Here is a book excerpt from Great and Wonderful Things describing God’s plan of salvation, so that you can know for certain you will go to heaven when you die.
If you have never asked Jesus into your heart, please consider reading the verses and prayer below. Christianity is the only religion that does not demand you earn your way into heaven. The price has already been paid by Jesus dying on the cross. God came to earth in the form of a man to give his life for us. His spilled blood on the cross was the final, ultimate sacrifice for everyone’s sins. All you have to do is accept his free gift of salvation.
Paul wrote to Christians in Rome in the first century, several years after Christ died on the cross and rose to life again. In the Book of Romans, Paul explained about Jesus and salvation.
Verses there showing how to go to heaven when you die have been called the “Roman Road” to salvation, and they serve as a good framework for understanding the basics. All the verses listed below are from the NIV Bible.
First, in order to be saved you have to realize you need saving. We are all sinners, and sin separates us from God. Paul tells us in Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Second, you have to understand that there is nothing you can do on your own, apart from God, to get right with God. Most religions would have you work toward getting into heaven. They would make you try to become “good enough,” or have you do some good deeds or payments or work to get into heaven. But Christianity is different. It is the only religion that has already provided a way for you to go to heaven when you die. Jesus gave his life as the ultimate sacrifice to get us in. The price of admission has already been paid. Romans 5:8 says: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since the sacrifice has already been made to get us into heaven and get us right with God here on earth, it is a gift. It is a free gift, one we can choose to accept or not. Romans 6:23 says: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Since we cannot earn our way into heaven, we can choose to accept the free gift of Christ’s sacrifice which already paid the way. Since it is a gift, it is by God’s grace we are allowed into heaven. God could have chosen to not let us in. But he has gracefully opened a door for us through Jesus’s death on the cross.
Maybe you have heard someone say, “There but for the grace of God . . . ” In this case, God’s grace lets us go to heaven through Jesus. Romans 11:6 states: And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
This reinforces the fact there is nothing you can do to earn your way into heaven. There is no amount of good deeds or charitable works that is good enough to take away your sins. Only Jesus’s sacrifice, his blood shed on the cross, will do that.
So now that you realize you are a sinner, and that you cannot work your way into heaven, and that Christ has already paid the price to get you there by dying on the cross for you, what do you have to do? Paul tells us you have to have faith. You have to trust in Jesus that he will save you on Judgment Day.
He put it this way in Romans 5:6-7: Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
Faith is an easy concept. You put your trust in someone to do something for you. If you ever dined in a restaurant, you had faith the food would come out edible. While humans may disappoint us sometimes, Jesus never will. We have faith he will save us on Judgement Day.
So, we are saved by faith, not works or good deeds or anything else. We put our faith in Jesus, that he will stand before the throne on Judgment Day and proclaim that we accepted Him, saving us from eternal damnation and granting us entry to heaven and everlasting life. Romans 10:13 states: for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Your final step in this process is to call on Jesus and ask him into your life. Paul says in Romans 10:19: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
You can do that right now by praying. Sometimes this is called a “sinner’s prayer.” The exact words are not as important as your heart’s intent. Just remember that salvation does not rely on feelings, but on faith. Believe that the verses above are true, and ask Jesus into your heart. Below is a prayer you can recite right now, and be assured that God will hear you.
Dear Lord God, I know I am a sinner and that nothing I can do will earn my way into heaven. I will never be good enough to get there on my own. But I call upon Jesus Christ to save me. I claim His blood sacrifice on the cross and I ask that You forgive me my sins. I accept Jesus as the Lord of my life, and I ask that He enter my heart and take control of my life. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.