The Road To Heaven
THE ROAD TO HEAVEN
The New Birth
Everyone at some point in their life has wanted a new chance and fresh start. You have been given that chance!
The moment you ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, your sins are forgiven, and your slate is wiped clean. God no longer holds your past sins against you. When Jesus died on the cross He paid the price, so you could be free from the penalty of sin.
Being forgiven for your past is wonderful, but it’s not the only thing that happened to you. The Bible says when you received Jesus as your Savior, you also inherited eternal life.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” [First John 5:11-13]
Having Christ’s Life in you qualifies you to spend eternity in heaven with Him and the Father. It is comforting to know that your future in heaven is secure.
Being Born Again
One evening a religious leader named Nicodemus came to see Jesus. He asked what his responsibility in receiving eternal life was. Jesus responded:
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Then Jesus said, “You must be born again.” [John 3:3]
Must means there is no other alternative or substitute. There are NOT many roads that lead to heaven. There is only one way, through Jesus Christ… Who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man comes to the Father except through Him.” John 14:6
Later in His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus makes a definitive statement about God’s love, believing in Him and eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” [John 3:16, 17]
By believing in Jesus, you are born again and receive eternal life.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]
Believe in Your Heart
Faith that saves you is more than mentally agreeing with someone. Most people believe that Jesus lived, that He was a perfect man who believed He was God’s Son and that He died on the cross to save sinners.
However agreeing that these things are so is not enough – you must believe in your heart!
“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame… The same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’.” [Romans 10:9-13]
Have you called upon the Name of the Lord Jesus? Have you believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord?
If so, you are born again and have set your life on course to live in eternity with God. If you are not sure, there is a prayer at the end of this teaching.
A New Spirit
A person is much more than just a body made of flesh. Their real self is their spirit. When you pray for Jesus to be your Savior, God performed a miracle and your spirit was born again. Jesus said, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” [John 3:6]
When God created mankind, he said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” [Genesis 1:26] Image refers to a person’s spirit, while likeness refers to their body. When we are born again, our spirit is recreated back into the image of God Himself, as it was in the Garden of Eden.
God recreated your spirit uniquely, just as He created Adam in the beginning. One at a time, every person who receives Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, are born again by the power of God. They become a new creation. Each time this happens the angels rejoice in heaven. [Luke 15:7, 10]
In this miracle of your new birth, you are forever changed. Christ now lives in you and you are now in Christ. You are eternally joined with Him and He promised to never leave or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
When God sees you, He does not see your past sins anymore. Instead, He sees His Son, Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:13, 14
God has freed you from the power of satan referred to as darkness, and He has brought us into the Kingdom of His Dear Son. The Son paid for your sins, and in Him you have found forgiveness.
You have been born again. Your new life did not come from your earthly parents because the life they gave you will end in death. But this new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. [I Peter 1:23 NLT]
According to God’s Word, when you are born again, you are forgiven. God no longer hold your past sins against you because Jesus died on the Cross and paid the penalty so you could go free. II Corinthians 5:21,
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
Why Jesus Died
To many people, Christ’s sacrificial death does not make sense. They ask, “How can someone dying 2,000 years ago make a difference in my life today?” To understand this, we must go even further back in time and see how Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden made a difference in the life of everyone on the planet.
God told Adam, “You may freely eat from every tree in the garden except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the day you eat from that tree you shall surely die.” [Genesis 2:16, 17]
In the original Hebrew, the word “die” appears twice. It is to actually read, “In the day that you eat from that tree, dying (present tense) you shall die (Future tense).
This covers both aspects of man – his spirit and his body. The moment Adam ate, His spirit died. At the same moment, death entered Adam, causing his body to begin the process of death. His spirit died instantly; his body died many years later.
Adam and Eve had no children until after he disobeyed God and ate when God told him not to. Genesis 5:3 says, “After Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.”
Adam was made in God’s image, but Seth and those born after him was born after the image of Adam. The same process goes on every time someone gives birth to a child in the earth. The child is born in their parent’s image, and that image goes all the way back to Adam.
When Adam disobeyed God, he opened the door to sin and death in the life of every human being ever to be born. Romans 5:12:
“Sin came into the world through one man and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or escape its power because all men sinned.” [Amplified]
In Adam or In Christ?
