Is Jesus Christ the Only way to Heaven?

Is Jesus Christ the only way to be saved from one’s sins and enter heaven?


Is Jesus Christ the only way to God? What about those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and died? Are they going to hell? Are their sins forgiven in another way? If the Israelites were forgiven for their sins in the Old Testament before Jesus died for the sins of the world, could it be that other people’s sins will be forgiven today as well if they have not heard of Jesus Christ? And if that is the case, can we still say Jesus is the only way to God?


These difficult questions have puzzled many and led many to conclude that there must be other ways to God as well. But what does the New Testament say about these things? In John 14:6 Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father (God) but by Me”. In Acts 4:12 it is written: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”. It is written in 1 Timothy 2:5;” for there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Jesus Christ who gave Himself a ransom for all.” It is written in 1 John 5:11,12:” …God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son, he who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” In these passages of the New Testament (and there are others) God has made it clear that Jesus Christ is the only way to receive eternal life. He is the only way to the Father. There is salvation in no one else. He is the only Mediator between God and Man. He is the only one who died for the sins of the world and who bore God’s wrath because of our sins (1 John 2:1,2). Never was there a Man like Him. He was without sin (2 Cor: 5:21); God in the flesh (John 1:1-3,14).

You may ask what about those who never heard the gospel and those in the Old Testament who only had the promises of a coming Saviour? In the Old Testament people were saved based on the promise of the coming Saviour and the blood (death) of sheep and goats were only types and shadows of the real blood of Jesus that would take away sins. They were saved based on the promises of God and the Christ that would die because of their sins.
But what about those who never heard the gospel? If you have time, read the letter of Romans Chapters 1-3. That will give you an in-depth view of the matter. All we can say of those people who did not have a promise of the Savior and who died without hearing the gospel is that God is just, holy and loving. God will see to it. We do not know.
What we do know is this: Acts 17: 30,31 “these times of ignorance God has overlooked, but NOW commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead”. Mark 16:15 says: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person.” Why should we preach the gospel to every person? We should because there is no other way to heaven. We should because God commands it. We should because God has overlooked the times of ignorance when people served other gods, but NOW God has ordained a Man by whom we will be saved if we believe in Him (John 3:16.) No one will go to hell because he/she did not hear about Jesus, they will go to hell because of unrepentant sin, because of willful, continual rebellion against a God who loved them, whom they rejected (Romans 1,2). People go to hell because they hate God and his laws! They will be sentenced to go to hell because they stand guilty before God on charges of treason against the King of the Universe.

Do we have any warrant NOW to believe that people will go to heaven without embracing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord? We do not have a warrant from the New Testament. God commands his followers to preach the gospel (Mark 16:15) to every person, to witness about Him to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8), to make disciples of all ethnic groups (Matt 28:18-20). What about you friend? Are you involved in praying to God and witnessing for God to see His enterprise fulfilled? More importantly: Are we part of those band of followers who worship the Lamb, who are saved from our sins? Whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? (Rev 20:15)

Woe to us, if we are saved from our sins, but saved for comfort, ease, and indifference to the lost (Rev 3:14-18). May God get us out of our comfort zones and busy fulfilling His Great Commission, going into all the world, spreading the good news, until the last trumpet sounds (1 Cor 15:50-54). May He find our lamps burning bright, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith awaiting the Bridegroom.


Matthew 10:32,33 “Whoever confesses Me before men I will confess him before My Father in heaven, but whoever denies Me before men I will deny him before My Father who is in heaven” May God help us.


Philippians: 1:6 “He who began a good work in you will finish it.”

Two Gates, Two Roads, Two Destinies


Jesus said: Wide is the gate and broad is the way to destruction and many go therein. But narrow is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and a few people find it. (Matthew 7:13,14)


The wide gate represents the world. On this road all religions are right. They say: how can you say Christianity is the only right one. Who is to judge between right and wrong? The broad road is where a person plays with sin or even where sin is called good. On this road you can steal, lie, smoke, get drunk, listen to what you want, lust after who and what you want, curse who you want, be disrespectful to whom you want and flirt with whom you want. Anything takes the place of the living God. Money, sex, television, music, drugs, alcohol, sport, family, computer games, food, success, career, nationality, race or whatever, as long as you can have your idols and God. These things are not necessarily wrong within their God-ordained place, but for most people they dethrone God of His rightful place. We cannot serve idols and God at the same time. The broad road is the road where God is dethroned in your heart. This road leads to conscious eternal destruction and suffering away from God’s mercy, blessing and love. Most people are on this road and most people will tragically stay on this road according to the Word of God.


