PMI Center for Biblical Studies
POB 177 - Battle Creek, MI 49016-0177 - (269) 282-9381 - Email
"The promise of life which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 1:1)
Right Division Bible and Ministry Training
for prisoners through Distance Education since 1981
If you died today, are you absolutely sure Heaven will be your eternal Home?
The Bible tells us we can know for sure that we're Heaven-bound today and forever. John, a very close friend of Jesus wrote:
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13).
However, there are a few things you need to understand in order to acquire this promise. First, regardless of what you may think or have been led to believe, good people don't necessarily go to Heaven when they die.
You see, that's because the Bible makes it very clear that none of us are good (Rom. 3:10). In fact WE ARE ALL SINNERS. Notice I included myself—and everyone else—in that group. The Bible says: "For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). That means all of us are guilty in God's sight, and unable to please Him.
It all started in the Garden with Adam and Eve (Read Genesis chapters 2 and 3). God created man to serve and worship Him. He created earth for man to inhabit and rule, and a place called Heaven where every person who sincerely loved and obeyed Him could dwell eternally. But God also created a place of eternal torment called Hell. Jesus taught more about Hell than He did Heaven. Hell is a place reserved for all who refuse to love and obey Him. He then gave us a choice of where we will go.
Adam was created in innocence. But when confronted by temptation, he made the wrong choice and he sinned. He knew it was wrong, but he did it anyway (sound familiar?). When he sinned, his NATURE changed from innocence to guilt. And, unfortunately that sin nature of his has been passed down to ALL OF US. Romans says it like this: "Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom 5:12). Not only are we ALL GUILTY... we're all ON DEATH ROW because God DEMANDS bloodshed for sin from everyone.
That means you, and me, my friend.
Now, let me explain word "death" because it means separation from God on two levels: spiritual as well as physical (Gen 2:17; 3:19). Sin is always wrong, and causes us to attempt to run from God. We know (like Adam did) that when we do something we shouldn’t we deserve to be punished so we hide.
Adam hid behind a bush dressed in a fig leaf which is bloodless and blood is required to atone for sin.
Sometimes we hide behind alcohol. Sometimes drugs. Sometimes education. Sometimes sex. But why do we hide from God? The problem is that guilt cannot co-exist with innocence. God's nature is pure, desiring only holiness, while our nature is corrupt, and desires to sin.
In our present condition WE CANNOT PLEASE GOD -- and frankly most of the time don't want to.
THEREFORE, OUR NATURE MUST BE CHANGED! But how do we change? Can we ever hope to just quit doing bad things, and start helping our fellow man? Do we somehow clean up our act, start going to church, and just quit sinning?
Are you kidding? It will NEVER HAPPEN! You know why? Because even IF we could quit sinning, it wouldn't be enough to adequately pay for our sins and make us acceptable with God because - as stated, God REQUIRES blood to be shed for sin.
Therefore, since we can't save our selves, God developed a plan to do it for us. God, in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, DIED IN OUR PLACE. God sacrificed His only begotten Son on the cross of Calvary to shed His precious innocent blood to make the full payment for sin: "
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust" (1 Pet 3:18). Jesus fulfilled our appointment with death by TAKING OUR PLACE, and shedding His blood: "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, WHILE we were yet sinners, CHRIST DIED FOR US" (Rom 5:8).
"For he hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Now, by the righteousness of Jesus, we are made acceptable to God, and given eternal life. Isn't that wonderful news! We don't have to suffer the ETERNAL FLAMES OF HELL. When we accept God's FREE provision of eternal life through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, God not only forgives us, HE DECLARES US RIGHTEOUS, and allows us to GO TO HEAVEN!
The question then is how to receive the payment (blood) that Jesus shed for us.
That, my friend, is done through a prayer of faith. Faith means "trusting completely" in someone or something. An example would be a chair you sit in. Before you sit down in it, you can "see" it. You believe it exists, and in your mind you believe that if you sit in it, it will hold you. "Faith" (or believing) is that moment when your body responds to what your mind has told you...causing you to SIT DOWN in the chair. That's quite a bit like the prayer when you ask Jesus into your heart, to be your Lord and Saviour. You sit IN HIM- and therefore you trust Him to save you!
However, simply believing that Jesus exists is not enough. Even the devil knows that. You must fully TRUST JESUS: that He died for YOUR SINS, and that HE has the ability to save you, and give you the gift of eternal life. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE (trust completely) in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED" (Rom 10:9). It is a promise.
Does this makes sense to you? If so, will you please pray this simple prayer with me and settle the question once and for all of where you will spend eternity. I prayed this prayer 4/24/75 at 7:30 in the morning, and NOW, you can too. Even if you have prayed it before, pray it again, and start over:
"Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner worthy of death. But Father, I believe You sent Jesus to die and shed His precious blood for my sin. Please forgive me of my sins, Lord Jesus, and come into my heart right now and live Your life through me. Thank you for hearing my prayer and saving me. Now, I know for sure that when I die I will go to Heaven to be with you. In Jesus Name, Amen."
If you just prayed that prayer in faith, you just made THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION OF YOUR LIFE, and you are NOW A CHILD OF GOD! The devil will try to tell you that you're too bad to go to Heaven-- BUT DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. The Bible says: "For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED" (Rom 10:13). That whosoever includes YOU!!
Remember, friend, Jesus loves you—right where you are—and He will never leave you- NEVER!
Dr. Mike Johnston (Isa. 42:6-7)
Dear Dr. Mike:
On this date ______________________ , at (time) ______________________I prayed the prayer in this letter to: ( ) accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior ( ) recommit my life to Jesus Christ.
( ) Please send me some materials to help me grow in Christ.
Be sure to write the exact time and date that you were saved in your Bible (if you have one, or in the one we will bring you). Then, when the devil tells you that you aren't going to heaven, turn to it, and say, "Get behind me, Satan!"
WHAT’S NEXT? Begin telling others what you have done- this is called witnessing, and it will strengthen your commitment. As soon as possible, tell the Chaplain about your faith in Christ, and plug in with their Christian church services. Start reading your Bible every day; begin with the Gospel of John.
Please write and let me know you got saved today and request lesson 1 of 8 Foundations of Theology Bible study lessons.
Please don’t ever be ashamed of the prayer of salvation or Jesus: Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven (Mat 10:32-33).
Will you join me in this verse? 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 (Rom 1:16).
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