One cannot escape the thought that there is something after this life.
The Bible describes hell as:
A furnace of fire.
A place of suffering
A place separate from God and all that is holy
REASON FOR HELL
Please take a moment and review the other commandments.
You shall have no other gods before Me
You shall not make unto yourself any graven image
You shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
Honor your father and your mother
Do not kill
Do not commit adultery
Do not steal
Do not bear false witness against your neighbor (lie)
Do not covet any thing that is your neighbor's
Many people say that the way to avoid hell is to obey the Ten Commandments. Obeying the Ten Commandments is great, but it will not get you to heaven! Rather, the Ten Commandments show us our need for forgiveness. Galatians 3:24 says "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Don't despise God's law Š it might be the very thing that shows you your need for Jesus Christ. It might be the tool God uses to keep you from hell.
So what is the big deal about sin? After all, every one does it, right?
Please read James 2:10: For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
In God's eyes, the person who breaks one rule is as guilty as the one who breaks all the rules. One sin truly is enough to keep a person out of heaven.
The Bible says in Psalms 5:4: For You [God] are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You.
Hell was created out of necessity because evil (sin) cannot live with God. The dominating factor of hell is that it is a place separate from God. In fact, look at God's standard for heaven: "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." The Pharisees were the "religious" group of the day. They gave lots of money toward religious causes, prayed openly, and did good deeds. But Jesus said that their righteousness wasn't enough (see Isaiah 64:6). Have you ever considered the fact that you have offended God by your thoughts, actions, and attitudes and that you stand in need of forgiveness? Sin has severed our relationship with God. Until we realize our need to be forgiven by our Creator, we will not and cannot have fellowship with Him. "God's holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: "The soul who sins will die" (Ezekiel 18:4). That's hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That's why simply changing our patterns of behavior can't solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy.
For years, people have tried to excuse themselves of their sin. They have seen guilt as an enemy that causes fear and depression. But guilt is not always our enemy; God uses guilt to show us our need for forgiveness! Perhaps you have tried to find rest, comfort, and real peace in this life only to come up short time and time again. Maybe you've tried to bury your feelings of guilt and the doubts that ring in your conscience with busy-ness, recreation, therapy, entertainment, or even drugs. But there is nothing we alone can do to remove the effects of our sin. Everything has a price; some things cost more than others. The price to pay for a life of sin is extremely high Š the price is an eternity in hell.
The Bible describes heaven as:
A place where God is
A place of great joy
A place for God's children
A place without sin
A place prepared by Christ for those who will believe in Christ
Heaven sounds like a wonderful place, doesn't it?
REQUIREMENTS FOR HEAVEN
BUT . . .
Jesus has fulfilled the requirements for you.
The requirements for you to go to heaven were met when Jesus offered His life for you. The Bible says that "greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Remember, the penalty or price to pay for sin is death. Someone must die in order for the sin to be covered or forgiven. Jesus became our substitute for sin so we would not have to pay the price by being separated from God for eternity. Jesus, Who was and is Creator God (Col. 1:16-17), humbled Himself and allowed His creation to murder Him on a cross.
Bible says concerning the cross:
Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
1 Peter 3:18 Christ ... died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God.
John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
God loved us so much that He provided a way of escape from punishment, and a way to life everlasting! In the Old Testament, a little lamb had to be taken and killed so the sins of the people could be covered. But the Bible says that Jesus was the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world! Just before Christ died he cried: "It is finished." To those around him, they understood Him to say -- "it is PAID IN FULL." Christ's death satisfied the demands of God's justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26).
Do you realize that the price for your sin has been PAID IN FULL by Someone Who loves you more than words can express?
Do you realize that if you call out to God believing what the Bible says about Christ He will remove your sins "as far as the east is from the west?"
The Bible teaches that the good news is this:
1Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you; unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and then rose again to prove His victory over sin and death. Remember . . .what brought death into the world in the first place? -- SIN! But Jesus Christ showed that He has power over sin. We can be confident that since Jesus beat death, we who trust in Christ will also win a victory over death.
What must I do to be saved? How can I be forgiven? How do I escape punishment and gain heaven?