The narrow road looks much different. The gate is Jesus Christ (John 10:7). You cannot enter the narrow road unless Jesus Christ becomes your Treasure. You cannot get on the road without turning from your sins and idols (John 1:12). If you have not received forgiveness from your sins by the blood of Jesus, you will not find yourself on this road. To be on the narrow path means you surrender your whole life to God. When you are on this road you realize Jesus can and will not only be the Savior of your life, but that He must be Lord as well. If Jesus is not King (Lord) of all in your life, He is not Lord at all in your life. That means He is the rightful owner and ruler of your whole life. If He is your Lord (King), then you live in submission to Him and to His body, His people. Then you cannot do as you please. If He is King of your life then He controls your future. How you spend your money. How you spend your time and with who. What books and magazines you read. What music you listen to. What DVD’s you watch. What websites you visit. Who your friends are. Where you socialize. The words that come out of your mouth. Where you should stay. What job you should do, ect. In short, on this road, in every situation and difficulty you ask: What is your will Lord? not my will. And when God leads you, you obey. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, “not all who say to me: Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of the Father in heaven.” This is the narrow road. The narrow road does not mean you never make mistakes or sin, but it does mean that God rules your life and that God saves you from your sinful habits and addictions. On the narrow road, Jesus lives within you through the Holy Spirit. On the narrow road, you value what is most valuable, Jesus Christ. On the narrow road, you are willing to suffer tribulation and persecution for the sake of Christ. On the narrow road, you are willing to suffer insults for the sake of Christ. On the narrow road the Bible is precious to you, and rules your life through the Holy Spirit. On the narrow road you delight in the laws of God and esteem the word of God above your own sinful desires. On the narrow road, you regard the fellowship with the people of God highly, above the company of unbelievers.


The narrow road guarantees eternal happiness and joy and is the only road to heaven. Let’s make no mistake. It is a difficult road. It is a road where you sometimes feel you want to quit. It is sometimes a lonely road. It is a road in the midst of tribulations and suffering, but with God and in God. Humanly speaking it is impossible to get on the road and stay on the road, but God said in Mark 10:27 “With Him all things are possible.”


Which road are you on?

Who is Jesus Christ really?


The gospel of John in the Bible describes Jesus Christ in the following ways:


• Jesus is the Word of God who created the universe and became a human being (John 1:1-3,14) ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…..and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..”
• Jesus is the Lamb that was slain to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29) ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!’
• Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:35) ‘I am the bread of life, he who comes to Me shall never hunger.’
• Jesus is the Fountain of Living Water (John 4:14; John 6:35; John 7:37-39) ‘whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’ ‘….and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’
• Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12) ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.’
• Jesus is God (John 1:1-3; John 8:58) ‘…and the Word was God…’; ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’
• Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) ‘I am the Good Shepherd. —-The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.’
• Jesus is the Door (John 10:7,9) ‘…most assuredly I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep…. if anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.’
• Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25) ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.’

• Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6) ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’
• Jesus is the True Vine. (John 15:1,5) ‘I am the true Vine and My Father is the Vinedresser. I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit.’
• Jesus is Eternal Life (John 17:3; John 3:16; 1 John 5:11,12) ‘And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You sent.’
• Jesus died and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3,4) ‘For I delivered to you first which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and rose the third day according to the Scriptures and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once…’


• John 1:12 says “for as many as received Him (Jesus Christ), to them He(God) gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name.” God promises the gift of everlasting life to everyone who repents (turns) from their sins and put their trust in Jesus Christ, His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead. If you receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour, Lord and Treasure, God the Holy Spirit will come and make His home within you forever. If you receive Jesus for who He is, it proves that you be born from above, born from the Holy Spirit, and are adopted as God’s son or daughter (John 1:12,13).


• If you reject Jesus Christ in this life as the Saviour and King of the world, and of your life, there remains no chance for forgiveness of your sins and no way to escape the horrors and punishment for your sins and you will therefore spend eternity in utter darkness and in hell. We plead with you not to neglect such a great salvation found in Jesus Christ alone!


