How You Can Go To Heaven
- The Basics Of Christianity
- Answers from Billy Graham on Heaven
- Questions about Heaven, Hell, and Eternity
- Answers From Billy Graham on Death
- Answers About Salvation
- The Gifts Of Salvation
- Why Is Jesus The Only Way To Heaven?
I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Salvation is deliverance from danger or suffering. To save is to deliver or protect. The word carries the idea of victory, health, or preservation. Sometimes, the Bible uses the words saved or salvation to refer to temporal, physical deliverance, such as Paul’s deliverance from prison (Philippians 1:19).
More often, the word “salvation” concerns an eternal, spiritual deliverance. When Paul told the Philippian jailer what he must do to be saved, he was referring to the jailer’s eternal destiny (Acts 16:30-31). Jesus equated being saved with entering the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24-25).
What are we saved from?
In the Christian doctrine of salvation, we are saved from “wrath,” that is, from God’s judgment of sin (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:9). Our sin has separated us from God, and the consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Biblical salvation refers to our deliverance from the consequence of sin and therefore involves the removal of sin.
Who does the saving?
Only God can remove sin and deliver us from sin’s penalty (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5).
How does God save?
In the Christian doctrine of salvation, God has rescued us through Christ (John 3:17). Specifically, it was Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection that achieved our salvation (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 1:7). Scripture is clear that salvation is the gracious, undeserved gift of God (Ephesians 2:5, 8) and is only available through faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
How do we receive salvation?
We are saved by faith. First, we must hear the gospel—the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Ephesians 1:13). Then, we must believe—fully trust the Lord Jesus (Romans 1:16). This involves repentance, a changing of mind about sin and Christ (Acts 3:19), and calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:9-10, 13).
A definition of the Christian doctrine of salvation would be “The deliverance, by the grace of God, from eternal punishment for sin which is granted to those who accept by faith God’s conditions of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.” Salvation is available in Jesus alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) and is dependent on God alone for provision, assurance, and security.
How do we know we are saved?
The most important issue we must settle in this life is our eternal destiny. Throughout history, local churches have been composed of both believers and unbelievers, and it’s often difficult to tell the difference. That’s why John wrote his first letter. He wanted to assure the true Christians of their salvation and warn those who professed belief but lacked saving faith.
John gives a fourfold test describing the beliefs and practices of genuine believers:
- Right understanding of Christ and salvation (1 John 2:18-27). To be saved, we must have the true gospel and the only Savior, as described in God’s Word.
- Right attitude toward sin (1 John 1:5-29, 1 John 2:1-2). True believers hate their sin and are quick to confess and turn from it.
- Right practice of obedience (1 John 2:3-6). God’s commands are not burdensome to those who belong to Christ. Although they fail at times, the overall direction of their life is one of obedience.
- Right relationship with God’s people (1 John 2:7-11). Christ produces within His true followers a love for fellow believers, demonstrated by a desire to be with them.
What does it mean to be “Born Again”?
How can you be “born again” if you’re already living? Aren’t you born only once?
Being born again doesn’t mean a physical rebirth; it’s a spiritual one. It refers to a change of heart—from indifference or hostility toward God to a love for Him and a desire to live out His best for us.
But how does it happen?
First, we have to understand our current human condition. There’s a problem we all face, and Jesus said it begins in our hearts. The problem is something called sin, which means to miss the mark—to fail to do what we ought to do.
Whether we realize it or not, we strive to fix this problem ourselves—to somehow compensate for it or push it out of our minds, yet there’s still something missing deep down inside. Nothing will fully satisfy us unless we have Jesus in our lives and the eternal hope of being with Him forever in heaven.
There’s a story in the Bible about a man named Nicodemus. He was a religious leader and a good man, and one night while talking to Jesus, Nicodemus asked Him what he needed to do to go to heaven. Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). In fact, Jesus said, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
Jesus was telling Nicodemus that no matter what good he did on the outside, he needed changing on the inside. That can only happen through a supernatural act of God when His Holy Spirit convicts us of wrongdoing and brings new life to our very souls.
So what do we need to do?
First, we must admit our sin—that we can’t live up to God’s perfect standard on our own. Then we must ask forgiveness for that sin and repent, which means to make every effort in turning away from that sin. Finally, we ask Jesus to be part of our lives.
That’s when God’s Spirit penetrates our hearts to guide us and help us be more like Him. That’s when we’re born again.
