23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24
If you were to die today and stand before God and He asked, ‘Why should I let you into My heaven?’ what would you say? The question gets to the heart of, “What are you trusting in for eternal life?”
As such, there is no more important question in the world to be crystal clear on! If you place your hope of eternal life in something, only to find when you stand before God that it will not get you into heaven, you’re doomed! There are no makeup exams at the judgment seat! You’d better get it right before you die!
But, you claim, “I’ve lived a good life and done the best that I could do.” Or, “I am a basically good person and I’ve never tried to hurt anyone.” Those are wrong answers when it comes to getting into heaven! The Bible declares that there is NONE righteous or good…
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who always does good and who never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:3
And Paul reiterated this:
9 Well then, are we [Jews] better off than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles) are under the control of sin and subject to its power. 10 As it is written and forever remains written,
“There is none righteous [none that meets God’s standard], not even one.
Don’t get mad at those of us who preach salvation by faith not works. Your beef is not with us, but with Almighty God. Romans 3:9-10
So will My word be which goes out of My mouth;
It will not return to Me void (useless, without result),
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
Of course, getting into heaven is not just a matter of answering a question correctly. It requires a spiritual resurrection from the dead, as we have seen. It requires having God forgive your sins, so that you are truly reconciled to Him. But for that to happen, you must be clear on the biblical truth of how that happens. And Satan has worked overtime to sow confusion among the world’s religions, including the major branches of Christianity, on the question of how a person gets eternal life.
Paul answers this crucial question in Ephesians 2:8-9. He wrote these truths to those who were already saved, to clarify and solidify their understanding of these vital matters. When you share the gospel with others, their misunderstanding of God’s grace and the relationship between faith and works will be the major issues you will need to clarify.
8 For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or something.). And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; 9 not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].
Throughout God’s Word (the Bible) we see this same claim that by GRACE you are saves, through FAITH…
“Look at the proud one,
His soul is not right within him,
But the righteous will live by his faith [complete trust or confidence in the true and living God, Creator of heaven, earth, land, sea and all living creatures].
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or something) and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “The just and upright shall live by faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or something).” Romans 1:17
Now it is clear that no one is justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing] before God by the Law, for “The righteous (the just, the upright) shall live by faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or something).” Galatians 3:11
But My righteous one [the one justified by faith-complete trust or confidence in the true and living God] shall live by faith [respecting man’s relationship to God and trusting Him]; And if he draws back [shrinking in fear], My soul has no delight in him.
I choose to believe the true and living God in whom I believe in!