How to Be Certain That You Will Go to Heaven

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by awaken, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. awaken

    awaken
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    This is how I understand God's plan of salvation:
    1. No matter how good we think we are, we have all inherited a sinful nature from Adam and Eve. Sin is not simply a matter of doing bad things, sin is a part of our very nature. All of us have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23, Galatians 3:22, 1 John 1:8).
    2. Every one of us has earned punishment in hell because every one of us has sinned (Romans 5:12, 6:23).
    3. Jesus, the Son of God, was born on earth as a human (Philippians 2:5-8, Colossians 2:9, John 1:1-3, 14). Jesus is 100% man and 100% God. Jesus did not sin during His lifetime on earth (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 John 3:5) and therefore He was in the unique position to take all of our sins onto Himself and bear our punishment for us.
    4. Jesus did not deserve any punishment, yet He voluntarily shed His blood and died on the cross in our place to take our punishment onto Himself (Romans 5:8, 1 John 1:7, 2:2). Since He is infinitely righteous, His death atoned for an infinite number of sins, past, present, and future. This makes it possible for us to be forgiven and to stand before God, spotless and cleansed of all our sins.
    5. After three days in the grave Jesus was brought back to life, and He is alive now and forevermore (John 20:27-28, Romans 14:9, Revelation 1:18).
    6. When we believe in and trust in Jesus as our Savior then our slates are instantly wiped clean as if we had never sinned at all! (John 3:16, 3:36, Acts 16:31). All of our sins are instantly transferred to Jesus' bank account (so to speak), and His full righteousness is transferred to our account. The instant we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died for our sins and rose from the dead, we automatically receive salvation and we will go to heaven when we die (Romans 10:9-10).
    7. The only way to get to heaven is through Jesus because of His finished work on the cross. There is no-one else who can provide a way for us to get to heaven (John 5:39-40, 10:9, 14:6, Acts 4:12). Jesus loves us so much that He willingly was punished in our place, and then God raised Him from the dead. That's why our faith in Jesus' blood and His death on the cross (as our substitute) is the only way that God will allow us into heaven. No other religious leader ever died for your sins, and no other religion or spiritual belief can save you.
    8. Salvation does not come through any good works or good deeds or good intentions or volunteering at church or any kind of penance. Salvation does not come through any righteousness of our own (we have no righteousness of our own). Salvation does not come through church membership or through growing up in a Christian family and attending church all your life. Salvation does not come through any other religions or spiritual beliefs. Salvation does not come through any religious ceremony such as baptism, confirmation, communion (also called the Lord's Supper or the Eucharist) or any other rite or ritual or ceremony. For the Scriptural evidence that we are saved through faith in Jesus alone and not through baptism or any other works.
    9. Salvation comes to us only through the grace of God (the word "grace" means "unmerited or undeserved favor"). There is nothing we can do, and nothing we can offer God, that can make us deserving of salvation because it's the undeserved gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation (i.e. going to heaven) is a free gift! We simply have to choose to receive it!
    Now that I have explain what I believe is God's plan of salvation, tell God that you are accepting Jesus' death in your place...
    "God, I know that I have sinned against You! In Jesus' Name I ask You to forgive all of my sins. I now turn away from my sinful past, and in faith I turn to the living Jesus as my Savior. I accept Jesus' death on the cross in my place, and I confess that His blood has paid for all of my sins. Jesus, please make me the person that You want me to be. Thank You! In Jesus' Name, amen."

    If you have prayed a prayer like this sincerely then you are now a Christian and you will go to heaven when you die! You're saved from the penalty of your sins! It's not because of a prayer, but because of your faith in Jesus as your Savior. Jesus is now living in your heart (see Ephesians 3:17), and as you cooperate with God while He works in your life then you will grow more and more in spiritual maturity.
     
  2. awaken

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    Now, becoming a Christian removes the penalty for your past sins, but it doesn't necessarily remove the effects of your past sins. For example, if your body was damaged in some way by drugs or alcohol before you became a Christian, you probably weren't instantly healed the moment you became a Christian. You might still have some of the effects of your past sins to deal with, and these effects can include demonic affliction or oppression. For this reason, now that you are saved it's a good idea to renounce certain things that you might have been involved in that could have opened the door for demonic affliction to come against you.
     
