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Is there a "Stairway to Heaven"?

I am second (Testimony of Josh Hamilton & others)  Adolf Coors' Pat Summerall

Becoming a Christian is the most important decision a person can make. When I was growing up I thought that since I was not Jewish that I was a Christian.  As long as I tried to do more good things than bad I'd have a chance to get to Heaven.   However, one night prior to my 18th birthday, I finally understood the only "Stairway to Heaven" is Jesus Christ.Img602.jpgIs the Bible True?Is Christ God?Prophecies Fulfilled?Messianic PropheciesOld Testament ChristDead Sea Scrolls20 Arguements of GodThe ResurrectionAnswers for SeekersDoes God Exist?Reasons to BelieveAtheism-True? (audio)

According to the Bible, becoming Christian  has nothing to do with physical birth but by a faith decsion.  It cannot be earned or merited by works of righteousness (like helping out people in need).  Whether we spend eternity with God or apart from Him, is determined by how we respond to the claims of Christ.  It cannot be obtained by living like Mother Teresa or by any standard we construct.  Certainly there's nothing wrong about "doing good", it just won't merit you favor with God.  Surely the society is better off when people attempt to live life trying to please God, but there is a big HHow I Met GodOWEVER.  In order to be in the presence of creator God we must be perfect since He cannot coexist with imperfection.  That poses a major and totally insurmountable problem. (nothing like repetitive redundancy!)  The question is then, where do we go from here?

Let's begin to look at what the Bible says about all of this.  In the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans he writes, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) The word sin means to miss a target by falling short of it. Everyone misses Godís target by disobeying or violating His commandments. Sin is the failure of a person to miss perfection and therefore separates us from God.  Sin is a universal plague that brings spiritual death to all people. For all people have sinned against God. 

There is nothing we can do to rid ourselves of this condition.  Later in the book of Romans Paul states,  "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

The suffering and death of the Man Christ Jesus is the greatest demonstration of the love of God for sinners. For Jesus was God Himself made flesh. He died to make atonement for all our sins. It is a great love for someone to die in place of a loved one, but Jesus died for His enemies.

When asked what must one do to be saved, Paul and Slias answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:30-31) 

By God's grace, sinners receive eternal life through faith, which is also from God: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9). The word grace refers to the free, unmerited and unconditional gift of Godís faith, love, forgiveness and salvation.

Our God-given faith must be in the sin-atoning blood of Jesus Christ alone, shed on the cross for those who will believe.

Confess Jesus and believe that God raised him from the dead. The Bible says, "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" (Romans 10:9). The word confess means to acknowledge that Jesus is Savior and Lord, to believe that Jesus died on the cross for sins and conquered death for those who will believe. Believe that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and He will change your life as you love Him. After accepting the free gift of eternal life a desire to keep His commandments and follow Jesus Christ will result.  Instead of attempting to earn God's favor by doing good deeds you will desire to please God with deeds.  Do you see the difference?  We do not gain God's acceptance by "doing" but by believing. 

"But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness," (Romans 4:5)  Please do not ever make the mistake of believing that you must do anything to gain entrance into Heaven.  God's grace is an unmerited gift and there's nothing you can add to Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross.  Nothing!  To be clear let me ask it one more time in another way.  What are the works of God that you must do to gain access into God's eternal Kingdom?  Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."  (John 6:28-29)   Believe!  It's that simple. 

Once you believe these things, know that you are forever accepted by God and worthy to have fellowship with the Creator of all things.   You are now as righteous as Jesus Christ!  How exciting is that.  You will never be condemned and nothing will ever separate you from God's love.   Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)  Being "In Christ" just means that you are part of His family.  Remember, once you have affirmed that Jesus has paid for you sins, you can NEVER be booted out of Heaven.  Does this mean that you should live in way that is not pleasing to God simply because you already have the "get out of hell free card"?  Definitely not, but sin will no longer cause eternal separation from God since Jesus paid your penalty for sins past, present and future.

Will we continue to sin?  Unfortunately the answer is yes, but only while we are here on earth. On my birthday this October 16th 2008, my mother went to be with the Lord.  She's no longer in pain and she is no longer ravaged by sin. Isn't that awesome!  We continue to sin while we are still in our earthly body because sin is a product of our inheritance as human beings.  However, once it begins to sink in, the horrific price Jesus paid on the cross (watch The Passion of the Christ to get a glimpse) that saves us from eternal punishment, we will want to please him.  Our lives should turn from being "me" centered to be other's centured.  Not to earn God's favor but to bring Him pleasure. 

Please contact me if you've "become a Christian", which is what we call those who believe these things.  Welcome to the family of God!

   
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