What literally, step by step, must a person do to become saved in order to go to heaven when they die?
The apostle Paul was asked the question that you have asked. The question came from a jailer
Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (NASB) Acts 16:30
Here is the answer the apostle Paul gave to that jailer,
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household. (NASB) Acts 16:31
That is all! All that you must do to go to heaven when you die is to believe in Jesus.
There are no prayer beads to pray. You do not need to give your money away. You do not need to suffer for a while. All that you need to do to go to heaven when you die is to believe that God will forgive your sins if you want Him to. Do you believe that Jesus was God? Do you believe that Jesus returned to life after dying? Do you believe that He can forgive your sins? To believe means that you trust or depend on God. Jesus is simply asking that you start trusting or depending on Him to forgive your sins and NOT yourself. He will take over your life! Do you want this to happen? If you do, tell Him!
It is hard for many people to go to heaven because they think – feel – that they should have to do something in order to go to heaven. When I was a young person, I was afraid that I would go to hell. I remember lying on my bed and crying some nights because I knew that I deserved to go to hell. I knew that I had done wrong. I knew I was not perfect. I deserved to go to hell. God did not care if I had more “good deeds” than “bad deeds.” He expected me to have only good deeds – nothing less.
God wants us to understand that we cannot do anything to earn the right to go to heaven. I knew I was unacceptable. I was a total failure. There was nothing that I could do which would help me enter heaven. That was bad news. But it was also wonderful news because I chose to depend and trust in Jesus to forgive my sins and take me to heaven. It is so simple that it does not seem possible. You see – depending on Jesus means that I understand that I am not good enough to earn my way into heaven. There is nothing good enough in me to earn my way into heaven. I can only get to heaven by depending on Jesus’ forgiveness.
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved. (NASB) Acts 4:12