  3. awaken

    awaken
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    Someone once said that if we are saved (i.e. if we are Christian) then we will act like it. So we should live our faith through loving obedience to Jesus Christ. Then we'll never need to be concerned about whether or not we're going to heaven, because we'll be living in obedience to the Lord Jesus, showing ourself to be His disciple. Remember, salvation does not come through our obedience to God or through any righteousness of our own (we have no righteousness of our own). Salvation only comes through faith in Jesus as our Savior. However, our obedience is the evidence of our salvation.
     
  4. OldRegular

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    Decisional regeneration is a fallacy!
     
  5. Mexdeaf

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    When I hear a preacher say, "Pray a prayer like this...(to be saved)" I cringe!

    If the Holy Spirit truly is dealing with an individual about salvation, they will know what to "do".
     
  6. OldRegular

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    I believe that also!
     
  7. convicted1

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup:


    :thumbsup::thumbsup:


    BINGO!!!!!
     
  8. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Hmmmm, I never prayed such a prayer. Am I in trouble?

    The Ethiopian eunuch never prayed such a prayer. Yet Philip was willing to baptize him based on the confession that Jesus is the Son of God.

    Paul and Silas never instructed the Philippian jailer to pray such a prayer. Were they wrong to tell him to simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?
     
  9. awaken

    awaken
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    It was a sample of what can be said...who is making a doctrine over a prayer? not me!
     
  10. awaken

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    When you became saved (whether it was a moment ago or many years ago) you might not have felt any different. Our salvation is not based on our feelings, it's based on Biblical facts. We accept on faith that we are now saved. Faith is not a feeling and it's not an emotion. Faith involves doing something. After receiving salvation, we should now do the things that Jesus wants us to do. Read closely what the Bible says about the connection between faith and actions, and consider these passages carefully:

    "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?" (James 2:14)

    "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (James 2:15-17)

    "But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." (James 2:18)

    "You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did." (James 2:20-22)

    "And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone." (James 2:23-24)

    "In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." (James 2:25-26)

    In the above passages James has given us the key: He says that we must live our faith, we must put our faith into action. Actions speak louder than words, and our actions demonstrate what's in our hearts. If we have been calling ourselves Christians but we have been living self-centered lives, then we would be wise to take these words from James as a wake-up call and begin living Christ-centered lives instead. When we get to heaven there will be no more opportunities for rationalizations, excuses, or self-deception, so let's be brutally honest with ourselves while we still have time to change the way we're living our lives. If our daily lives revolve around our own needs and desires or our family's needs and desires rather than focusing on God's desires then our priorities are misplaced. This is one reason why it's important to read the Bible every day, because we need to get to know our Savior and understand what He has commanded us to do.
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    The nine points you made in presenting the gospel plan of salvation were very good. I have no problem with anyone expressing sorrow for sin and asking God to save him. The danger is the instruction may come out as "say these magic words." I suggest that if we have to give someone the words to say, as in "pray something like this," we have done an incomplete job in our witnessing.

    I recall that day in 1947 when the Holy Spirit began to deal with me as a 9-year-old. I came under heavy conviction and it scared the daylights out of me. All those sermons I had heard, but paid little attention to, now came home to me.

    I headed down the aisle in tears to my pastor. He asked me some questions:
    "Do you understand that you're a sinner?" Yes
    "Do you understand the penalty for sin?" Yes
    "Are you sorry for your sin and your sinfulness?" Yes
    "Do you trust Christ and Him alone to save you?" Yes
    "Sit down right over there."
    I appreciate that. But the practice is so ingrained in many Baptist (and other evangelical) preachers that we've come to regard the Sinner's Prayer as THE pre-requisite to salvation.

    This came home to me one day when a young woman I know was asked about her hope of heaven. Her answer: "Well, I said the prayer."

    I understand that the words of that prayer should be regarded as an expression of our hearts desire. Unfortunately, many, including that young woman, heard something entirely different. What she heard was "say these words."

    If a lost person under conviction cannot ask God for salvation without that kind of prompting, we've done a poor job of witnessing.
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Regarding the OP question, "How can I be certain that I will go to heaven."

    I have put all my eggs in this basket. Repent and trust Christ for salvation. If that's not enough, then I'm a dead man. My entire hope of heaven is tied to that promise.
     
  13. Mexdeaf

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    You said it well, Tom. I agree completely.
     
  14. awaken

    awaken
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    I did say sincere prayer!:tongue3:
     

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