As most people have, you've probably thought about the needs of your loved ones and made provisions for them with life insurance and other monetary benefits.
But, what about yourself? Do you know for certain if you were to die today, you would go to Heaven? Notice, I said "Know for certain!" Not "think" or "hope."
Suppose, you are standing before God right now and He asks you, "Why should I let you into My Heaven?" What is your answer?
Perhaps, you will say, "I'm a good person. I don't use drugs, alcohol, tobacco or foul language." You might say, "I attend church regularly, I pay tithes and I've been water baptized." Maybe, you will mention, "I've tried my best God and you know what's in my heart."
While these and all other good deeds should be practiced, they don't make a person "good enough" to enter Heaven. Sadly, many think that God grades on a curve and if one's good deeds outweigh his bad deeds, God will welcome that person into Heaven.
People who believe this might be surprised to learn the Bible says in Matthew 5:48 that we are to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect, meaning, God's standard for entry into Heaven is perfection-His own perfection.
Because He is perfect, He expects nothing less from those in His presence. Therefore, we can understand that for a person to enter Heaven on his own merit, that person must be sinless as God is sinless.
Unfortunately, none of us is without sin. The Bible says in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God." If we are honest, we know this is true about ourselves. The Bible tells us in 1 John 1:8, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
I have to admit that so far this is nothing but bad news and it gets worse! Because God is righteous and just, He must demand a penalty for sins. That penalty is spiritual death.
Romans 6:23 says, "For the wage of sin is death" and James 1:15 says, "Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death."
While it is true that there is no penalty for doing good deeds, it is also true that all of us have a debt to pay because we have sinned. We deserve death for our sins, not life in Heaven for our good deeds.
"Wait a minute!" You may be thinking, "If a person cannot get to Heaven by being good but must face punishment for sins, why do people say, God is merciful?" Also, you may wonder, "If this is true, how do I get to Heaven?"
The answer is the best news a person will ever hear. God does not take pleasure in punishing people. Ezekiel 33:11 says, "As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked."
On the contrary, God loves us and does not want to punish us. Romans 5:8 says, "But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
For no reason, no compulsion, other than His love, "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and He was buried and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures" (2 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Jesus the Christ, being God Himself, "bore our sins in His own body," suffering the cruel death of the cross, shed His own life's blood to pay the penalty for our sins.
Now, because the terrible penalty for sins has been paid, God offers Heaven, only as a free gift, to all who depend solely, on the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus, as payment for their personal sins.
That's right! Heaven is a free gift. In Ephesians 2:8-9, God says, "For by grace (undeserved favor) are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works (good deeds), lest any man should boast."
What could be better? God, in the person of Jesus, has proven His love by dying for us and we are assured of Heaven, by believing in Him. Jesus said, "He that believes on Me has everlasting life" (John 6:47).
You too, will have everlasting life the moment you agree you are a sinner, unable to save yourself and believe that Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose again, as payment in full, for your sins.
This may seem too simple. Even so, it is still necessary and sufficient. John 3:36 says, "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life; and he that believes not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
If you believe that Jesus died in your place, for your sins, you know you will spend eternity in Heaven.