How to Know You Are Going to Heaven

heavenOf all the things you could have found on the Internet, you just found the one topic more important than anything else because this determines where you will spend eternity. The information on this page can change your life forever.

So let’s begin by getting one thing straight right up front. Here it is with no sugar coating. Are you ready? God is in love with you! He is absolutely head over heels, crazy in love with you! There is just something about you that floats His boat, rocks His world, tugs at His heart, and causes Him to not stop thinking about you. Of all the people in the world, there is no one else quite like you. God made you unique and He has a plan and purpose for your life that no one else can fulfill. I am not just making this stuff up. God has already revealed these things to us in the Bible.

Do you know God loves you? Even when you have missed the mark, even in your worst moments, He still loves you. If you somehow got the idea that you have been disqualified from the love of God, you were mistaken. Nothing you have done can stop God from loving you. The Bible says God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life (John 3:16).

In this crazy world love is in short supply, but with God there is no shortage. He not only loves you but He created you for this purpose, to love Him and to be loved by Him. This world is filled with fear, stress, pain, and heartache, but you were not created for any of that. You were created for love!

CAN YOU PASS THIS TEST?

The purpose for this article is to help you know whether or not you are going to heaven. So to do that, please answer the following test question. This is the ultimate test because your answer will determine whether or not you are ready to die. There is only one question on this test with no partial credit given so you either score a perfect 100 or a zero. Ready? Here it is:

If you died in the next 5 seconds, are you 100% sure you would go to heaven?

If you gave any of the following answers, you are not ready to die yet:

  • No, I am not sure
  • No, I know I am not going to heaven
  • I sure hope I am going to heaven
  • Yes, I think I am going to heaven but I am not 100% sure
  • Yes, I am pretty sure but not 100% sure
  • Yes, I am 99% sure but not 100% sure

There is only one right answer: Yes, I am 100% sure I am going to heaven.

If you flunked the test, don’t worry because it is not too late for you. As long as you have breath in your body it is not too late. This article will explain how you can become 100% sure you are going to heaven.

The reason why this is the ultimate test question is because it is impossible for anyone to know the right answer unless they already have heaven in them. No one can be 100% sure where they will go when they die if they are searching their brain for the answer because the brain only has access to the natural realm, which is the realm of our five senses, what we can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. Heaven is not from that realm. Heaven is from the realm of the spirit because God is a spirit.

So we cannot enter the realm of heaven with our mind. We can only enter the realm of heaven with our heart because faith lives in our heart. It is only by faith that we can enter into heaven. It is only by faith we can know heavenly things. Without faith even the brightest minds on earth cannot enter heaven. The mind can only hope for heaven but the heart can know with 100% certainty.

So ultimately this test helps determine if we have faith in our heart or just hope in our mind. The difference between these two is the difference between eternal life in heaven and eternal death in hell.

For by grace you have been saved THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8, NAS)

Without faith, the best answer anyone can give to this question is to be 99% sure. But the person who is 99% sure is no better off than the person who said they know they are not going to heaven because neither one of them have faith. Unless they believe by faith, both of them will go to hell when they die.

If you scored a 100 on the test then thank God because you have faith in your heart. Guard your heart to protect your faith because your eternal life depends on it. The one who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13). Even if you aced this test, I recommend that you keep reading to re-confirm and strengthen your faith.

On the other hand, if you scored a zero then I urge you to keep reading because I have good news for you. First, you have not died yet so there is still time for you to acquire faith and make it to heaven. This article explains how to do that. Second, no matter who you are or what you have done in your life, you do not have to go to hell when you die because God has made a way of escape available to anyone willing to believe it and receive it. I will explain that in greater detail, but first I want to share a warning from Jesus.

WORDS OF WARNING FROM JESUS

A 2003 study by the Barna Group showed 64% of Americans believe they will go to heaven when they die while only 0.5% believe they will go to hell.

Just because 64% said they are expecting to go to heaven, that does not mean they were 100% sure by faith they were going to heaven. The survey question did not require them to be 100% sure. So it is possible that many of them who said they were going to heaven were only hoping so and lacked the faith to get there.

