How does one get to Heaven?
1 Timothy 2:1-4 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
- It is a long passage, but an easy one to understand. Let's break it down. For this conversation, the first part of the passage does not really apply, we are looking at verses three and four. Grammatically, verse four is modifying or describing verse three. In other words, "Who would have all men to be saved" is describing "God our Saviour," right? So the first thing we see is that God wants all men (mankind or people) to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
- Now that we know that the Lord wants all men to be saved, let's look at why someone would need to be saved:
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
- Romans 5:12 tells us that all people sin because we have inherited a sin nature. Everyone who was born from the seed of a man has inherited that sin nature. That nature originated with Adam's Original Sin in the Garden of Eden. Because we have inherited the sin nature, we all sin. Every one of us. Think about it for a moment. Have you ever told a lie - even a little white lie? Have you ever wanted something that was not yours (coveted)? If you are breathing, the answer is yes to both of these questions. You and I are both sinners.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
- Romans 3:23 reaffirms this point: we have all sinned. Do you realize you are a sinner? Many people do not want to admit it to other people, but in our hearts, we all know we are sinners. We have all done things that have offended God. Knowing that we have offended God by sinning, what is the penalty of sin?
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death...
- Romans 5:12 (above) says plainly that death passed upon all men for all have sinned. Romans 6:23 clearly says that the wage, or what we have earned, for our sins is death. Even if we only sin one time, we deserve to die for that sin. However, there is more to that verse!
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- If I offer you a free gift, what do you have to do? Salvation is a free gift that you only need to accept. So how do you accept it?
- Different people read these pages from all over the world. My point of reference is the customs and traditions of the United States. As I write this, we are in the middle of the Christmas season. Unfortunately, the Christmas season has turned into something more about giving and receiving gifts than the birth of Christ. But let's look at the gift giving for a moment. My kids will come running out on Christmas morning, and they will have gifts waiting for them. What do they need to do to get those gifts? Nothing. They are gifts. All they have to do is take the gift.
- Likewise, salvation is a gift from God. Now, how does one accept that gift? Do you have to repent of something? Do you have to climb up steps on your knees? Do you have to buy candles from the church? No. These are all things invented by men. Some have said that it is just a matter of believing. The devil believes in God. His demons fear and tremble in the face of God.
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
- Notice the two parts: confess the Lord with your mouth and believe in your heart. If you believe you are a sinner and believe that Jesus died for your sins, you already have half of that down. Are you willing to do the other part? To confess Jesus is Lord? remember, salvation is a gift. When you realize that Jesus is your Lord and that he is your only means of salvation (the faith part), you need only ask Him to save you.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- Do you see? Salvation is like any other gift - all you have to do is ask for it.
- The Bible promises us that when we confess our sin, God forgives us. It is that simple. Consider this verse:
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
- God has promised that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us. It is that simple.
- Will you ask the Lord to save you? Sometimes, people get so caught up in things, they cannot even figure out how to ask the Lord to save them. Like everything else, it is simple. Just as you would talk to someone who was in the room with you, you can talk to the Lord. You can speak out loud, or speak in your heart. Either way, just talk to the Lord. That is all praying is - just talking with the Lord. Next, what do you say? There is no magic formula here, no secret initiation prayer. Just admit (confess) to the Lord that you are a sinner and that you need Him. You don't need to go through each and every thing that you have done in your life, just admit that you are a sinner. Then, ask Him to save you.