The good news is, "God had a plan!" Even though Adam fathered children who were born with the nature of sin, God made a way for us to escape the power of sin and death. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ who wholly obeyed His Father and lived a sinless life. Adam brought us death, but Jesus brought us life.
Just as one person did it wrong and got us all in trouble with sin and death, another Person did it right and got us out if it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, He got us into Life! One man said no to God and put many people on the wrong path; One Man said yes to God and put many on the right path.
The message Bible translates Romans 5:18, 19:
“If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything- right, that the One-Man Jesus Christ provides?”
We had no choice about being in Adam; it was a matter of being born. When Adam disobeyed, we all disobeyed, just as if we were there with him. When he fell, we all fell. The whole race was put in jeopardy and on trial. We were as guilty as if we ate the fruit ourselves.
Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by One Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
Being in Adam was not your choice but getting out of Adam and into Christ is your choice. You had no control at physical birth, but you do have a choice at the new birth. You walk away from sin and spiritual death by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and living for Him.
You used to be in Adam, now you are in Christ. When Jesus obeyed, you obeyed. When Jesus died, you died with Him. When He was buried, you were also buried. When Jesus was made alive again at the resurrection, you too were made alive.
You Have Eternal Life
The world has the idea that when they stand before God in judgment they will be allowed to argue their case individually.
When asked, “If you died today, would you go to heaven?” most people answer, “Yes, I believe I would.” They reason that God will look at their charitable deeds and compare them to the bad deeds others commit. They think “If the charitable deeds outweigh the bad they will go to heaven.
If the bad outweighs the good, they end up in hell.” Comparing yourself to other people, you will always find someone worse than you are. It gives your conscience comfort until you realize that God’s Word is your Standard, not people.
Your eternal life is based on your relationship with God through Jesus Christ – nothing else! I John 5:11 – 13:
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
God does not deal with us as far as our choice of heaven and hell is concerned. He deals with us based on how you choose to live once you have knowledge of salvation. First Corinthians 15:22 say, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
People will not go to hell because of their past sins, they will go because they choose to remain in Adam and reject Jesus Christ’s offer of deliverance. People will not go to heaven because of any good they have done. They will go to heaven because they made the choice to accept and remain in Christ. Either you have the Son and eternal life, or you remain in Adam and eternal death is the result.
When You Sin
Everyone that has made Jesus Christ their Savior has fallen from time to time. The Bible says, “A righteous man falls seven times and gets right back up.”
When we sin, we confess that sin and God cleanses us from all unrighteousness. This is God’s grace that releases forgiveness for a failed action and empowers you, so you don’t have to keep falling. First John 1:9 & 2:1 says:
“9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1] My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have One who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
The word “confess” means, “To say the same thing.” When you do something wrong, you must admit to God what you have done. God is not surprised by your act of sin or your confession of sin, He already knows.
Once you confess to God your sin, the next step is to agree with Him that you are wrong. God promises that every time you confess sin, He will cleanse you from those unrighteous acts. Your heart will be as clean as it was the day you were born again.
You Have a Part in God’s Salvation
God led you to New Horizons. We teach the Bible and practice it to the best of our ability.
To mature in the things of God, you must attend church, so you can hear the Word of God. Bring your Bible, a pen and notepad. Take notes and invest in a copy of the audio taped message.
When you leave church, read your notes and study them. Look up the verses in your Bible and the words you don’t understand in your dictionary. Mediate on these things; confess them as part of your life and practice them daily. This is the way you live God’s Word.
In Psalm 1, God promises to bless those who hear and obey His Word.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”
Take a moment now and pray the following prayer out loud, making it your hearts prayer to God. He will hear you as you call out to Him – and you will be saved.
A Prayer to Receive Jesus Christ as Your Savior
Dear Heavenly Father:
You said in your Word, “If I confess with my mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead, I WILL BE SAVED.”
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He died on the cross for my sins, and that He was raised from the dead. I now confess Jesus as my Lord, so I know Father, that according to your Word, I am now saved.
I choose to live in a manner that pleases you daily while turning my back [or repenting] of the things I did before this time.
Thank you, Father, for forgiving me and for giving me the gift of the new birth.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Today I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Today God has granted me a place in heaven with Him. I will live my life on this earth to please Him until I meet Him face to face. This is my promise!
Call the Church at 462-2638 for further instructions in your new life with Christ.