It is possible to know for sure that we are going to heaven. 1 John 5:13 says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” We had better know, seeing that the alternative is hell. What does God say is required for a man to gain entrance into heaven?
First, we must acknowledge the reality of our sinful condition. We as humans tend to self-justify, declaring ourselves to be righteous. After all, there is always somebody who is a worse sinner than we are, we think. However, we must understand what God’s standards are. He doesn’t compare us one to another. He judges us for who we are. God tells us that His standard is perfection. 1 Peter 1:16 says, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.’” Holy means perfect, free from any sin and any fault.
Surely we must all admit that we have not lived a perfectly moral life. Ever envied somebody? Ever been discontent with your circumstances? Ever taken a moral short cut? Ever told a white lie? Even stolen from your employer by clocking in a few extra minutes? Ever lusted after a man or woman? Ever made something more important than God in your life? Clearly we have all fallen short of God’s perfect standard. Indeed, Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” None of us measure up. None of us are righteous, not even one. Some are kind, pleasant, and give money to charity, but they are not perfect. Thus, God cannot let them into His heaven.
Somebody might decide that they are going to try harder to be perfect. They can forget about it. They have already failed and fallen short. It is too late. No one is good enough. But there is an answer.
What we could not do, God did. We could not keep all of the moral commands of God. We lied, stole, lusted, you name it. But God has a solution through His Son Jesus. Jesus came to earth, fully God yet fully man, and died in our place. The consequences of sin is death (Romans 6:23), which is why sinful people are sentenced to hell. But God put the death sentence upon Jesus. Jesus lived the perfect life, never sinning, and thus He was the perfect sacrifice. He bore the penalty of our sins, so we could go free if only we would put our faith in Him and repent of our sins. Romans 8:3-4 sums this idea up saying, “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” God has opened the door to heaven that our attempt at good works could never open. Jesus is the door.
Yet just because a door exists doesn’t mean we are now holy before God. The door to holiness exists, but we must choose to believe that it exists and then walk through it in faith. We must believe that Jesus did indeed die for our sins so that we could be forgiven of our sins. He tells us that we must repent in order to be part of His kingdom in heaven (Luke 13:5). Without turning from our sin and seeking to follow Christ as our Lord, we are still in our sins. If we do turn from our sins, we are given a new heart. Jesus Himself promises to come and live within us, guiding us in the way we should go. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” The old sinful self is dead and gone, and we have been born again spiritually. God will give us new desires and a new hope as we follow Him. We have been changed from the inside out. The rest of life will be a process of growth and change, but it is a journey worth taking. God will carry us to the end.
So, we can know if we are going to heaven. We must pray to God and ask Him to forgive us of our sins, and we must repent of our sins, calling Him Lord and believing Him to be our Savior. That is it. It is so simple, but few actually do it. It is so free and so wonderful, but few find it. It is a difficult journey to live differently from the world, but it is worth it on the other end. Earth is temporary; heaven is forever.
Still confused? Read this more in depth explanation of how a person is saved.
Are you going to heaven? If you read this and prayed to receive Christ as your Savior, will you e-mail me? I would love to hear from you, and I would like to help lead you in the right direction in your new life in Christ.
God bless you in your new life in Christ! There is nothing greater than knowing for sure that you are going to heaven to be with God in paradise forever.
Your brother in Christ,