The Bible says that we must repent (be willing to change) from our old lifestyle. This is not reform or "doing better." Repentance means a complete change of your inner self. The Bible says that God alone grants repentance -- it is a gift from God. If you want it, He will give it! (2 Timothy 2:25)
Acts 17:30-31 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."
Acts 20:21 says: Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
The above verse shows us that both repentance (turning from sin) and faith (turning to Christ) are necessary.
God gives to you the faith necessary to believe as a gift. You cannot muster up enough faith on your own to believe in Christ. In fact, the Bible says that to preach and believe what the Bible says about Jesus and His cross is foolishness to those who are dying in their sins. God, in His grace, gives to you the faith necessary to believe exactly what the Bible says about Him. Not only has He given you His life, but He also gives you the faith necessary to believe He is the Truth!
Many people are offended by the gospel of Jesus because it is so exclusive. Many people are comfortable believing some facts about Jesus, but they are unwilling to trust Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins.
The story is told of a man who was drowning in an ocean. He cried out for help so the lifeguard quickly swam out to the man. "Let your body go limp, just relax and IÕll rescue you" said the lifeguard to the man. The man, in a panic, refused to relax and tried to save himself. The lifeguard continued to plead with the man but to no avail. The man drowned in the sea because he would not trust the lifeguard alone. The man tried to save himself and in doing so, condemned himself to a watery grave.
What would have happened if the man would have simply trusted the lifeguard and relaxed his body? The lifeguard would have rescued him! Jesus Christ says the same thing to you: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." Friend, nothing you have done or can do impresses God. To put any stock whatsoever in your goodness is to make a mock of what Christ did on the cross. After all, if your goodness could save you, then why did Christ need to die? If there exists another way to be made right with God, then why did Jesus shed His blood so people could be forgiven?
Jesus Christ is like that lifeguard calling out to you to trust Him alone. But will you listen? Will you obey by yielding your will? Will you let yourself be humbled and trust in Christ alone?
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. -- Jesus
If God is showing you your need for Him, then receive what Christ has done for you. Believe that Jesus died for you and rose from the grave. In simple, child-like faith, just ask God to save you! He will!
1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
The issue at stake is whether you will humble yourself and admit your need for Christ and take Him into your life.
"It isn't enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don't love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10). Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn't mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him."
Jesus Christ wants you to be saved (2 Peter 3:9), it is His will -- the question is, will you obey?
Acts 16:31a, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
If you are ready to TURN, TRUST, and TAKE what Jesus has to offer, then tell Him! God will save you right now, right where you are!
Read these words spoken by a servant of God:
I offer you salvation this day; the door of mercy is not yet shut, there does yet remain a sacrifice for sin, for all that will accept of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will embrace you in the arms of his love. O turn to him, turn in a sense of your own unworthiness; tell him how polluted you are, how vile, and be not faithless, but believing. Why fear ye that the Lord Jesus Christ will not accept of you? Your sins will be no hindrance, your unworthiness no hindrance; if your own corrupt hearts do not keep you back nothing will hinder Christ from receiving of you. He loves to see poor sinners coming to him, he is pleased to see them lie at his feet pleading his promises; and if you thus come to Christ, he will not send you away without his Spirit; no, but will receive and bless you. O do not put a slight on infinite love--he only wants you to believe on him, that you might be saved. This, this is all the dear Saviour desires, to make you happy, that you may leave your sins, to sit down eternally with him at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Let me beseech you to come to Jesus Christ; I invite you all to come to him, and receive him as your Lord and Saviour; he is ready to receive you. I invite you to come to him, that you may find rest for your souls. He will rejoice and be glad. He calls you by his ministers; O come unto him--he is labouring to bring you back from sin and from Satan, unto himself: open the door of your hearts, and the King of glory shall enter in. My heart is full, it is quite full, and I must speak, or I shall burst. What, do you think your souls of no value? Do you esteem them as not worth saving? Are your pleasures worth more than your souls? Had you rather regard the diversions of this life, than the salvation of your souls? If so, you will never be partakers with him in glory; but if you come unto him, he will supply you with his grace here, and bring you to glory hereafter; and there you may sing praises and hallelujahs to the Lamb for ever. And may this be the happy end of all who hear me!
Christ is the ONE way to life everlasting. Are you trusting in Him? Which eternity will be yours HELL or HEAVEN?
John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.