It would be wonderful if the real numbers resembled the survey numbers. That would mean the large majority of people would go to heaven while only a very small percentage would go to hell. Unfortunately according to Jesus, the real numbers will be skewed in the opposite direction. He said,

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14, NAS)

So Jesus, who is the ultimate authority on the subject, said the way to heaven is narrow, which means it is restricted and limited. The only people who make it into heaven will be the ones who have passed through the small gate. He said there will be few who find life, which means few will find salvation and few will make it to heaven. That sounds awful but it is better to know these things now than to find out after it is too late because now there is still time to do something about it.

On the other hand, Jesus said the way that leads to hell is broad and wide and there are many people who go that way. The number of people who will enter through the gates of hell will be far greater than the number who enter into heaven.

Just a few verses later, Jesus warned that many people who call Him their Lord will not make it into heaven. He was referring to people who call themselves Christians, people who believe they are going to heaven, but instead they will go to hell.

So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles ?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Matthew 7:17-23, NAS)

So according to Jesus, multitudes of people who believe they are Christians and believe they are going to heaven are going to be horrified when their spirits leave their body because they will immediately descend down into total darkness where they will be dragged through the gates of hell by demonic spirits who have been assigned to torment them. There are many scriptures warning us about hell. The Hebrew word for hell is ‘sheol,’ which translated into English means hell, the grave, the pit, the underworld, the place of no return (Proverbs 1:12). The souls who enter there will never get out. For them it will be too late.

The important point Jesus made in this passage from Matthew 7 is we cannot get into heaven just by talking the talk. We must also walk the walk. It is not enough to say we are Christians. It is not enough to attend church every time the church doors are open. It is not even enough to attend seminary and spend our whole life as a pastor. According to Jesus, the only thing that qualifies us to enter into heaven is doing the will of the Father who is in heaven.

So how do we know if we are doing the will of God? His will is made known to us in his word, the Bible. In the scriptures, God has given us His commandments, specific things he wants us to do and other things He want us to not do. The only people who are truly His are the ones who obey his commandments. There is no benefit to us if we only hear the word of God but do not obey. Only those who obey Him will enter into heaven. Jesus said you will know them by their fruits.

I once met a man who had been close to God at one point in his life but when I met him he was back-slidden and living a sinful life. In my conversation with him he told me he believed he was going to heaven when he died because as he put it, “God knows my heart.”

This is the very thing Jesus warned us about.

The man was correct is saying “God knows my heart,” but the way God knows our heart is by our deeds. If we truly love Him, we will obey Him. If we do not obey Him, it is because we do not truly love Him. Our deeds are the evidence that shows God what is truly in our heart. So that man was wrong in thinking he was going to enter heaven living an unrepentant sinful lifestyle. His deeds proved his heart was far away from God.

Ephesians 2:8 says it is by grace that we are saved through faith, so it is important that we understand how faith works. Faith is not fully working for us or helping us unless we have deeds to demonstrate our faith. Our deeds are the evidence of the faith in our heart. Without the deeds there is no evidence of any faith and no benefits either. For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead (James 2:26).

Imagine you are accused of a horrible crime that you did not do. You are taken to court for trial. Your only hope for getting the charges dropped is if your attorney presents evidence in your behalf to prove to the judge you are not guilty. God the Father is the judge and Jesus is your attorney. They both want to get all the charges against you dropped but they need to see evidence in your behalf. Your deeds provide the evidence.

ONLY ONE WAY TO KNOW FOR SURE

There are many religions in the world today but amazingly there is only one group of people who has 100% assurance they are going to heaven. Muslims only hope so but they never know for sure. They even believe it is blaspheme for anyone to say they know for sure because their prophet Muhammad said he was not sure. So anyone who says they are sure is saying they are greater than Muhammad. The only group of people in the world who have 100% assurance of heaven are those who have been born again by the spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

The reason why no other religion can offer this assurance is because they are all striving to make themselves acceptable to God by their good deeds. So they are always striving to get there but never know if they have done enough to qualify. By contrast, born again Christians have accepted the righteousness of God as a free gift provided to them in an exchange that Jesus has offered to the whole world. What a deal it is! He takes our sins, our brokenness, and our failures and in exchange He gives us His righteousness and eternal life. So born again Christians receive eternal life by faith right here and now, not after death. They have already become citizens of heaven. This world is no longer their home. The spirit of God immediately comes and lives in them, in their heart. Meanwhile, the rest of the world can only wonder and hope for the best.