God Himself puts it this way: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:26). From then on, He gives us a new purpose and new goals for living. We no longer live for ourselves but for Him (2 Corinthians 5:15).
If you have doubts about your salvation, reading the book of 1 John will help you settle the issue.
The Romans Road To Salvation
The Romans Road to salvation is a way of explaining the good news of salvation using verses from the Book of Romans. It is a simple yet powerful method of explaining why we need salvation, how God provided salvation, how we can receive salvation, and what are the results of salvation.
We are all sinners
The first verse on the Romans Road to salvation is Romans 3:23, ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.’ We have all sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God. There is no one who is innocent. Romans 3:10-18 gives a detailed picture of what sin looks like in our lives.
The penalty for sin is hell
The second Scripture on the Romans Road to salvation, Romans 6:23, teaches us about the consequences of sin – ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ The punishment that we have earned for our sins is death. Not just physical death, but eternal death!
We must confess our sins
The fourth stop on the Romans Road to salvation is Romans 10:9, ‘that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.’
We must call on The Lord
Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, all we have to do is believe in Him, trusting His death as the payment for our sins – and we will be saved! Romans 10:13 says it again, ‘for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and rescue us from eternal death. Salvation, the forgiveness of sins, is available to anyone who will trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
What this means to you
The final aspect of the Romans Road to salvation is the results of salvation. Romans 5:1 has this wonderful message, ‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Through Jesus Christ we can have a relationship of peace with God. Romans 8:1 teaches us, ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.’ Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, we will never be condemned for our sins. Finally, we have this precious promise of God from Romans 8:38-39, ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
ABCs Of Salvation
Where the rubber meets the road
(A)dmit that you are a sinner.
Romans 3:23 KJV – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 6:23 KJV – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(B)elieve that Jesus died to pay for your sins.
John 3:16-17 KJV – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
(C)onfess your sins and (C)all on Jesus for salvation.
1 John 1:9 KJV – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Acts 2:21 KJV – And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!
Now That I Am Saved
What Do I Do Next?
You’re not alone if you’ve ever asked yourself this question. Many of us didn’t know what came next after we received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.
We surely appreciate the tremendous steps God took to redeem us and impart His eternal life into us so that we could be born again. But believing in Jesus Christ is just the beginning of our Christian life. So much more lies ahead! Let’s look at some things that should occur after we first believe in the Lord.
Believing in Jesus Christ is the inward aspect of our salvation, and being baptized is the outward affirmation of our salvation. So after we believe, the next step is baptism. These two go together.
Mark 16:16 says, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.” The second part of note 1 on believes in the New Testament Recovery Version helps us see why both believing and being baptized are necessary:
“To believe and to be so baptized are two parts of one complete step for receiving the full salvation of God. To be baptized without believing is merely an empty ritual; to believe without being baptized is to be saved only inwardly without an outward affirmation of the inward salvation. These two should go together. Moreover, water baptism should be accompanied by Spirit baptism, even as the children of Israel were baptized in the sea (water) and in the cloud (the Spirit)—1 Cor. 10:2; 12:13.”
By believing and by being baptized, we receive the full salvation of God!
Consecrate yourself to the Lord
Another step we need to take after we’re saved is to consecrate ourselves to the Lord Jesus. To consecrate yourself means to give yourself to the Lord. Paul says in Romans 12:1:
“I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.”
By consecrating ourselves to the Lord, we become a living sacrifice, putting ourselves completely in God’s hands. Previously, our lives were for ourselves; now, they’re for Him.
Consecrating ourselves to God helps us walk in His way, grow in His life, and enjoy His salvation. It also allows God to work in us.
Be transformed: A lifelong process
After believing and being baptized, we begin to undergo a lifelong process of Christ spreading from our regenerated spirit into our entire being, filling us with Himself. This process is called transformation in the Bible.
Ephesians 3:17 says, “That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith.” When we believed in Him, Christ came to live in our spirit. But in this verse, we see a further step: Christ wants to spread from our spirit into our heart to make His home there. He wants to “settle down” in our heart, not as a guest but as its resident.
As Christ makes His home in our heart, we’re changed—that is, transformed—in our inward parts: our mind, our emotion, and our will. Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight, but gradually over time.
