the blood of Jesus Christ will wash away all my sins. In Jesus' name, Amen!"