Two of the most important questions you could ever ask are:
1.) Who is Jesus Christ? (Here is an excellent resource that summarizes “Who Jesus is”.)
2.) What must I do to get saved?
Let’s try to answer these two questions right now.
Maybe you believe your ticket for getting into heaven was being baptized at some point in the past, or that you prayed a prayer once, or maybe that your good deeds will outweigh your bad ones in the end. Or maybe you’re hoping that God will just turn a blind eye come Judgment Day when your sin must be accounted for. But what if you’re wrong?
The Bible teaches that only the morally and spiritually “good” people go to heaven. God requires you to be “good” in thought, word, and deed. Are you “good” enough according to God’s definition of perfect goodness? Let’s find out.
Jesus said, “No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19). The Bible says, “There is no one righteous, not even one…there is no one who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12). You and I both have a problem — we do not measure up to God’s standard (moral and spiritual perfection) for entrance into heaven based upon our lifestyles or human achievement. To be “good” means being perfect in keeping God’s laws and commandments. Let’s see if you’ve perfectly kept God’s 10 Commandments.
Repentance is necessary for salvation. No one gets saved without turning from sin.
Have you ever told a lie or stolen anything? Have you ever used God’s name in vain or as a curse word? To take God’s name in vain is called blasphemy and it is so offensive to God that “He will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7). Have you ever committed adultery? Jesus said that “everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Have you ever looked with lust? If so, you will be guilty on Judgment Day because you have broken His Law. God doesn’t see you as a “good” person. He sees each of us for who we really are: lying, thieving, blaspheming, adulterers at heart. And you will be judged according to your words, thoughts, and deeds.
The Bible says, “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Are you ready for your final Judgment? Are you sure? The Bible says, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31) and warns that those guilty of breaking His Law (the 10 Commandments) will end up in hell forever. God says that, “all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8). That’s not God’s desire for you, however. God is mercifully “patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). There is good news…but only if you will humble yourself because, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
Unless you are perfect according to God’s righteous standard, your eternal destination is really a one-way ticket to everlasting hell. Listen the voice of your conscience, for you know deep down this is true!
In the Bible, before Jesus was born, people were required to present sin or guilt offerings and offer up an animal (such as a bull or lamb) that had no defects. They were to place one of their hands on the animal’s head and with their other hand — slay (sacrifice) the animal. By placing one hand on the animal’s head, the person’s sin would symbolically be transferred to the sacrifice, which took your punishment (death) and God would, therefore, temporarily withhold His final judgment (eternal wrath). God’s wrath, in essence, was transferred to the sacrifice. The Bible says that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22) but also that “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).
But thanks be to God there is good news and here is what He did for you.
God promised that He, Himself, would provide a once-and-for-all Sacrifice that would forever atone for sin. The Sacrifice that God provided was His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. God sent His Sacrifice into the world to live the life that you should have lived but couldn’t (or rather, wouldn’t). Jesus lived a sinless life (without defect) and kept the commandments of God His Father. He never lied, stole, blasphemed, or lusted. Jesus, “who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22) is the only payment (Sacrifice) that God will accept for the forgiveness of your sins. As a willing Sacrifice, Jesus endured God’s wrath and regarding sin, “He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Jesus took your punishment upon Himself so that you would not have to experience the eternal penalty of God’s wrath in the lake of fire called hell. Then God, as the Scriptures had beforehand prophesied, raised Jesus from the dead and defeated death. By doing so, God demonstrated that He accepted Jesus payment once and for all.
What you must do in order to have God’s forgiveness transferred to your spiritual account is to repent (turn away from) of your sin and fully trust in the sacrifice of Jesus alone for your salvation. To repent of your sin is like placing your hand upon the head of God’s Sacrifice — Jesus Christ. Jesus said “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15) as well as, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
If you refuse to repent & believe (repentant faith) you will not receive forgiveness of your sins but will certainly be cast into hell come Judgment Day. As the Scripture plainly says, “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30,31).
Repent of your sin…trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord…and you will be saved. Do it today — before it’s too late!