How to Know God

A summary of what the Bible teaches about how to know God and to have eternal life.

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death." (Prob 14:12) .

 

According to the Bible there is a day coming when every person who rejected salvation through Jesus Christ will have to stand before him and be judged according to their deeds and finally be shocked to discover their eternal destiny.  Even more tragic is that on that same day, many professing "Christians" will stand there declaring their faith in a "Jesus" that never existed and a gospel that wasn’t true (Mt 7:21-23, Lk 13:24-25).

In other words, just because a person says they believe in Jesus, it doesn't mean that they are actually saved.  A person who “comes to Christ” by a false gospel has been deceived and will not experience a fruitful, joyful, walk with the Lord or eternal life.  Unless they hear the truth, they will have believed in vain (1 Cor 15:2).  If you responded to Christ through an incorrect gospel, or you came to Him for the wrong reasons, it’s not too late to hear the truth and to respond accordingly.

Here is a basic summary of what the Bible teaches about salvation.  God created people (you) for His glory and pleasure (Isa 43:6-7, Rev 4:11), and to be in relationship with Him (Gen 1:27).  The Bible says God restricts the length of man’s life on earth to a max of 120 years (Gen 6:3).  After we die, we will face God’s righteous judgment (Heb 9:27) for how we lived in the body (Rev 20:12). This judgment determines if we will spend eternity in heaven (a glorious paradise made by God for the supreme happiness of Himself and His children), or hell (a place of terrifying torment that was originally made for the devil and his fallen angels) (Mt 25:41).  God’s desire is that no one ends up in hell (2Pt 3:9).  He chooses us (Mt 11:27), but He gave us limited free will and doesn’t force us to choose Him back or to obey Him against our will (Jn 7:17).

When we were born, we were born alive in the flesh, but dead in our spirit to God (Jn 3:3, Eph 2:5).  The reason is because we have inherited a sinful nature through Adam and Eve’s free will decision to rebel against God in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:20, Rom 5:12).  We can see that we have chosen to sin by reviewing the Ten Commandments (Exo 20:1-17).  If we have ever broken one (and we all have), the Bible says we have broken all of them (Jam 2:10) and we are slaves to sin, deserving eternal death (Jn 8:34, Rom 6:16).  There is no human being who is not guilty of sin and deserving of eternal death. (Rom 3:10-12, 1Jn 1:10)

The acts of our sinful nature are obvious: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, sexual immorality,  idolatry, occult activity, hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing.  The Bible emphatically warns that anyone who lives like this will not be able to go to heaven. (Gal 5:19-21)

This sinful nature separates us from God (Isa 59:2, Eph 2:12-14) because He is perfect and holy and cannot be in relationship with people that are impure (Deu 23:14, 2Cor 6:17).  If you remain a slave to your sin, you will die (and you have no idea when) and you will remain separated from Him for all of eternity (Rom 6:23).  After you appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2Cor 5:10), you will be sent to a place called the lake of fire (hell) (Rev 20:15) for all of eternity.  This is bad news,  but here is the good news! 

In spite of the fact that man has repeatedly chosen what is right in his own eyes (Isa 53:6), sinning against God—He loves YOU and me so much that He created a way for our sins not to be counted against us (2Cor 5:19), and to save our souls from hell.  In an indescribable act of love that no one deserved,  God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, (Jn 3:16) to die a horrible death on the cross, shedding his blood, and raising Him back to life, to forgive us and justify us before God (Rom 5:8-9), making atonement for our sins (Rom 3:25), and cleansing us of all unrighteousness and guilt (Heb 10:22, 1Jn 1:9).  This is God’s one and only offer of salvation to the entire world.  There is no other way to God or to heaven but through His Son, Jesus (Jn 14:6, Acts 4:12).  He offers this to all who would believe in Him and receive Him by faith (Jn 1:12).   Jesus literally died on your behalf and has already paid your entire sin debt to God in full.  In order to receive this forgiveness for your sins, the Bible says you must do the following things by faith:

  • Believe and confess Jesus as Lord of your life. – Rom 10:9
  • Confess your sins to God. – Mk 1:5, 1 Jn 1:9
  • Repent (turn from your sin and to God) and be baptized– Mk 1:15, Mk 6:12, Lk 13:3, Acts2:38,20:21
  • Obey the words of Christ – Acts 26:20, Mt 3:10,7:21, Lk 6:46, Jn 8:31-36, Jn 14:21,15:1, 1Jn 3:6
  • (Note: You are not saved by your obedience.  You are saved by faith just as if you were the thief on the cross and there were no time left to obey or do any good works.  However, if you are not one who dies immediately after coming to faith in Christ, your faith is only proven to be true saving faith if you are obeying the words of Christ.  We are saved not by good works, but TO do good works.  The person who professes faith in Christ but does not put His words into practice will be found to have false faith at the Judgment seat of Christ. - Mat 7:21)

Have Doubts About Your Salvation? 

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Questions about Eternal Security?

Read the Once Saved Always Saved Post