Right now it may not seem that important whether you are going to heaven or not, but one day when you stand before God, it will suddenly change in priority.
I know this is blunt, but we never know when that might be – it might be tonight. So I just want to urge you to make sure. The Bible says ‘Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith’ (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Here are some questions we can ask ourselves, taken from the Wiersbe Bible Commentary
1. Was there a time when I honestly realised I was a sinner and admitted this to myself and to God?
2. Was there a time when my heart stirred me to flee from the wrath to come? Have I ever been seriously exercised over my sins?
3. Do I truly understand the Gospel, that Christ died for my sins and arose again? Do I understand and confess that I cannot save myself?
4. Did I sincerely repent of my sins and turn from them? Or do I secretly love sin and want to enjoy it?
5. Have I trusted Christ and Christ alone for my salvation? Do I enjoy a living relationship with Him through the Word and in the Spirit?
6. Has there been a change in my life? Do I maintain good works, or are my works occasional and weak? Do I seek to grow in the things of the Lord? Can others tell that I have been with Jesus?
7. Do I have a desire to share Christ with others? Or am I ashamed of Him?
8. Do I enjoy the fellowship of God’s people? Is worship a delight to me?
9. Am I ready for the Lord’s return? Or will I be ashamed when He comes for me?
Not everyone has the same exact experience, but for the most part these questions should help you figure out whether you really are a true Christian or not. If you are truly saved, then you have a guaranteed place in heaven, your name is written in the Book of Life!
If you have answered ‘no’ to many of these but want to be saved, then this is what you need to do:
- Realise that you are a sinner - we have all done wrong things, like lying and stealing and not loving as we should. The Bible says, 'All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God'. Because God is a holy God, just like a just Judge would have to punish breaking the law, He has to punish sin, and 'the wages of sin is death' - eternal punishment in hell.
- Recognise that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you - we have earned a punishment for our sins, but just like someone can step in and pay your fine so that you don't have to go to jail, God stepped in. He sent His only Son down to earth so that He could die on the cross for our sins and take our punishment on Himself: 'The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord' This means that we can not only be saved from hell, but can have the free gift of eternal life in heaven.
- Repent of your sin - you need to say a true heartfelt sorry to God for all the wrong things you have done, and for rejecting Him up till now, and ask for His forgiveness, and change your direction - give your life to following Jesus.
- Believe in Jesus Christ for salvation - You also need to believe the truth that Jesus is the son of God and died on the cross for your sins, was buried and rose again. And that if you put your faith and trust in Him then you will be saved.
"God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and give my life to you. I confess Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. Amen."
If you have answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions but you still lack assurance, you may just be experiencing doubts, and it would probably be good for you to read through 1 John and keep reading it! It was written so that we might know that we have eternal life. Also you can go back to square one, and do it all again, then you will know that you have done it even if your emotions are telling you that you don’t feel saved!
If you still have questions, you are more than welcome to e-mail me.