A foundational question that we must ask ourselves in the quest for truth is “Who decides right from wrong and where do we find that information?”
For many, they themselves determine right from wrong and the source of that is found within, from our experiences, our emotions or our inner being. This is subjective truth, meaning what is right for one person may not be right for another. Subjective truth is open to change and does change with the social/political climate of the day, whatever is or isn’t deemed acceptable in culture, along with many other variables. Truth then becomes a moving target that can change from day to day and from generation to generation.
For Bible-believing Christians, we would say that God determines right from wrong and the source of that is found in the Bible. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and outline His truth and His expectations for mankind. This is difficult, as the Bible (often!) will point out shortcomings and inconsistencies in our own lives that God demands that we change to live in accordance to His law. By being a Christian, we allow God to set the standard and we attempt to live in obedience to His standard of righteousness. When anyone fails to meet that standard, the Bible refers to this as sin.
It’s important to understand that we are all sinners and are all guilty of violating God’s law and living in rebellion to His standards. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” God says, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). So, the idea that Christians think that they’re better than anyone else, simply isn’t a biblical idea at all. We’re all in the same boat together, we all fall short, we all make mistakes and we all sin.
God cannot allow us to continue to sin and turn a blind eye. What good would it be to have laws that no one followed? Why set a speed limit on the H-1 Freeway if no one follows it and there are no HPD officers to enforce it? So, God says “If you break My law, you must pay the price.” Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Because we have sinned against God, we must die, all of us. And not just die physically, but spiritually. When we die, we’re going to Hell because of our sin. Revelation 20:12-15 says, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
So, all of us have sinned and all of us deserve to go to Hell, because that is the payment for our sin. BUT, God is loving and does not want anyone to go to Hell, but because God is just, someone must pay for breaking His law.
Enter Jesus. Jesus is God, who became a man and because He didn’t sin once, he could pay for the sins of others. Jesus came to die on the cross to pay the price of our sin. I was supposed to pay, but Jesus paid the price for me. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Because God loves you and me, He sent Jesus to die in our place to allow all of our sins, past, present and future to be paid for once and for all.
Jesus was punished and died in your place as payment for your sin and to make things right between you and God. We sometimes refer to this as the substitutionary atonement of Jesus.
To be saved and fdorgiven, God needs two things from you, FAITH and REPENTANCE. All those who are willing to repent of, or turn from their sin, believe in Jesus as Savior will be forgiven of their sins, just as if they never happened! We call this being born again or saved. When we are saved, we are forgiven of all of our sin and now we can go to Heaven when we die. This is the only way one can go to Heaven. Jesus said in John 3:3, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus also says that He is the only way to Heaven. John 14:6 says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” So for ANYONE, who would seek God’s forgiveness for their sins and truly believe that He alone can saved them, they can be saved and totally forgiven of all of their sin. Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
If you are willing to confess and repent of your sin and truly believe that Jesus is capable of saving you, you can be saved. Being saved or born again is a one-time event where we call out to God in faith and repentance. One you are saved, you are adopted into the family of God, saved from the penalty of your sin and guaranteed a home in Heaven!
Going to Heaven has nothing to do with what church you attend, how good of a life you live or if you've checked all of the religious boxes. It's all about Jesus. Is he your Savior? Have you been born again?
One of the great promises of the Bible is those who trust in Jesus have eternal life. John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”