The world likes to think there are many ways to God and Jesus Christ is just one alternative. Jesus taught us He is the only way to know God. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

HOW TO BE SAVED

So now we have established three very important points:

  1. To enter into heaven we must have faith in our heart.
  2. For our faith to work for us we must have deeds to demonstrate our faith is real.
  3. The only way to know God and receive eternal life is through Jesus Christ.

If you want to know for sure you will go to heaven when you die, you can receive faith in your heart right now. The Bible provides all the instructions you will ever need. Here are some of the clearest scriptures explaining what you must do to be saved.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going ; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:5-8, NAS)

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged ; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18, NAS)

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:23-26, NAS)

But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows : “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down ), or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say ? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, in your mouth and in your heart” that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:6-10, NAS)

To be saved, born again, to enter into heaven, we must not only believe in God, but we must personally know God. There is a big difference between knowing about God and personally knowing God. For example, millions of people know who the President of the United States is but most of them have never personally met him. To know someone personally we must have an encounter with them at some point. There must come a time when we meet them personally for the very first time. This is the way we meet God, just like we would meet any person.

So there is an action required on our part. We must follow the instructions given in the scriptures listed above. As stated in the passage from Romans 10, there are two very simple steps that we must take to personally meet the Lord:

  1. We must confess from our mouth Jesus as our Lord, not just the Lord of other people but the Lord of our life.
  2. We must believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead as evidence that He paid the full price for all of our sins.

When you do that, simply believe with child-like faith that God hears you because He really does. This is your invitation for Him to come into your heart and be the Lord of your life. Whoever comes to Him, He will not cast out (John 6:37). God, who is a spirit, will come into your heart, which is your spirit, and take up residence with you. When He comes in, your spirit becomes alive to God for the very first time. When you were born from your mother’s womb you were born by water, but when you invited the spirit of God to come live in you that is when you were born by the spirit. This is what it means to be born again.

Here is a simple prayer to be saved. Pray this out loud so your ears can hear it and every devil in hell can hear it too:

Lord God, I repent of my sins and I ask you to forgive me for every sin I have ever committed. I confess that Jesus Christ is now the Lord of my life. I believe in my heart that you raised Jesus from the dead as evidence that you paid the full price for all of my sins. I invite you to come into my heart now. I surrender my heart and my life to follow you, to live for you, and to obey you from this day forward for the rest of my life. And now, I have done as your word instructed me to do to be saved. So right now, by faith in your word I confess and I believe I am saved. By faith I now know I am saved and going to heaven when I die. By faith in your word I am now 100% sure of it. Thank you Lord God! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

The angels in heaven rejoice when one person comes to the Lord. So if you just prayed that prayer then they are rejoicing over you right now. This is a very happy day! Now that you have personally met the Lord and been born again, here are seven things you can do to grow stronger in your faith and closer to the Lord.

  1. Mark this date on your calendar. Write it down where you will not lose it. This is the single most significant thing you will ever do in this life because this changes your eternal future. You will want to remember your new birthday!
  2. Build up your faith by reading the scripture passages listed above over and over again. Read them out loud so your ears can hear the words. Read slowly and meditate on the meaning of each phrase. The more you hear the word of God the more your faith will grow.
  3. Get a Bible and start reading the gospel of John because it is filled with direct quotes from Jesus. This is not the same as the epistles of John. It is the book immediately after Luke.
  4. Tell someone you have met the Lord today. You can tell someone in your house or call someone on the phone. It is important to confess the Lord before other people to help establish your new life with Him. Jesus said, “If you confess me before men, I will confess you before my Father. If you are ashamed of me before men, I will be ashamed of you before my Father.”
  5. Find a local church. Ask God to help you find the right one. You can search for churches on Google or in the phone book. You can call them to ask questions or go meet with someone at the church or just show up for a Sunday service.
  6. Start each day spending time with the Lord in prayer.
  7. Get some new music. Playing anointed music helps you enter into the presence of the Lord. You can download music from Itunes.com. I recommend Chris Tomlin and Misty Edwards. Music is great to play during your prayer time too.

Congratulations again and welcome to the family of God. One last request… if you prayed the salvation prayer today, please let me know by sending a note on our Contact Form. I would be thrilled to hear from you!

If you would like to know how I got born again over 30 years ago, you can click this link to read my testimony. I look forward to meeting you one day in heaven! I did all the talking here, but when we meet there it will be your turn to talk.

God bless you!

James Bailey
Z3news.com

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