1 John 5 Lesson

How Do I Get To Heaven?

THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION

The most important question that anyone can ask themselves is, “What must I do to be saved?”

Another way to say that is, “How do I get to Heaven?

This is the single, most important question that we can ask ourselves, and yet, how many of us are prepared to answer it? 

People have pondered this question for thousands of years!  When Paul and Silas were in prison (Acts 16:30), the jailor asked them what he needed to do to be saved.   They answered him:

  • “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – Acts 16:31.

Precisely! 

As Luke wrote in the Book of Acts:

  • “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under Heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12.

This leads to another question.

Is believing in Jesus the ONLY thing that we need to do to be saved?

Denominations have different beliefs on this subject, and sadly, there have even been church splits over it.  As always, the Bible is the perfect resource for life’s questions. 

HOW TO GET TO HEAVEN

  1. Believe in Jesus. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” – Acts 16:31
  2. Confess your belief in Him. “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” – Romans 10:10
  3. Repent (turn away from) of your sins. “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:3
  4. Be baptized. Baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ .” – 1 Peter 3:21 and “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” – Mark 16:16
  5. Obey God’s commandments. “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. – Mathew 7:21

These are the things that the Bible teaches us are necessary for salvation.   Believing in Jesus is not enough, we also must confess our belief in Jesus to others if we want to be saved. 

When we believe in Jesus, and confess that belief, we are heading toward salvation. But there is still more that we need to do. If we want to go to heaven, the Bible teaches us that we also need to repent of our sins.

Repentance means, “To turn away.”   For Christians, repentance means turning away from sinful, self-serving behavior, and turning toward God. This means that we are going to need to make some changes in our behavior.  If the people that we associate with, or the places that we frequent are causing sinful behavior, we need to make a change!  Consider the following warning spoken by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount:

  • “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” – Mathew 5:29-30.

When we believe in Jesus, confess our belief in Him, repent of our sins, and turn away from our sinful behavior, we are close to salvation, but there is still more to be done.

To be saved, we need to obey the Gospel in baptism. The following two scriptures tell us that baptism is a matter of salvation:

  1. “Baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 3:21,
  2. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” – Mark 16:16.

The fifth matter of salvation that we will discuss in today’s lesson is obeying God’s commandments.  Obeying God's commandments is a lifelong commitment that we need to work on our entire lives.  And it all begins with regular Bible study.  After all, how can we keep His commandments if we do not know what they are?

BEING PREPARED TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

Once we have gained the knowledge of what is necessary for salvation, we should be prepared to share that knowledge with others.  In Peter’s first epistle, he wrote:

  • Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hopethat is in you.” – 1 Peter 3:15.

If others ask us questions about salvation, we should be ready to quote what the Bible teaches on the subject.  The five verses discussed earlier are the perfect place to start.

MAKING MISTAKES ALONG THE WAY

None of us are perfect.  Only Jesus was! 

As we live our lives, Satan will come in and try to tempt, just as he did to Jesus.  And there will be times when that temptation gets the best of us, despite our best intentions.  There is a constant battle occurring between the flesh and the Spirit.  The Apostle Paul described the struggle this way:

  • “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold into bondage to sin.  For I do not understand what I am doing; for I am not practicing what I want to do, but I do the very thing I hate.  However, if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, that the Law is good.  But now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin that dwells in me.  For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.  But if I do the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin that dwells in me.” – Romans 7:14-20.

So we acknowledge that we are all sinners, just as it says in the book of Romans:

  • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23.

GOD IS LOVING AND FORGIVING

The good news for us is that God is a forgiving God.  The Bible teaches us that if we repent and confess our sins, they will not only beforgiven, but God will also remember them no more .

  • “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9.
  • “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”

CONCLUSION

The Bible lists five things that we must do to go to Heaven:

  1. Believe in Jesus,
  2. Confess our belief in Him,
  3. Repent (turn away from) of our sins,
  4. Be baptized,
  5. Obey God’s commandments.

At the core of our salvation is our faith in Jesus.  Throughout our lives, God wants us to continue growing in our faith. Regular Bible study and acting on what we have learned are the best ways to increase our faith.  Praying for God to increase our faith is also effective.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following two verses. They remind us of how glorious Heaven will be for those who remain faithful until the end!

  1. “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.” -Revelation 22:1-5,
  2. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:3-4.

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?

***PLEASE POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS HERE***

Click To View The Discussion
Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?

***PLEASE POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS HERE***

Reply
John

So blessed with this Lesson it is the foundation of our salvation

Reply
Dan W

So thankful for the confidence we have before Him.

Reply
Michael

Does anyone have an opinion about the "Sin leading to death" mentioned in these scriptures?

"If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death."

I assume that the sin leading to death is referring to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit discussed in Mathew 12:30-32?

"He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever [h]speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come."

Reply
John
Michael

I read the scriptures the same way Michael. I also believe that John is talking about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Reply
Donna
John

This is a question I have every time I read this scripture. Thank you for showing us Matthew 12' ... Maybe that is what John is referring to here.

Reply
Mustang

Jesus Himself was baptized. How can anyone dispute the importance of baptism knowing that?

Reply