Living Forever

It is true that our physical bodies have a limited life span. It is very important that since we are not on earth forever that we make prudent decisions and plan carefully. It is good to invest for the future and to use insurance and investments in our plan so that we do not become a burden to our family and friends and/or so that we do not leave our family members in desperate situations should we leave earth before we had anticipated.

What is far more important to consider is that our bodies are temporary “earth suits” that house our eternal spirits. God created us as spirit beings with temporary earthly bodies. Many of the decisions we make while on earth will affect us for an infinite number of years—for eternity. By far, the most important decision we will ever make in our entire existence on earth is: “What will I do with Jesus Christ?” There is only one requirement God makes of us to enter heaven and live with Him forever. What is that? Please read on.

The one requirement God makes of us to go to Heaven -

There is a God!—The God of the Bible. He is the One, True, Living, Infinite, Sinless, Creator and Controller of the Universe.

This God loves us and wants us to have a full, meaningful life and He wants us to go to heaven when we die. (John 10:10b and John 3:16)

But – We have a problem, we have all sinned. (Sin is any form of disobedience to God. Essentially, it is being less than perfect.) (Romans 3:23)

Because of this sin, and since God is holy and just, we face certain judgment from God (Romans 6:23)

                For example: if we break the laws of the United States, we go to jail. If we break the laws of God, we go to hell. So we have a serious problem! But, there is a solution!

God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins. (Romans 5:8)

                Jesus came and lived a perfect life, and at the end of that life He was nailed to a cross. It was there on that cross that Jesus shed His own blood for us and God punished His own Son for my sins, your sins, everyone’s sins. After He died and was buried, He rose from the dead on the third day to show that He had conquered sin and death. So now, it’s good news. Since Jesus died for us, we can be forgiven for all of our sins – whatever we have ever done wrong.

                There is only one sin that Jesus could not die for - we'll get to that later.*

Jesus Christ is the only door to Heaven. (John 14:6)

                If there were only one door and no windows in our homes, we would have to go through that door. In the same way, if we want to go to Heaven, we must go through Jesus Christ. He is the only door.

Jesus offers us a free gift of eternal life. (Ephesians 2:8 & 9)

                If I gave you a beautiful new watch as a gift, you would not have to work for it. It would be free. However, it wouldn't be yours until you reached out and accepted it. But you could reject it. It’s the same with God. He offers us the free gift of eternal life. But it is up to us to receive or reject it.

In order to receive the gift of eternal life, we must receive into our hearts, God’s greatest gift, Jesus Christ. (John 1:12)

                This is the one (and only) requirement God makes of us to go to heaven – To receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and our Savior. But what does it mean to receive Christ and how does one do it?

 We receive Christ by faith. One way to express our faith in Jesus is by praying an “Admit, Believe, and Commit” prayer:

A – Admit that you have sinned and that you are willing to turn from your sins. B – Believe that Jesus Christ is God the Son and that He died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead on the third day. C – Commit your life to Jesus, by asking Him to come into your life, to forgive your sins, and to take control of your life. (It does us no good to just give intellectual assent to the facts and not mean it in our hearts – in our inner beings, in our spirits)

When you sincerely pray a prayer like that and express your faith in Jesus, you:

               (1) Receive the gift of eternal life. (2) All your sins are forgiven (3) Your name is found written in God’s book as one of those who will go to heaven. There is nothing you can do to earn this gift. But to receive the gift, you must, by an act of your will, invite Jesus into your life.     

*The one sin that Christ’s death cannot do anything for is the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior forever—that is—when you hear the message of salvation and you say: “I choose not to invite Jesus into my life—I am not willing to make that commitment.”  The Bible says if we die without making the decision to accept Jesus Christ, we will go to hell.

We hope there won't be a severe tragedy today, but if there were and we were all to die, wouldn't it be great to know that we would be in heaven. The Bible says that it is possible to know for sure. (First John 5:10-13)

                    Jesus is offering you the gift of eternal life right now. If you are willing to receive Him as Savior and Lord, if you are ready to make that commitment, you can pray this prayer. (This is not the only prayer you can use to ask Jesus into your life, but if you mean this prayer, Jesus will hear it and will come into your life.) 

               Dear God I Admit that I have sinned, and I am willing to turn from my sins. I Believe that Jesus Christ is God the Son, and that He died on the cross for all my sins, and rose from the dead on the third day. I want you now, Jesus, to come into my life, and forgive me of all my sins, and to take control of my life. I Commit my life to you Jesus. Thank you for giving me the gift of eternal life. I pray in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

If that prayer expresses the desire of your heart you can pray that right now. You need not be in a church or with a minister. If you are serious—if you mean it, God will hear and respond to your prayer wherever you are, no matter what you have done in the past. If we are genuine in our desire to know Christ, He will accept us just as we are, then He will help us change for the better.

Facts vs. Feelings -- It is important to believe God and accept Christ by faith. When you invite Christ into your life, you may “feel something" or you may not. God promises He will come in if we invite Him. He does not promise there will be feelings—bells, whistles, tingling, or sirens. Some people place a lot of weight on feelings. God doesn't. He wants you to respond to His truth, but you may, or may not, have feelings associated with that. If you have responded in faith, trust and obedience, and with a sincere heart, you can know that Christ dwells within you, regardless of what you feel.

If you have chosen to meet the one requirement God makes of us to go to heaven, you may be asking: "What now?" It is important to read the Bible and talk with God every day. It is also important to meet with other Believers regularly. Make sure the group you are meeting with (usually in a church) believes and is teaching the entire Bible. If they say any part of the Bible is not true, it is in your best interest to find a different group.

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