I'm a good person...of COURSE, I'm going to heaven, right?
Well, it would be nice if it were that simple. Here's the problem with saying anything or anyone is "good". There are lots of people who say that Italian food is "good" while others say it's really horrible. Lots of folks in Nazi Germany would have said that Adolf Hitler was a "good" person. The problem with "good" is that it relies on a human interpretation of "good". If you ask ten different people to define "good", you will probably get ten completely different answers. When it comes to salvation, we can't rely on our own definition of "good" because we can't trust that. We have to look to a perfect definition of "good" to get a right definition and that can only come from a perfect source. The Bible says that there is none "good" but God (Matthew 19:17). If God is "good", nothing can be compared to that perfect standard of holiness.
The fact of the matter is that mankind is fallen. This happened way back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve broke the one rule that God gave them. When they ate from the tree, they cursed mankind. Luckily for us, God knew this would happen and He had a perfect plan to redeem mankind. He came up with a plan that would end in Him sending His only Son, Jesus, who came to earth willingly. Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life, ministered to God's people, and showed us what God is like. Jesus died willingly. He shed His perfect blood on the cross to redeem us. He saved us from ourselves. In His sacrifice, He gave us all the chance to be redeemed and live eternally in heaven with God. It is through faith in this sacrifice that we are saved.
Here's the thing with salvation, though: there isn't a magic prayer for any one of us. I know that it's popular and seems right to pray a sinner's prayer, but lots of folks pray a prayer and nothing changes. So if it isn't a prayer, then how do we go to heaven? Romans 3:23 says that we all have sinned and we all fall short of the glory of God. The Bible goes on to say that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Death is an eternal separation from God. But we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). Romans 10:9 tells us that if we confess Jesus as Lord and acknowledge His deity as evidenced by His resurrection, we are saved. Finally Romans 10:13 tells us that everyone who calls on Jesus' name will be saved. We know we are saved when we are changed and our lives bear the fruit of that change (Galatians 5:22-23) It's that simple. Do you believe that Jesus is the resurrected Son of God? Does your life show evidence of your decision? If these things are true, then the chances are really good that you have eternal life. If these things are not true, would you like to have a conversation about that? I certainly hope you do. If you DO want to have that conversation, we at White Oak Community Church want to help you explore this reality for your life. We hope you will join us and start the conversation.