From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)
Can Anyone Be Certain They Are Going to Heaven?
The Scripture makes it clear that we can indeed know where we will go after this life is over. We can make the following observations.
- We must each choose whom we will serve.
Where we will go after our death is determined by our life here upon the earth. In this life, and in this life alone, we must choose whom we will serve. We can either believe the promises of the living God or reject those promises. Choices bring consequences. The choices we make in time will determine where we will spend eternity.
After the nation of Israel had entered the Promised Land, the leader, Joshua, told the people that they had two basic choices concerning whom they would serve.
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15 NIV)
Joshua challenged the people to choose whom they would serve. There were two choices. Would it be the Lord or the nonexistent gods of the land of Canaan? Joshua and his household were determined to serve the Lord. In the manner, each of us must make our own choices as to whether or not we will choose Him.
- We can know where we are going?
The Bible says if we do choose the Lord, then we can know that we will go to heaven when we die. We read this promise in the first letter from John.
The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn't have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:12-14 HCSB)
This is the promise of God! We can know that we have everlasting life if we put our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Eternal life is something that belongs to believers only. Though unbelievers will exist for all eternity, they will not have eternal life. They will be in a state of eternal separation, or eternal death. This is in direct contrast to the future of those who have trusted the God of the Bible.
Furthermore, Scripture says that the Spirit of God testifies to our spirit that we do have eternal life. Paul wrote the following words to the Romans expressing this truth.
The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Rom 8:16-17 HCSB)
- Christians already have eternal life.
In addition, we discover that the possession of eternal life is something believers presently have. Jesus said it plainly as John records.
"I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” (John 5:24 NLT)
We have already gone from death to life. Eternal life is ours right now!
- Eternal life is knowing a person
According to the Bible, eternal life is a relationship with a Person, the wonderful Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself testified to this fact.
On the night of his betrayal Jesus prayed the following to God the Father while on His way to the Garden of Gethsemane.
This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ. (John 17:3 HCSB)
Jesus defines eternal life for us. Eternal life begins the moment one enters into a personal relationship with God the Father through God the Son, Jesus Christ. The good news is that it never ends! It is indeed eternal.
- Paul knew whom he had believed in.
These truths were understood by the New Testament Christians. Paul the Apostle said he knew in whom he had trusted or believed in.
That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. (2 Tim 1:12 NLT)
The good news is that we too can know in whom we have believed. Indeed, we can know that we are going to heaven because we can trust the promises the Lord has made to us!
Therefore, from the evidence of the New Testament, we find that eternal life can be ours by trusting Jesus Christ as Savior. Once we believe in Him, we can have the assurance that we are going to heaven. This is what the Bible promises.
Published on Friday, May 6, 2016 @ 11:28 AM CDT