How can you become a Christian?
- By joining a church? No.
- By getting baptised? No.
- By being religious? No.
- By giving money to charity? No.
- By being a good, decent person? No.
- By being kind to everyone? No.
- By going on a pilgrimage? No.
Some of these things are good, but they don’t make you a Christian. A Christian is simply a Christ-follower.
How can we follow Christ? By believing what the Bible tells us about Him and developing a personal relationship with Him through prayer and worship.
What does the Bible teach about access to God?
The Bible teaches that as God is perfectly good, you can’t go to Heaven or be with Him unless you’re perfectly good as well.
But, as any true Christian can say:
“If you know me, you’ll know I’m not perfectly good!
I’ve done lots of bad things – what the Bible calls “sins.”
But strangely enough, I know that I’m going to Heaven!
So how can someone like me who’s not perfect be sure of going to Heaven?
It’s because I’ve been justified.”
Justification is God's declaration that I’m righteous or perfectly good in His sight because Jesus paid the complete penalty for my sins on the cross.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God …
We’re justified when we simply put our faith, belief or trust in the Lord Jesus – as the perfect Son of God – and believe that He took the full punishment for our sins when He died on the cross for us.
Galatians 2:16,… a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, … we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law;
At this point, God sees our sins are paid for by the sacrifice made by the Lord Jesus and sees us as innocent or righteous. We’ve become justified.
That’s how we can know for sure we’re good enough to go to Heaven!
Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.
The first man was disobedient, but the Man who makes many righteous is the Lord Jesus.
When we put our faith in the Lord Jesus we become righteous in God’s sight, we gain eternal salvation and we know for sure that we will enjoy eternity with God.
In Romans 5:1-2 Paul writes,
Therefore, having been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom also we have access by faith
into this grace in which we stand,
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Just when it looks as though justification can’t get any better, we find that it does get better, because we’re not only saved from eternal separation from God, but there’s nothing that can make us unsaved!
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When we trust in the Lord Jesus – and in Him alone, not a church or money or good deeds or a pilgrimage – for our eternal salvation, we can then be confident that we’re saved eternally, we’re justified and we know that our salvation can’t be lost because of our future failures.
We can be sure of Heaven!
Not because our faith in the Lord Jesus is so super strong – it isn’t! – but because the Lord Jesus is infinitely strong and we rely on Him alone.
Jesus said in John 3:16,
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John said in John 3:36,
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life,
It’s not everlasting life if you can lose it!
The Lord Jesus’ promises in the Bible to keep us safe are totally reliable.
Jesus said in John 10:27–30,
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me
And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.
When we trust in the Lord Jesus for our salvation – and in Him alone – we can be completely sure we’re going to heaven. He’s absolutely reliable – even if we’re not!
As the Apostle John assures us in 1 John 5:13,
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life …
Isn’t that wonderful!
Lindsay Smith, October 2018
Quotations from NKJV Bible.
But if a Christian can live any way they want to – and still keep their eternal salvation – is there any reason why a Christian should behave well?
See the article “Does a Christian need to be good?”