The Most important question anyone can ask themselves is what will happen to me after I die? Or putting it another way, where will I be spending eternity? You will not find the answer to this question in yourself, or in nature, in science, in human philosophy, or human wisdom. The answer to that question can only be found in only one place, and that one place is God’s word – the Bible. You see, your eternity depends upon your relationship with, or lack of relationship with Almighty God. So let’s look and see what He says about where your eternal destination is at this moment.
To do this we must consider what the Bible says About God, about people, and about how people can be in a right relationship with Him.
Everything that exists has been created by God.
God created the universe and everything in it. He created mankind in His image, and He created us for a purpose. That purpose is to be in a loving relationship with Him, in which we love Him, serve Him, honor Him and enjoy Him for all eternity (Genesis 1-2).
God is Sovereign over all His creation.
Since God has created everything, everything belongs to Him and He alone has complete authority over everything (Psalm 103:19). And that includes all people. God has given us everything we have, it all comes from His gracious hand. He has given us our lives and everything that comes with that. Every breath you take and heartbeat in your chest is a gift from Him and under His sovereign control. Because He is the Sovereign Creator we owe Him everything, and that includes our love, devotion, worship and obedience.
God is Holy, Righteous and Just
God is completely pure and holy(Isaiah 6:3) and it is totally impossible for Him to sin, or to approve of sin at all(James 1:13; Habakkuk 1:13). And because God is completely pure and holy He commands us to be completely pure and holy as well(1 Peter 1:16).
People are not Holy, Righteous or just – we are sinful.
Contrary to what the world says, people are not good in God’s eyes. That doesn’t mean that people can’t do good things; what it means is that we can’t attain the standard of good that God requires. God’s definition of good is someone who is perfect in thought, word and deed from the day they are born until the second that they breathe their last breath. Jesus who was and is perfectly holy, righteous and just, is the example of someone who is good. Jesus who is God in human flesh said that we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect(Matthew 5:48) – that’s the standard. God’s law- the 10 commandments is the standard. Let’s look at just 4 of the 10 commandments. Have you ever lied? Stolen anything? Have you ever committed adultery or murder? And God’s standard is so perfect that He requires not just external obedience to these commands, He demands internal obedience to the extent that looking with lust is adultery (Matthew 5:27-28), and hating someone is murder(1 John 3:15) as far as God is concerned.
All of us have sinned against God(Romans 3:23), and therefore none of us are good or righteous, and in ourselves we are unable to love Him or please Him(Romans 3:10- 18).
Everyone who sins will be punished
God’s holiness and justice demands that all sinners will be punished, and this punishment is eternal punishment(Mark 9:47-48). Not one sin will go unpunished. Every time someone sins they are earning the payment for that sin – the Bible says in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death”, and Ezekiel 18:4 says that “the soul that sins shall die”. Eternal death in hell.
God has provided a way for you to be forgiven and reconciled to Him
Jesus is the Son of God who became a man(John 1:1,14) to live the life we failed to live, and die the death we deserve to die. The good news is that even though God’s justice demands we pay for our sins in hell for all eternity, God’s love has provided a way for us to not only be forgiven but also have the righteousness required to get to heaven.
We have sinned and failed to live the righteous life God demands of us but Jesus was sinless(1 Peter 2:22) and lived a righteous life for us. We deserve eternal death and punishment, but Jesus took our sin upon himself, willingly received God’s wrath and died in our place. God has graciously provided a way for us to be saved, to be forgiven and credited the righteousness of Jesus Christ to our account(2 Corinthians 5:21). And the salvation of God can’t be earned; it can only be received as a free gift(Romans 6:23), by faith in Jesus alone(Ephesians 2:8-9).
Jesus said that to receive this gift you must repent and believe the gospel(Mark 1:15). Repentance is agreeing with God that you’re a sinner and deserving hell. It’s confessing your sin to Him, and making a conscious decision to turn away from your sins from this point forward, surrendering the rest of your life to Jesus as your Lord and Savior, trusting in His death on the cross as payment for your sins, and in His resurrection from the dead to give you a new life(1 Peter 3:18).
“That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” – (Romans 10:9-10)
Salvation is evidenced by a changed life and relationship with God
When someone truly repents and trusts in Jesus they are born again(John 3:3;5). Their lives will be marked by continual repentance and growing obedience to God’s word. True faith is not just an intellectual belief in the facts of the gospel(James 2:19), it will be an active living faith that’s evidenced by a new life in Christ (Ephesians 2:10).
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away, behold new things have come.” – (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- First, we need to see ourselves as sinners, while knowing that God is totally holy, righteous, and just
- Then we need to repent (or turn from) our sins
- We need to come to Jesus by faith and accept his as Lord and Savior and new Master of our lives
- We are then spiritually born again into God’s spiritual family and given a new life
- Christ’s perfect righteousness is then credited to our spiritual account as if we never sinned
- Our place in heaven is guaranteed by Christ’s perfect sacrifice on the cross on our behalf. The sinless lamb of God was sacrificed on the cross so that all humanity can have access to eternal life