How to Go to Heaven According to the Bible
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” ... Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
By David J. Stewart | June 2010 | Updated October 2017
Kindly, there was once a very popular steel guitar club in New York with the motto “promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” I was saddened to learn 10-years later that they had changed their club's motto to, “promoting the Gospel of the steel guitar.” That is so terrible and sad. There's only one “Gospel” and that's the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen for our sins...
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
The Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is Good News to be BELIEVED. If you BELIEVE (rely upon) the Gospel, you are saved. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” The holy Bible calls the Gospel, “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2nd Corinthians 11:3b). If you admit that you are a guilty sinner in God's sight, and you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins—believing that He died, was buried, and bodily resurrected three days later from the dead—you are saved immediately, securely and permanently! It is that simple to become a born-again Christian. Christ died, that's history; Christ died and raised up for me, that's salvation! 1st Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” This particular Scripture speaks of Christ future return.
Life is short, Hell is hot, and eternity is a long time. What doth it profit a man if he gains the whole world and then goes to hellfire for eternity? The “bad news” is that we are all hell-deserving and hellbound sinners, but the “Good News” (aka, “the Gospel”) is that God the Father sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to pay the price for our sins, dying in our place (vicariously) on the cross, so that we could be saved and escape damnation (John 3:16). What a tremendous God and Savior!
There is nothing more than what I just shared with you that you need to know to have eternal life. Jesus has already paid for everyone's sins with His “precious blood” (1st Peter 1:18-19). So it is a free gift. God did everything so that you would have to do nothing, except receive it as a free gift! Will you believe it? And if you will BELIEVE (“believe” and “trust” used interchangeably in the Bible), will you simply believe that Jesus Christ died for you, and that He was buried, and resurrected three days later? God says that if you'll do that, He promises on the authority of His Word, that you'll never perish, but you'll have everlasting life! God has promised “TO SAVE THEM THAT BELIEVE” (1st Corinthians 1:21b). It's that simple. I hope to see you in Heaven my friend.
A More In-Depth Explanation if You'd Like
Some people like to have more information, which is understandable since nothing is more important than the salvation of one's soul, so I will elaborate a bit more if that is something you'd like...
We are all guilty and needy sinners in God's sight. I am the biggest sinner I know. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” God's law (Ten Commandments) was given to mankind as a measuring stick to show us the awfulness of our sin and our guilty condition, so that we would see our desperate need for the redeeming Savior. The law was not given so men could keep it and merit Heaven. When we try to obey the law and utterly fail (both in deed and thought), the law shows us that we cannot save ourselves. Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” We are all woeful sinners by nature and by choice. We have to acknowledge our sinnership, so that we know what we are being saved from. No one ever got saved who didn't admit that he is a sinner! (1st John 1:10).
There's a penalty for our sin, Death and Hell. The penalty is death, including a second death in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. 2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” The Bible has much more to say about Hell than Heaven, both being literal places. Revelation 21:8b teaches that there is a Second Death... “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” God never sends anybody to Hell except those who choose to go there! If you do nothing, you will go to Hell forever in your sins. I say that kindly with God's unconditional love for you, whoever you may be.
Jesus Christ is our sin payment! Thankfully, the law of God points us to the blessed Messiah, Jesus Christ, Whom the Father lovingly sent into the world to bear our sins. Galatians 3:24-26, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Jesus willingly took our sins upon Himself on the cross. Christ died, was buried and bodily resurrected from the dead after three days. This is “the Gospel” (i.e., Good News) according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. Anyone who by faith receives Christ's death on the cross, burial and resurrection as full-payment for their sins is saved. It's that simple. Eternal life is a free gift from God. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” A gift is a take proposition, not a give proposition. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.
Believe (rely upon) the “Good News” of Jesus Christ and you are saved. My friend, if you admit that you are a sinner in God's sight, and simply believe with childlike faith (trust) that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of God—Who bled and died on the cross for your sins and mine, and was buried, and bodily raised up from the dead three days later— YOU ARE SAVED! Christ died on the cross as our sacrificial LAMB (John 1:29), and He raised up 72 hours later as our intercessory HIGH PRIEST (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:14-16). Please note that all Scripture references are ONLY from the King James Bible. If you've made the Gospel your only hope for Heaven, believing on the precious name of Jesus, you are a born-again child of God! 1st Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” It's that simple.
Jesus doesn't forgive sins! That is correct. Jesus has already paid for everyone's sins with His own precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19). The price for sin has been paid. Thus, eternal life and forgiveness of sins are free gifts. A gift (if it is truly a “gift”) need only be taken, with no obligations or requirements. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Just as you would accept a birthday gift, you accept God's free gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins simply by receiving Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins, believing that He raised up from the dead three days later. Our omniscient (all-knowing) God can read your mind and heart, and the very moment that He sees you've believed, He saves you! That's all you must do to be born-again into God's family. Isn't that beautiful? God is so good! My friend, it's not what YOU DO that saves you, but what CHRIST HAS ALREADY DONE on the cross to pay our debt of sin.