Jesus said: Come to Me all you who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28)

The Finished Work of Christ

It is finished


These are the greatest and most important words ever uttered in the history of Mankind and they were uttered by the greatest Man that ever lived on planet earth. The man was Jesus Christ. Not an ordinary Man. Not only a Man with high moral standards and merely a prophet. He was God’s only begotten Son. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. The God-man. Never before and never after was there and will there be a Man like Him. He was one of a kind and came on a mission to this earth. He was without sin. Even though He was tempted in every way while He lived on earth He never gave in to any temptation. Is such a thing possible, you may ask? Yes, it is true. That is why He came and the Bible says it is true (Hebrews 2: 18; 2 Cor 5:21).


‘It is finished!’


Jesus said these words at the end of His life. After He was falsely accused for sins that He did not commit. The Roman authorities condemned Him to die on a cross, after Pontius Pilate was instigated by the Jewish authorities. He died a criminal’s death, although He was no criminal. He was sentenced by the Jews on charges of blasphemy. They said that He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus said these words as He hung on the cross, as He was suffering and dying. These are the most important words that were ever uttered by any Man.


It is accomplished


But, what was finished? I will try to sum up the most important points for you although the breadth and height of the meaning of these words have filled volumes of books.


• The price that was paid as a ransom for the sin of believing sinners was paid in full. The punishment for sin was laid on the shoulders of Jesus Christ. He died in the place of believers. The just punishment for sin is death, as revealed in God’s Word (Romans 6:23). We had to die for our sins, but Jesus Christ died in our place, as our substitute, so that you and I can be innocent of sin. There was a divine transaction. Our sins were accounted to Him on the cross and His righteousness (sinlessness, perfection) was accounted to us. Your sin was laid on Him, and His righteousness was put on you (Romans 5:6-21). In other words, God will freely forgive and justify believers now on the basis of what Christ has done.


• Jesus broke the power of sin on the cross to set believers free from its rule and power (Romans 6:6-8; Matthew 1:21).


• God disarmed and defeated principalities and powers, the devil and His angels, making an open spectacle of them and triumphing over them at the cross (Colossians 2:15).


• God reconciled (united) believing sinners with Himself at the cross. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) He demolished the enmity between Himself and believers at the cross (Colossians 1:20).


• God’s anger (wrath) and justice towards believing sinners was satisfied by Jesus dying in their place on the cross. God’s justice for sin needed to be satisfied, and Jesus met God’s requirement because He was God’s perfect offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10). He was God in the flesh who never sinned.


All this Jesus did for those who trust in Christ alone. What Christ accomplished at the cross 2000 years ago, will only become a reality in your life if you truly turn from your sins (your idolatry, adultery, stealing, lies, covetousness, murder, pride, ungratefulness, gossip, indifference, slander, drunkenness, dishonoring parents and taking God’s Name in vain) and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. Have you truly repented of your sins? Have you trusted in Christ for salvation? If you love your sins and the evils of this world and reject Christ, then the wrath of God will abide on you forever!


It is finished! Is it finished in you?

The Glories of His Righteousness

One thing is certain. One day all of humankind, all people, men, women and children from all ethnic groups and languages, all who ever lived on planet earth will stand before God’s glorious throne and will be judged to an eternity with God’s blessing or without God’s blesing. The judgement seat is set (Romans 2:16; Matt 25:31-46, Hebrews 9:27). Man must give an account for the life he or she has lived.
There will be no second chances, no extinction of a human life, no annihilation of a life and no reincarnation. The Bible is clear: Man is to die once and then the judgement (Hebrews 9:27).

Another startling and shocking fact is that all humankind need perfection to live before God and to enter His holy place called heaven (Hebrews 12:14; Isaiah 35:8).
Another tragic fact is that all people who have ever lived, have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Our own willful disobedience against God’s law and character separates us from the eternal, magnificent God. Our own sins disqualify each one of us to enter His glorious presence. We have made and worshipped idols (real or in our minds), hated people, lied, stolen, cheated, used God’s Name in vain and coveted other people and their possessions numerous times. These things God calls sins and we deserve eternal punishment because of our sins. God is holy and just and never overlooks sin. He is of purer eyes to behold evil!


But wait before you go into despair! Here is the good news: God not only punished our sins in His only Son Jesus Christ but provided a perfect righteousness whereby we can become perfect in God’s eyes! God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ about 2000 years ago and He lived a sinless, perfect life. He obeyed God’s law completely and obtained a righteousness whereby God can now justify us. Not only is this true, but He died on a cross in Israel 2000 years ago to pay the punishment for the sins of those who will believe. That’s great news!
No amount of praying, good works, shedding of tears and confessions can make us acceptable in God’s sight. What we need is God’s finished work to be right with God.