In Romans 12:2 the apostle Paul exhorts us to “be transformed.” Note 3 on this verse in the New Testament Recovery Version helps us see what transformation is and how it takes place:
“Transformation is the inward, metabolic process in which God works to spread His divine life and nature throughout every part of our being, particularly our soul, bringing Christ and His riches into our being as our new element and causing our old, natural element to be gradually discharged. As a result, we will be transformed into His image (2 Cor. 3:18), that is, conformed to the image of the firstborn Son of God as His many brothers (Rom. 8:29). Thus we will be suitable for the building up of His Body.”
An excellent picture of transformation is a piece of petrified wood, which is the result of a process that takes millions of years. It begins when a branch is buried in soil with constant exposure to water. As the water flows around and through the branch, minerals in the water gradually replace the material of the wood. Over time, the wood is transformed into an object that has the color, texture, and weight of a stone.
As we allow God’s life as living water to saturate us and spread in us, we too are being transformed. But this incredible transformation takes place in our soul, with all the elements of who Christ is!
Cooperate with God to be transformed
Since God never forces Himself on us but allows us to exercise our free will, our transformation occurs only with our cooperation. So how can we cooperate with God to be transformed? Here are just a few ways:
Praying—as we speak to the Lord in prayer, we open our hearts to Him. This helps keep our hearts in a good condition toward Him.
Scheduling a daily time with the Lord—setting apart a dedicated amount of time with the Lord Jesus every day is critical to maintaining a healthy relationship with Him. We can spend that time talking to Him, singing to Him, and prayerfully reading His Word.
Calling on the name of the Lord—whether loudly or quietly, we can call on the Lord Jesus to contact and enjoy Him throughout the day.
Reading the Bible—a healthy habit of daily Bible reading is one of the best ways to receive the transforming elements of Christ. This is how we’re nourished with spiritual food. First Peter 2:2 says, “As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation.” Just as a baby needs milk to grow, we need the Word of God as our spiritual nourishment so we can grow unto salvation.
Obeying the sense in our spirit from the Lord—now that the Lord dwells in us, we get a sense from Him concerning many matters in our daily life. For example, maybe we want to purchase a particular item, but we have an uneasy feeling from the Lord in our spirit about it. That’s an opportunity to obey Him. Obeying Him to not buy that item allows the Lord to spread a little more into our soul.
Meet with other Christians
God doesn’t intend for Christians to be alone. After we’re saved, we need to find other believers in Christ so we can meet, fellowship, and grow together. We can even pray, “Lord, lead me to others who love You and follow You.” Gathering together to fellowship with believers in Christ strengthens our faith and encourages us to experience more of Christ.
Additionally, when we gather with other believers to fellowship and praise the Lord, God can be expressed through a group of people, thus fulfilling His plan.
So much awaits us after we first believe in Christ! We’re now on a lifelong journey of enjoying Christ’s presence and experiencing His rich and full salvation that continues throughout our entire lives.
Resources Available To You
This site was developed with the needs of the new believer as well as the needs of the seasoned and mature believers in mind. There is an abundance of tools & aids that will help you get into The Word, grow closer to God through daily fellowship with Him, and, as Paul The Apostle said, “Pray without ceasing”.
A Free Study Bible
The single most important thing you need to do after saying The Sinners Prayer, is to get a Bible of your own. Go to Bibles For America and take advantage of their ministry to distribute The Word worldwide. Once you have a Bible try to develop a reading plan. A good plan for the new believer is found at iBelieve.com and will show you The Top 5 Places To Start Reading The Bible.
A Church You Can Be A Part Of
It is important that you attend church as much as possible. There is an old story about the famous gangster and bank robber, Al Capone. When asked why he robbed banks he quickly replied “because that’s where the money is!”. You need to go to church because that’s where The Word is. Go to ChurchFinder to locate a solid Christian church near you.
Educate Yourself In The Word
You will learn a lot even if you only read through The Bible from front to back but you will miss a lot too. Take advantage of thousands of online courses developed for new believers and mature believers as well. A good place to start is at Harvest Ministries by signing up for their free New Believers Online Course.
Another powerful resource is available from ThruTheBible, a ministry started by Dr. J. Vernon McGee many years ago. Their tag line, “Spreading The Whole Word To The Whole World” says it all. This is a teaching ministry that covers the whole Bible book by book and verse by verse over a period of 5 years. You can start anywhere along the five year study plan you wish. It is available daily on many networks like BBN Radio, which airs at 12:30 PM Monday thru Friday, as well as online at Thru The Bible With J. Vernon McGee.