Please visit, GetGodsGift. Dr. Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008) is 100% correct explaining “How To Get Into Heaven.” Here is a wonderful MP3 sermon by Dr. Lindstrom titled, “How Permanent Is Your Salvation,” which I hope you'll listen to. If you're not saved forever, you're not saved! That is, if you are truly saved, then you understand that salvation can never be lost, because salvation is of the Lord, not man. If you think you can lose it, then there's something you believe must be done to keep it, and that is human effort.
Also, please read, “Do You Know The Way To Heaven?” by my dear friend, Pastor Max D. Younce. Please don't put off another moment getting born-again if you've never done so, because today could be the last day of your life. John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Also, Dr. Younce taught a wonderful 24-part radio Bible study series in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, clarifying the simplicity of the Gospel, called, “SO GREAT SALVATION.” If you have any questions about salvation, this series will answer them I am confident.
“There is power in this
Gospel message. Most people just don't know how to present it...
The clarity of the Gospel is what makes it easy for them to believe.”
—Pastor Yankee Arnold, a quote from the excellent MP3 sermon titled, “WHY GRACE CAN SAVE THE WORST MAN!”
The Simplicity That is in Christ
2nd Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
That “simplicity” is the Gospel as defined in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 (i.e., Christ's death, burial and resurrection). In fact, salvation is so simple that most people pass right over it, missing Heaven, because instead they're trying to get to Heaven through religion, good works, dedication to God, church membership, water baptism, turning away from sins, inviting Christ into their life, following Jesus, making Jesus their “Lord,” surrendering all to Jesus, asking Jesus into their heart, and a bunch of other theological garbage that CANNOT SAVE! None of the things I just mentioned constitute “the Gospel.” Please read, “What Is The Gospel?” by Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951). You can be religious and go straight to Hell. Salvation is in the person of Jesus, and when you trust Him, He saves you!
Let me stress the importance that no one ADD or SUBTRACT from the Gospel, for to do so is a sure road to the Lake of Fire. The Gospel cannot be changed nor altered in any way to be valid. You're either trusting Jesus Christ completely, or else you're adding human effort to God's gift of eternal life. Those who add “making Jesus Lord” of one's life are propagating a false plan of salvation that cannot save. Those who add water baptism are propagating a false plan of salvation. Those who add “turning away from sins” to be saved are adding works (keeping the law) to faith. To remain a genuine free gift, salvation must be free of any human effort. I am far from perfect, but by God's grace with His help, I want to please God by obeying Him as His child. I try to live right because I AM SAVED, not TO BE SAVED. That's the big difference. If you try to live right to be saved, then you are not saved. Biblical salvation MUST be a gift to be valid. Eternal life and forgiveness of sins are freely offered and freely received. It is a gift.
Some people errantly teach that to be saved a person must surrender to Christ as “Lord.” That is not the Gospel. The very moment that you believe the Gospel, Jesus automatically becomes your Lord! This is not a part of the Gospel according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. You believe on Jesus as your Savior to get saved, and then He becomes your Lord (Master) from that moment on. Whether you obey Him or not is entirely a matter of discipleship, and not salvation. Salvation is completely free, but discipleship costs us a price. Discipleship is not a requirement to receive the gift of God. To serve God we must forsake the world, but to be saved we must only believe on Jesus Christ despite any unbelief we may have. Faith is not the absence of doubt, but the presence of trust. Salvation is totally without works of any kind. John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” We are saved simply by believing the Gospel when we hear it preached. Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Faith, that is how we are saved... faith in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!
In the following helpful quote, Pastor M.R. DeHaan (1891-1965) differentiates between salvation verses discipleship . . .
“There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness.”
SOURCE: Pastor M.R. DeHaan; Hebrews; Zondervan Publishing House, 1959 (p. 117). More Quotes
Eternal life is receiving, not giving. It is a free gift. We are saved by trusting, not by trying. Jesus paid the price for our redemption with His precious blood. 1st Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
Those who require water baptism, the keeping of sacraments, church membership, amending one's ways, ceasing from sinful bad habits, or committing one's life to God in order to be saved are teaching a false Gospel that only leads to Hell. The Biblical Gospel is that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He was buried and rose again the third day. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to whosoever believes on Christ. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and the work is done...
