How do I get to heaven?

Pascal’s Wager applied

There are so many religions out there around the globe with differing views of heaven  and differing ways to get there, but which ones are right?  Each one claims to be either the only way, or conversely that they accept all the ways.  Why does it have to be so confusing?  In my posts I strive to proclaim the message of the Bible as taken at face value in its claims and promises.  I have studied it for 40 years and have total confidence in what God promises us through it.  I am banking my eternal soul on it (as are you on your method).  I love Pascal’s wager in this regard.  If the Bible is wrong and you are right, then I lose nothing by being Christian in this life but you might win (as not many have confidence).  However, if the Bible is right and you are wrong, then I am guaranteed to gain everything for eternity and you positively will lose everything in hell forever.  These are the stakes of the game of life. 

God doesn’t want anyone to perish 2 Peter 3:9

Sorry, for being a bit dramatic there, but like all advertising methods, you need to be alerted to your need first before you will consider any solution to your problem.  The Bible is clear that the world we are now living in now is not what it was meant to be, because of Adam’s sin, we live in a corrupted fallen world with corrupted sinful men.  We are not basically good.  Even small children demonstrate selfishness and sin.  This is why He gave us the entire Old Testament and the Law of Moses to show us how evil we really are in comparison to God’s holiness.  This is why God destroyed the world with a flood, this is why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire, and this is why all unrepentant men will be punished one day in hell.  Only when we realize our utter lost condition in God’s sight, do we stand a chance to receive mercy and salvation.  Look at the story of Jonah and the Assyrians of Nineveh.  God had mercy on the sworn enemies of Israel because they responded in repentance to God’s offer of forgiveness.  This is why he gave the Jews the tabernacle and then the Temple sacrificial system.  It is not through God’s laws that men are made holy, but through their coming to God with the acceptable sacrifices which God ordained that they receive forgiveness of sin.  2 Peter 3:9

This is why Jesus came.  God came to earth, our Emmanuel to fulfill the Mosaic Law on our behalf.  Then as the one true Lamb of God, he died a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the Anger of God on man’s (yours and my) behalf.  Then he leaves it up to us to come to him in this way of faith by coming with Jesus as our sacrifice in repentance.  He died so we do not have to.  He went to hell so that we do not have to.  He fulfilled the law so that we do not have to.  He is our righteousness so we do not have to try to earn favor with God.  This is what separates the message of the Bible with all the other religions of the world.  As an illustration, it kind of takes us back to the Garden of Eden and Adam’s choice in one sense.  That Adam had one choice; to eat the fruit of the tree of life (demonstrating dependence upon God’s instructions), in our case Jesus; or to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (demonstrating independence from God’s instructions), in our case any other way which seems right to us.

Are you like Cain with your offering of  “good works”

Cain and Abel had a similar arrangement in the offerings they brought that reflect our choice today.  Abel came in the manner which God appointed, by faith with the acceptable offering which God prescribed probably through his dad, Adam.  However, Cain came in his own way and ideas (the first religion so to speak).  They both knew to bring an offering to God, so it wasn’t about the offering or the idea that God doesn’t like vegetables, but it was the aspect of the lack of faith in Cain which was demonstrated by what he brought and what obviously was not what God prescribed.  (Only the offended party can prescribe what he deems to be the price of restoration to fellowship), and he prescribed that to Adam – Death which means separation.  This is why Jesus had to die.  because the blood of animals or people for that matter is not enough to cleanse mankind from sin.  It only reminds us that we should be the ones dying, not that animal.  Only the blood of God himself could do that.  That is why Jesus had to come – to pay for your sin.

It is finished – Christ

Come to God in faith that Christ’s blood was shed for you, confess to him that you need him to forgive you, and admit to others that you trust in his payment on your behalf and you are saved.  Notice that I said that you are saved, not can be.  God sees your heart when you are truly trusting in him to save you.  He sees your attitude toward his holiness and your sinfulness.  He hears your call to him for forgiveness.  It’s a done deal.  Other people need to hear you say it.  By your confession you identify yourself to him.  Abel’s faith was demonstrated by bringing the right offering as was every Old Testament believer’s faith was demonstrated by obedience to the Law and bringing the right sacrifices. Your faith is demonstrated by confessing to others that you trust in Christ’s salvation and payment on your behalf.  Out of all the possible religious beliefs, your are choosing from the tree of life -Jesus.

Thus, God promises, Guarantees eternal life to you through Jesus.  The Apostle Paul said “All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” and “not be disappointed.”  The Apostle John said “To all who receive him, to them he gave the right to be children of God.” and  “All who believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Jesus said “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” And “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

Lord, Liar or Lunatic

Josh McDowell says it this way. Jesus can only be one of three types of individuals.  As no one can deny that Jesus existed 2000 years ago, for all his claims which we have written down as a historic person, he is either a liar, a lunatic or truly the Lord. The Jews knew who he claimed to be and tried to stone him on occasions for it, and eventually killed him for it.  The first two, to sum up, are dismissed because of how the world has been changed because of him and the ultimate price they all had to pay to propagate their stories for the sake of a supposed lie. Or number 3, he is who he says he is and that means you will answer to him for it.   Options 1,2 can easily be disproved, but not the 3rd option.  The miracle of the resurrection has never been disproven over the millennia.  Many scientists and philosophers and historians have tried, but to no avail.  You can shoot holes through the stories of all the major religions, but not the Bible.  It has stood the test of time and is reliable in every area of scrutiny.  But regardless of what you think of it, you will be held accountable to it’s testimony of Christ.  The choice is yours.

It’s your choice, this is why there are so many to choose from

This is the reason that there are so many religions and philosophies and scientific explanations that we have to muddle through.  God made you with a choice of intellect.  With out choices to choose from, you cannot exercise your free will and intellect to choose what God’s Word says over those other options.  In other words, you wouldn’t have the two fruits for you to choose from.  Faith needs options to choose from.  Without them, you would be just a robot.  Your choice today is believe in God’s explanation, or man’s.  “Narrow is the path to life few go thereon, broad is the road to destruction and many choose it.”

“Time keeps on ticking into the future”

Many want to put off this decision to some ambiguous time later to decide, but the Bible says that now is the day of salvation, now is the accepted time.  Don’t put off your eternal destiny.  You don’t know when you will die.  Also, God’s says that we can only come to him at his drawing.  Do you feel like you are being drawn to God’s invite?  It is good to respond quickly because even God will stop drawing at some point.  Read Rom 1:18 and following to see that he will allow our hearts to be hardened against him by our indecision.

My posts try to bring these points out, because every story in scripture is to show us examples of God’s holiness, man’s sinfulness and inability to do anything for himself, and God’s provision of help and salvation with a resultant holy lifestyle as a result by faith.

Please contact me if you have genuine questions.  I am not interested in arguing with those who think they know everything, as I do not have all the answers.  If you are determined to trust in your own wisdom, then according to God’s word, there is no hope for you as a fool.  But if you will allow God’s “foolishness” to draw you to himself, you will have life.  Pascal’s Wager is for you, Dirty Harry’s line in the movie was “Do you feel lucky punk, do you?”  Your eternal destiny is dependent on your answer.

God bless you as you make this important decision,

Steve

 

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
This entry was posted in Blog Introduction, Spiritual, Truth and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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