The Bible speaks on who is going to heaven (Not what you think and not short) –
What does the Bible say about the afterlife? How do we separate human ideas and traditions from God’s truth? We must go Back to the Bible.
Churches today have resorted to clichés, pat phrases and formulas to try and convince people that by saying a “sinners prayer” they are guaranteed eternal life. The Bible teaches that many people who think that they are going to heaven based on human tradition will be surprised (Luke 13:26-29).
The bible teaches that few will be saved. In fact, many who will try hard to get into heaven with all their might won’t be able to. (Matthew 7: 21-23, 25:1-46, Luke 13: 23-30, Heb 12:15-17)
While God can (and often does) use sinners prayers (Luke 18:13-14) to transform lives by His saving power and favor, what actually saves is “faith” (Eph 2:8-10). Since faith is so vital Satan has confused most people as to what biblical meaning of Faith really is. Many people think that by simple having a mental belief regarding the facts of the gospel that they are guaranteed salvation. This is a lie!
The faith exemplified in Heb 11 and other passages shows people taking action usually actions of direct obedience. Verse 6 teaches those with faith (loving trust in God) will “diligently” seek Him.
Saving faith involves a surrender of one’s life because we were slaves whom Jesus bought (redeemed) from Satan (1Peter 1: 17-19) We give Him all our life because we trust (have faith in) Him to only give us the very best of commands to live by. We trust (have faith) that anything He tells us may not produce the type of results that we may want in this life, but will be the best in the long run. We lean on His strength to help us obey as an evidence of true salvation. (Mark 9:24, 1 John 5:2-5).
Is there a basic summary of biblical salvation that we can concisely paraphrase? Well, while there is no one size fits all “Plan” of salvation, there are biblical principles we can mention. The words are similar to what most evangelical churches say, but we want to be clear about the meaning.
First, you mention see yourself as a sinner. This does not primarily refer to things that you do or have done. This refers to that facts that without a miracle from God we are inherently selfish and are much quicker to take action when we can see a vested interest than when we can’t. We look out for “Number 1”. Even when we do good things it is because we either feel good or are looked up to for it. It is unlikely that we will do any good if it actually makes us feel bad or look bad to everyone else. We are hugely self delusional and our greatest self deception is to believe ourselves to be wonderful. We surround ourselves with people who will reinforce this lie. It makes us feel good. After all mother always told us we were wonderful and “don’t you dare mess with my momma”.
(James 4:17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. 1 John 1:8-9 If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.)
Second, you must be not justify your sinful, selfish, proud condition. You must try to confess you sins to God one by one and ask Him to help you be sorry for you sin. Yon committed sins one by one. You should try to confess them individually as best as you can remember. You need to ask God to help you see them as vile and harmful not only to the Glory of God and the whole human race, but ultimately they will enslave and harm you to. If you have done actually harm you must be willing to make reparations as much as possible. If you have stole, confess to those stolen from and return the items with interest accrued. Otherwise, you are not genuinely sorry, but are just putting on a religious act.
(Proverbs 28:13 People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy. James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. 1 John 1:8-9 If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.)
Third, you must turn away from sin. Ask God to help you hate sin. To turn from sin you must see it for what it is. Sin is pleasurable for a season but will begin to kill you in this life and ultimately will drag you to hell. Hate it for the lie it is and the murder it does to your friends and family.
(Luke 13:3 Not at all! And you will also perish unless you turn from your evil ways and turn to God. Acts 26:20 I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must turn from their sins and turn to God and prove they have changed by the good things they do.)
Next, Ask for forgiveness for the past and commit yourself to God for all the future. Realize that to the degree that you are sincere and sorry for you past He will forgive and give you a new life in the future. Ask Him to give see you self has His – as a slave bought for life. Ask Him to help you “endure to the end”.
(Romans 6:13 Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God. Romans 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?)
Lastly, Pray that God will give you grace to have true faith in Him. Faith is a gift and God has to give you. We don’t deserve this gift of grace, but He will give it to all those who are willing to humbly and contritely meet his conditions. The following verses and prayer are simple aids. They do not guarantee salvation. They are of greatest benefit when you have deeply followed the preceding steps as outlined above. Don’t just skip to the prayer. Don’t shortcut God’s grace. Your eternal soul is at stake.
John 6:28-29 They replied, .What does God want us to do?. Jesus told them, .This is what God wants you to do: Believe in the one he has sent.. Hebrews 11:6 So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Below is a sample prayer.
I believe that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, in His great mercy and love, died for me and in my place, bearing my sins in His own body on the cross. And believing this, I do here and now welcome Him into my heart as my Saviour from sin, from selfishness, from the power of the devil, and from hell itself. Jesus Christ said in the Bible that if I will go to Him, He will not cast me out. (John 6:37) And I do come to Him with all my heart just now, as a poor, helpless, guilty sinner, seeking salvation. I know that He will not reject me. As well as I can, I believe that He does at this very moment take me in. He forgives me now. His blood that was shed at the cross washes all my sins away. He was wounded for my sin; He was bruised for the wrong that I did against Him and others; the punishment I ought to have endured was laid on Him; and with His suffering I am healed and brought into a right relationship with the one true living God. I am forgiven at last. Praise to God – Jesus saves me now!
(Many of the above concepts come from puritan writers such as Thomas Watson and others, Some of the verses choosen come from Williams Booth and Last Days Ministries)