Many people think: Yes, Jesus died in my place as my substitute. He paid the punishment for my sins. He satisfied God’s justice and bore the wrath of God for sin and now He demands my obedience so that when I die one day, my works will justify me on judgement day. In other words, Jesus Christ’s death was necessary to take away my sins, but now God needs my obedience to the law, (my righteousness) for the final judgement for justification. So, some people think, when I die one day I thank God for His death but, I rely on my own works to get me into heaven and enjoy His presence.
This position insults God’s righteousness and His magnificent grace. My and your good works (righteousness) do not justify us before God. If we would only sin once we would have a flawed righteousness, an imperfect righteousness, and that would disqualify us on judgement day. We need perfection, complete fulfillment of God’s law and ONLY JESUS CHRIST obtained that! The only hope for you and me on judgement day is Jesus Christ’s blood and righteousness! His substitutionary life and death. We need perfection to be in God’s presence and only Jesus Christ obtained a righteousness (a perfection) because He fulfilled the law of God with His obedience when He lived on this earth.


REST IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS


Stop thinking that God needs your good works to make you right with Him. You need Jesus Christ’s perfection, His righteousness to be accounted (imputed) to you. This happens by faith. Just believe. Accept and embrace this righteousness, and praise God for the life and death of Jesus Christ! Praise Him and thank Him! Receive it as a gift from God. Embrace and receive the most extraordinary and wonderful life of Jesus Christ. “It is accomplished”. “It is finished” were Jesus’ words when He died on the cross about 2000 years ago. IT IS FINISHED! Rest in that.


Paul wrote in Romans 1:16,17 ‘The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes, for in it the righteousness of God has been revealed.’ This is the righteousness of God that we so desperately need. What would you say if someone gave you 10 million dollars as a gift? Would you be happy about it? Would you delight in it? God provided something much more valuable than 10 million dollars! He provided the gift of everlasting life in Jesus Christ to be received by faith. He gives us Himself! He is more valuable than all of the world and the universe put together! All we need to do is receive Him for the Treasure He is. Ephesians 2:8,9:” By grace you have been saved, not by works, lest any should boast, it is a gift of God.”


Let’s take hold of His gift and The Giver who is the greatest Gift. Then the good works like confession of sin, prayers, love towards our neighbors and good works will flow naturally and powerfully by the Holy Spirit. A good tree will bear good fruit.


Let the Foundation of your life be Jesus Christ, His blood and righteousness.

The Marvellous love of God

In the beginning, when God made the heavens and the earth, God made man with a free will. Tragically, Adam and Eve decided to disobey God. The result was the fall. Since then all people on earth were born with a sinful nature. We have become slaves of sin. But we also choose to sin willfully. All people have sinned and therefore they fall short of God’s glory (Rom 3 :23). We are all therefore spiritually dead and separated from God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible says that the soul that sins must die and that the wages and penalty of sin are death (Rom 6:23). This does not only mean that man must physically die, but that man must die spiritually as well. God’s sentence is so severe because He is holy and just and hates all sin. This is the reason why death is in the world. All people die and every person stands guilty before God because they all have sinned against God. We have told lies. We have stolen things. We have lusted and committed sexual immorality. We have served and worshipped idols. We have blasphemed God’s Name and coveted people’s possessions. We all stand guilty before God.


But God made a wonderful plan. He promised even from Adam’s day that He would make a new way for us to be restored to Himself. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Rom 5:8 says that God demonstrated His love towards us that while we were still sinners Jesus died for us. While we were God’s enemies, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth. He lived a sinless life. He did many miracles and at the end of His life, His own people crucified Him on a cross. But even though they sinned in this way against God, Jesus’ death was predetermined by God. It was God’s plan to save many of their sin. Because the penalty of sin is death, someone had to pay the penalty of death that could release us from sin’s punishment. No one’s death could take away our sin except One. Jesus Christ, who never sinned, was the only one who could take our sin away because He was sinless, and God in human form.

If we believe that Jesus died in our place as our substitute, to pay for our sins, we will have forgiveness of our sins and we will have everlasting life. The Bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22). That is why Jesus Christ’s blood was shed on the cross, outside Jerusalem, about 2000 years ago. All the sacrifices of sheep and goats in the Old Testament were only types and shadows of the real sacrifice that took away the sin of the world.


