Dear beloved: A recent poll by the Barna Research Group revealed some startling statistics about people's views of their eternal salvation. Eight out of ten Americans believe there is a heaven, that coincides with the number who claim to be Christian. But out of those eight of ten who believe in heaven, only 43% believe their entry into heaven is tied to their confession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Beloved, that 43% have it right! Romans 10:9 But if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your hear that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. v10 For with the heart one believes resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. v9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Another 15% believe their entry into heaven will be gained by their good works. Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Beloved, we are created for good works, but you cannot do enough good works, whether it be baking good pies for the church dinners, or even church attendance, or mission trips, to ensure your place in heaven. So stop trying to work your way into heaven, rest in the presence of Jesus and come to know Him as your Lord and Savior.
Another 15% believe they are going to punch their ticket to heaven by being a good person, or by keeping the ten commandments, aside from works. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:10 There is none righteous, no, not one; v11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. v12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. Beloved, I think we can all attest to the fact that when we look in the mirror, we are looking at a weak sinner who is in need of a Savior. Thank God, our heavenly Father saw that too, and he provided the payment, or propitiation, for our sins through the blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
And last but not least, another 6% of those who think they are heaven bound believe they will get there because God is a loving God and would never send anyone to hell for all eternity, that would go totally against His nature. Beloved, God is a good and loving God, (2 Peter 3:9) it is His wish that none should perish, but all should come to know repentance and have everlasting life. And God created hell not for man but for the devil and his angels, as eternal punishment for his rebellion in the courts of heaven. However, God doesn't exactly send people to hell, people choose hell by their refusal to believe in the free gift of God, the blood of Jesus given as a payment for our sin. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death (physical and eternal death), but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The only unforgiveable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, that is when a person denies or lies against the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
Beloved, if you are in that 36% of Americans who has the wrong concept of how you get to heaven, do business with the Lord today concerning your sin nature and your need for a Savior. Get right with the Lord, and you can then celebrate now and for all eternity. God bless you, in Christ, Jim