- John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
- John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
- John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
- Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
It's not what you're doing that gets you to Heaven, it's where you're looking. Look to Jesus! We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these things shall be added unto you.” This speaks of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, which comes only by faith. Romans 4:6, “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” 2nd Corinthians 5:21 further explains this Biblical truth, “For He [God the Father] hath made Him [God the Son] to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus is precious!
Religion tries to fit us all with glasses, but the Lord wants to open our eyes with the truth of His Word. Religion and Christianity have nothing in common. Religion is the worst thing that ever happened to this world. A demon's favorite activity is making an unsaved person feel religious, giving them false hope. Satan's greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life, without ever being born again. You need Jesus Christ my friend. Your faith plus the Gospel equals eternal life (Hebrews 4:2). The Gospel excludes all forms of self-righteousness (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 11:6). We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, that is, the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ (Romans 4:6; 2nd Corinthians 5:21 - note again that all Scriptures are quoted only from the faithful, King James Bible).
We have no righteousness of our own to offer God (Isaiah 64:6). No matter how hard we may try to do good, and to right our past wrongs, even one sin is enough to keep us out of Heaven (James 2:10). That is why we ALL need a Savior. God has made that blessed provision for us in Jesus Christ, the precious Lamb of God.
My friend, if you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of God—Who died on the cross for your sins, was buried and raised up the third day—and you've made that your only hope for Heaven, then you are a born-again child of God. Welcome to the family!
A Word of Admonition to Christians
I love the steel guitar! I love music. Albeit, I love God first and foremost. I am saddened when I hear famous musicians saying that their goal in life is to promote the steel guitar. What about God? What about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? There will be many tears in eternity, when men and women stand before God (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11). The following quote applies to Christians only, because you don't get saved by serving God, as the unsaved religious folks in Matthew 7:21-23 found out the hard way, and went to Hell. You get saved by trusting Jesus Christ, but once you are saved, then the life that you live will determine your eternal rewards...
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last; And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be, If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.” —Charles T. Studd (1860-1931)
What happiness will a Christian have in Heaven, realizing that you spent your life playing steel guitar, without ever leading any lost sinners to Jesus Christ, by the saving power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16)? The only true happiness in life is winning souls to Jesus Christ. Dwight L. Moody said that, and I agree wholeheartedly. Psalm 126:5 tells us, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Amen and amen. Proverb 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” The Seed is God's Word (1st Peter 1:23). We are saved by obeying the Gospel, by simply believing on Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, Who came into the world to SAVE SINNERS (Matthew 18:11; John 3:17-18; 1st Timothy 1:15).
The steel guitar is the most beautiful music this side of Heaven as far as I'm concerned. Albeit, the only true Paradise that I think of when hearing and performing Hawaiian steel guitar is in Heaven with Jesus. I look forward to performing pedal steel guitar in eternity. Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Born-again Christians will have eternity to play music together, but now we need to mainly be busy about the Master's business preaching the Gospel to reach the lost for Christ.
A Final Word to All My Web Visitors
Please don't let my boldness for Jesus Christ intimidate you. I'm just an average Joe who believes that the Bible is God's Word. I don't like to consider myself religious. In fact, religion is the worst thing that ever happened to this world. Religion wants to fit us with glasses, but the Lord wants to open our eyes! A lot of people have churchianity, but they don't have Christianity. There's a big difference—the difference is between Heaven and Hell. I am no better than anybody else. I'm just as much a big sinner as anybody. I just know what I believe, and am resting all my hope and trust in the Lamb of God. John 1:29, “The next day John [John the Baptist] seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” I decided years ago that I wanted to be real in my Christian faith. I don't want to do anything without including my precious Savior, Jesus Christ. After all the Lord has done for me, paying for my many sins and setting me free from the curse of sin and death, I am so grateful to God for the gift of eternal life through His dear Son. I am not worthy.
I want to see you in Heaven with me when this life is over, and it will be soon, rest assured my friend. Salvation is so simple: We are SINNERS and Jesus is the SAVIOR! If we acknowledge our hopeless debt of sin before God the Father, and come to Him for forgiveness by way of the cross upon which Christ bled and died for our sins, believing that He is risen, we will be saved immediately, eternally and permanently. Christ is bodily risen! We are saved by grace through faith. To get to Heaven, we need God's righteousness, because we have no self-righteousness to offer God. Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” God is so good!
Here's a great quote from Jerry Byrd...
“I thank the Lord every night I go to bed, for what I've had. I'm 68 this year. And I still got all my faculties. I, at least, can remember a few things if I want to. Most of them I don't want to (laughter).” —Jerry Byrd, 1993, Hawaiian Steel Guitar Convention | Part 2.
Thank you for allowing me to share my Christian faith with you. I completely respect the rights of others to disagree with me, and everyone is welcome at my website, regardless of who you are or what you believe. That is what makes America great!