Three days after Jesus Christ’s death, God the Father raised Him from the dead and now Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father. God broke the power of death and the power of the devil. This is the love of God that God demonstrated to the world. The question remains: what is your response going to be to such great love? Are you going to accept and embrace it? Is this love going to rule the course and goals of your life or are you going to ignore and reject this great love? The choice is yours. John 1:12 says: “for whosoever have received Him have the authority to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name.” God is calling you to embrace His love! But as the Bible says one day Jesus Christ will come on the clouds to judge the living and the dead. If you haven’t received Jesus Christ in your life, as your Savior, and Lord (King), you will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). And there all those who have rejected God’s Son and His love, will be in torment for all eternity. When God judges the rebellious it will be a display of His justice. God is holy and only those who love Him wholeheartedly will inherit a place in heaven. To love God is in itself a gift that God gives to those who receive the Holy Spirit and the evidence of a true faith in Christ (Romans 5:5).


I urge you and beg you, do not let the time of grace pass you by. Listen to God today. Hebrews 3:7,8 says: “Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Come to God and His love by confessing and turning from your sins.

Final Word: Where do you stand?

Final Word • Where Do You Stand?

We have come to the end of our Guide. If you have read and studied this guide you will have a good understanding of what is going to happen in the future—and what God’s purposes are for humanity. Undoubtedly some of what you have read might scare you. You can be assured that it is God’s desire for all human beings to be in a loving relationship with Himself (1 Timothy 2:3, 4; Ezekiel 18:23, 32). On the other hand, people who rebel against God and those who reject the Saviour, Jesus Christ, will have a dreadful end. My desire is that you may find the FOUNTAIN of Life (Jeremiah 2:13). If you want to know more about God and His purposes for you, I encourage and urge you to take up the Bible for yourself and read and study it carefully, believingly and obediently. In it you will find more wonders, gems and treasures (Psalm 19:10; Proverbs 2:1-4).

From my side I have told you all you need to know in order to make a commitment to God and to become a believer and disciple of Jesus Christ. In the final analysis it’s not up to anyone else but you to accept God’s offer of salvation and become a follower of Jesus Christ. God is not going to make the decision for you—and you will not be able to make it in your own strength. You need God’s sovereign power and sovereign electing grace to commit yourself to Him. Only in Jesus Christ will you be safe from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). What I have tried to do is to bring you to the Water of Life, to show you the majesty, glory and rewards of diving into it and drinking from it. I have shown you the consequences of drinking deeply of this water and of the joys that will accompany you—and the sufferings you will endure for not drinking it. Your satisfaction and your enjoyment of drinking deeply of this living water will secure your future (Psalm 36:8; 63:1-3; Matthew 5:6).

Jesus said in John 6:34: ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and He who believes in Me shall never thirst.’ Jesus presents Himself as meeting our deepest longing and as the Source of soul-satisfaction. Jesus also said in John 7:37-38: ‘If anyone thirsts let him come to Me and drink. He who has believed in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’  These living waters refer to the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in the believer’s heart. The whole human race is in desperate need of quenching their spiritual thirst like someone who has walked for days in a wilderness hoping to find water (Isaiah 55:1, 2; Jeremiah 2:13).

However, the tragic story of humanity is that most people have attempted and attempt to quench their spiritual thirst at the polluted fountains of sin by worshipping the idols of the world. These fountains cannot bring lasting satisfaction. In the end it is up to you to drink or not to drink. You can step away from the River of Life and Fountain of Living Water and decide you’re going your own way. The world and all its glory are merely a fool’s paradise and fool’s gold, false gold that does not glitter in all its glory. As God told the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land:

I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE, that you and your descendants may live. That you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice and cling to Him, for He is your LIFE and the LENGTH of YOUR DAYS (Deuteronomy 30:19).

In the last book and chapter in the Bible, God is calling out to all of us with this invitation:

……..And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come, whoever desires, let him take of the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).

