Bible Question:

Will I go to heaven?

Bible Answer:

This is a question that I used to ask myself. I was not sure I was a Christian. I have found that a person may wonder if he/she a is Christian because of guilt resulting from his/her sin or because he/she is not sure what the Bible says about salvation. So we answer the question two different ways. First, what are the marks of a real Christian, and then how does a person become a Christian?

How Can I Know?

How can we know that we are going to heaven? The book of 1 John answers this question. That is why it was written.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life. (NASB) 1 John 5:13

In this book, the Holy Spirit gives us a number of key things to look for. