Has anyone ever taken a Bible and shown you how you can know that you're going to heaven? May I?

The Bible contains both bad news and good news. The bad news is something about you and me. The good news is something about God. Let's discuss the bad news first.

The bad news is that you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

When the Bible says that you and I have sinned, it means that we lie, we lust, we hate, we murder, etc. The word sin in the Bible actually means to "miss the mark." In other words, God is perfect and we aren't. Let me explain. Suppose each of us were to pick up a rock, and I say to you, "We'll throw our rocks and hit the North Pole." Well, you might throw farther than I, or I might throw farther than you, but neither of us would hit the North Pole. Both of us would fall short. When the Bible says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," it means that God has set a standard. That standard is God himself. A holy God has requirements for a relationship with Him that none of us can meet. We need to be as holy as He is holy, as perfect as He is perfect. But it doesn't matter how religiously we live, how good we are, or how hard we work; we cannot meet that standard. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Even worse bad news is that the penalty for sin is death!

Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death."

Suppose you were to work for me for one day and I were to pay you fifty dollars. Fifty dollars would be your wages. That's what you've earned. The Bible is saying that because you and I have sinned, we have earned death. We are going to die and be eternally separated from God.

Since there was no way you could come to God, the Bible says that God decided to come to you.

That is the good news! That Christ died for you.

Romans 5:28 says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Let's say that you were in the hospital dying of cancer. I could come to you and say, " I want to do something for you. We'll take the cancer cells from your body and put them into my body." What would happen to me? Right, I would die. What would happen to you? You would live. Why? Because I took the thing that was causing your death and placed it upon myself, and I died as your substitute. The Bible is saying that Christ came into the world, and He took the penalty for sin that was causing your death. He placed it upon Himself, and He actually died in your place. He was your substitute! The third day, He rose to prove His claims to be God were true; He rose to prove that sin, death and the devil had been conquered.

And in addition to this, there is the good news that you can be saved through faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

The word grace means "undeserved or unmerited favor." Saved means to be "rescued or delivered from the penalty of sin." Now you may be wondering, What is faith? The word faith means "trust." For example, you weren't there when the chair that you are sitting in was made, and you probably didn't examine how it was made before you sat on it. You are simply trusting the chair to hold you. Putting your faith in Christ means trusting Him to save you --not trusting your church membership, your good life, or your baptism to get you to heaven, but trusting Christ and Him alone. Your trust has to be in the one who died for you and arose. It is then that God gives you heaven as a free gift.

My question to you is, "Is there anything that is keeping you from trusting Christ right now?" If so, please list those things and e-mail me at the address below. I would be happy to discuss those things with you.

If not, would you like to pray right now and tell God you are trusting His Son as your Savior?

PRAYER: Dear God, I come to you now. I know that I am a sinner. Nothing I am or do makes me deserving of heaven. I believe Jesus Christ died for me and rose from the grave. Right now, I trust Jesus Christ alone as my Savior. Thank you for the forgiveness and everlasting life I now have. In Jesus' name, amen.

If you have prayed this prayer today, please e-mail me of your decision so that I can rejoice with you! I would also be happy to correspond regarding what you should do now to begin a new life in Christ. First, you should find a Bible-teaching church to visit and tell them of your decision, but please contact me so that I might help you get off to a good start.

With Love in Christ,


Email: smithmotors@edsel.net