42. Christianity is not a religion

 42 • Christianity is not a Religion—It’s about a Restored Relationship with God

For statistical purposes, Christianity is shown to be one of many religions; but Christianity essentially isn’t a religion. Implied in the word ‘religion’ is that people must do certain things and abstain from other things in order to be accepted by God. In other words, it’s about ‘do’s and ‘don’ts’. In all the religions of the world you will see this. What makes Christianity different is that sinners can do nothing to earn God’s favour. We can do nothing to achieve His acceptance. Jesus Christ came to this earth to do what no other person could or can do: He obtained, exhibited and fulfilled God’s righteousness by a sinless life, satisfied God’s justice, bore the wrath of God on a cross to forgive and remove believers’ guilt and sin, destroyed the power of death, Satan and sin and united believers with God. He did all this so that believers would be accepted by God and be in right standing with Him. God’s anger towards us because of our sin has been removed by Jesus Christ—to this we could not contribute. God has fully accepted believers through Jesus Christ’s righteousness and His sacrifice on a cross. We can now live in a right relationship with God if we believe in Jesus without any contribution on our part! Faith in Jesus is essentially a free gift given to God’s people by God (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Christianity is about having a restored relationship with God. It is about receiving from God. Imagine a relationship with your father, mother, wife or husband that you enjoy, and which is working well. You don’t have to perform well and achieve merits in order to be loved by them. You can relax and enjoy each other’s company without worrying about being at your best. In the same way, God wants a relationship with that works. Your relationship with your Father in heaven is based on unconditional love. That means you don’t have to keep a set of rules and regulations in order to be loved by God (Romans 3:28; Romans 5:8; Romans 9:30-33; Romans 10:2-4).

However, because life is rough at times, there may be times when you want to quit on God and wrongly point fingers at God because of perceived injustice or suffering you may be experiencing. There will also be times of exhilaration, times of joy, of sadness, of disappointment and discipline. Our relationship with God is, in a sense, the same as with people, yet very different. It is more like a father-son relationship. In other words, there will be times of discipline and correction in love (Proverbs 3:11; Hebrews 12:5-8).

God is God and we are merely human beings. He knows everything while we are limited and ignorant. That’s why we can trust Him and believe His words in the Bible, and be assured that He knows best, even if we don’t always understand. Our relationship with God on earth is also like that of a fiancé with her husband to be. It is full of anticipation and excitement, yet the best is still to come! The marriage celebration will be in heaven!  And it will last forever! God is calling you to the marriage feast of the Lamb. He has sent out His invitation to you and is waiting to see if you will attend the most glorious time you can imagine (Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 21:9; Ephesians 3:20).

Reality to consider: God disciplines us for our good. He does this because He loves us and knows what is best for us—just as a father or mother will discipline his/her children. If we are without discipline, then we are not genuinely God’s possession or His sons or daughters (Hebrew 12:5-8). Without discipline we would be illegitimate children of God.

Read: Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 3:28; 5:8; 9:30-33; 10:2-4; Proverbs 3:13; Hebrews 12:5-8; Matthew 22:1-14; Rev 21:9; Ephesians 3:20.

41. The New Heavens and New Earth

 41 • The End of Everything as We Know It—The New Heavens and the New Earth

When Jesus ascended to heaven, things in this world really changed. God sent His Holy Spirit to abide powerfully and permanently within all His people. Just as God destroyed the inhabitants of the world about 4500 years ago with a global flood (Genesis 6-8), so God will destroy the heavens and this earth with fire after Jesus Christ has come again on the clouds (2 Peter 3:10,12). The Bible says in 2 Peter 3:10-12 that the heavens will be dissolved with fervent heat and the earth and its works will be burned up. No materialist, those infatuated with what money can buy, will be among those in the new heavens. In 1 Timothy 6:7-9 we read, ‘…for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out…but those who desire to be rich fall into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.’

The Bible is not specific about the timing of events that will precede and follow the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. The most important thing to know about His return is that we must always be ready for this event and make sure that our relationship with God is right. Jesus said He will come like a thief in the night, unexpectedly. Therefore, we must always watch and pray  (Matthew 24:42-44). It is written in God’s Holy Book that the heavens and the earth will pass away, but that His words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35; 2 Peter 3:10). Jesus and His holy prophets prophesied about these future events.

There will also be great opposition against God and His people before the end of this world (Revelation 20:7-9). But the good news is that God is going to make everything new!  The old order where sin, corruption, debasement and rebellion ruled because of the devil and the sins of mankind will come to an end. In the last book of the Bible, God says He is going to create a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1-5). There will be no pain, suffering, evil, sin, death or tears there. In the old Jerusalem, Jesus was crucified outside the gates of the city. But in the New Jerusalem, the holy city, Jesus will reign forever and ever. The Lamb of God that was slain will rule as the Lion of Judah in all His glory (Revelation 5:1-11).

