How do I get to heaven? How do I know God?
“Are you seeking to Know God? Have you ever heard someone talk about the Gospel and wondered what that meant?
Well, the word Gospel means Good News. The Gospel of Jesus is, therefore, the Good News that we received from Jesus. What is it? It starts with what is amazing news:
God loves you…
God is love, and He loves the whole world.
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16). “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”(John 10:10)
Do you want a relationship with the God who made you?
Do you want peace in the midst of this world filled with chaos and strife?
God built this desire into you. Animals do not struggle with lack of contentment. They do not mourn the wars and evils of the world. They do not sit around and wonder if there will be justice or whether there is something more to life. Humans are unique in that we yearn for the peace that can only be found with Jesus. This is God speaking to you. He is calling you to something more.
God sees everything that happens here on earth. He knows everything we have ever done or thought and He still loves us. He wants us to have a relationship with Him. He wants us to Know Him.
There is a big problem though:
Our sin separates us from God…
God created us for fellowship with Him, but He is perfectly holy and sin separates us from Him.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23); “For the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23); “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,” (Isaiah 59:2).
We may be nice people according to the world’s standards. We may give money to charity and take care of our families. We may even go to church. The problem is that goodness or niceness are not the only things that define our lives. We all sin and fall short often. We lie, gossip, slander or covet things our neighbors have and that we do not and take things that do not belong to us….on a regular basis.
We may be better than the person down the road from us but that does not deal with OUR sins.
We violate God’s laws in many different ways. It makes sense that breaking the law requires punishment, right? At the end of our lives, we will stand before a perfectly just judge in God and have to account for every single sin we did in our lives, big and little(in our eyes), in secret or in the open. It is a daunting thought, isn’t it?
Do we want to pay the price for all of that sin? Does a righteous judge ever just let a person who is guilty of thousands of crimes go without facing justice?
Think of our Sun that sits at the center of our solar system. It is amazingly hot, right? So hot that even with special protective armor spacecraft can only get so close to the Sun before they burn up. The Sun has no ill will towards those satellites, its temperature is just part of what it is. It would not be the Sun if it were not blazing hot. It also would not sustain billions of lives on Earth if it were cold enough to touch.
God’s holiness is the same idea. His white-hot purity is who God is, not something designed to hurt us. It is His nature. God’s nature is what causes beauty, justice, and wonder in the world. It also directly conflicts with sin. No matter how much protection we try to create, as flawed humans we can only get so close to God without the heat affecting us. On our own, there is nothing we could ever do to get close to the center of the entire universe because of our sins..
Thankfully, God understood this problem and wants us to come to Him despite our flaws. He sent His Son, Jesus to make a way for this to be possible. We can face His holiness in joy and gratitude despite everything we have done.
Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin.
He took the punishment for our sins on the Cross. He died so that we can be set free.
Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer. Through Jesus Christ, we can have our sins forgiven and restore a right relationship with God. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, tells us what we need to know to be saved, “…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” Jesus Himself declares that He is the only way of salvation in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This is the really, really great news on top of the amazing news. God loved us so much that despite seeing all that we have done against Him, He sent His Son Jesus to stand in our place and take our punishment. Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary under the weight of the sins of the world. He is the sacrifice that faced what we deserved in our place. We deserve to pay for our sins, but He paid for them instead. Jesus died for you so that you can have an eternal abundant life with Him. Isn’t that wonderful news? We get all the benefit and do none of the work. Jesus is an awesome Savior.
He then rose again to show that this sacrificial offering was accepted by God. Death has been defeated for those who are willing to follow Jesus. He was resurrected from the death and someday believers will be resurrected from the dead to eternal life also.
Eternal life in Jesus is the reward we receive when we accept His completed work on the Cross.
How can I receive this free gift of salvation?…
Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness from God.
Repent and Receive Jesus as Savior.
We must place our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior in order to receive the gift of salvation.”If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved,” (Romans 10:9) Repent(change your mind about your sin) therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,”(Acts 3:19)
John 1:12 describes how we become His people: “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” Acts 16:31, says it very clearly, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved!” We can be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Repent does not just mean feel bad about something. I felt sorrow over a lot of things before I came to Jesus. Repentance is more than just bad feelings. It is feeling genuine, heart felt sorrow over what we have done and turning away from it. At heart, the repentance we need to get to Jesus is first sorrow over denying Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus is the Eternal God who made every one of us. He gave us life and then when we were lost, gave His life so that we could be forgiven and accepted into God’s family.
Turn away from a life of disbelief and to a life in Jesus.
Then set out to learn about our Savior Jesus and learn to follow Him in the every day. This is a lifelong journey of discovery but it starts here and now. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day to receive eternal life.
What is stopping you?
Calvary Catonsville – A Calvary Chapel in Maryland
5695 Main Street
Elkridge, MD 210675
Pastor Tom Neary