This place is described in the Bible as possessing exquisite beauty: a street of transparent gold, trees that yield fruit 12 months of the year, gates of precious jewels, with a river which flows from the throne of God (Revelation 21:18-21; 22:1-3). Those saved from the nations (ethnic groups) will come in and be healed from their sicknesses and will bring their riches before God (Revelation 21:24). But all this will not be the greatest wonder of the New Jerusalem: the greatest wonder will be the manifest presense of God. And the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will be worshiped and praised and admired in all Their brightness and glory; and God’s children will reign with Him on the new earth forever.

Truth to consider: God’s Holy Book says in 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 and in Revelation 21:8 that cowards, the unbelieving, the abominable, murderers, the adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, sodomites, drunkards, thieves, revilers, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. They will have no place in the Kingdom of God and in the new heavens and the new earth.

Read: Genesis 6-8; 2 Peter 3:10-12; 1 Timothy 6:7-9; Matthew 24:44-46; Matthew 24:35; Revelation 20:7-9; Revelation 21:1-5; Revelation 5:1-10; Revelation 21:18-21; 22:1-3; 21:24; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Revelation 21:8.

40. The blessedness of God’s people

 40 • The Eternal Blessedness of God’s Children

God’s promises of eternal life, glory and joy in His presence are found repeatedly in God’s Holy Book (Psalm 16:11; John 3:16; Daniel 12:2, 3). If these promises were not true, then we would be the most miserable of all people (1 Corinthians 15:19). But Jesus did conquer sin, Satan, hell and death, He lives forever.  The Bible says that a time will come when Jesus Christ will return to earth and fetch His children. Just as He went up with the clouds into heaven, so He will return on the clouds in all His glory (Acts 1:11).  No one knows the time of this event, only God the Father (Matthew 24:36); but it is written in God’s Book that when He comes, every eye will see Him because He will come in great glory (Revelation1:7). Jesus said that as lightning flashes from east to west so will be His return to this earth (Matthew24:27). At that time, He will fetch His children.

All those who belong to Jesus will be given a glorified body (Philippians 3:21). They will then be with God forever and will see Him face to face. They will worship and praise and honor Him forever and forever. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 it is written that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, and that no mind has conceived the things that God has prepared for those who love Him. We can’t begin to imagine the glory, the exceeding joy and blessedness that God’s children will experience when Jesus Christ returns. If children of God die before that time, they will be translated directly to paradise (Luke 16:22-26).

As was said before: ‘The suffering that we now endure is not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us’ (Romans 8:18). We now have a natural body, a perishable body, a body subject to temptation, sickness and sin. But then we will receive a glorified, imperishable, incorruptible body, a body free from temptation, sin and death. The bodies that believers in God will receive will not even be subject to pain or sickness (Revelation 21:4). When you see movies of superheros that have abilities to fly, break steel, swing from building to building like Spider-Man, and possess unusual strength of some kind, some people think, ‘If only I had those capabilities it would be awesome’. The fact is that if you die as God’s child you will receive a body vastly superior to a superhero’s body, a body like the one Jesus now has, an indestructible body that can walk through walls or just appear somewhere (John 20:19).

Another wonderful thing is that with your new body you will still be able to enjoy food (John 21:5-14). In 1 Corinthians 15:52, 54, God’s Word says that as God’s angel sounds the last trumpet, we will all be changed in an instant. And death, the last enemy, will finally be destroyed. Can you imagine such a time when you will experience only joy and love and peace and glory and happiness without end? Jesus said heaven will be different from this life. Sexuality will be no more. There will be no drugstores, liquor-stores or 70 virgins waiting for you in heaven as some delusional religious fanatics believe. Jesus said that there will also be no marriages, because everyone in heaven will be like the angels (Matthew 22:29).

Truth to consider: All people now live in a time dimension where death is a daily reality. But one day the time dimension will be exchanged with eternity, and death will no longer be a reality. How we live in time and the choices we now make will have eternal consequences (Romans 2:15, 16).

Read: Psalm 16:11; John 3:16; Daniel 12:2,3; 1 Corinthians 15:19; Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:36; Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:27; Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Luke 16:22-26; Romans 8:18; Revelation 21:4; John 20:19; 21:5-14;1 Corinthians 15:52, 54; Matthew 22:29; Romans 2:15, 16.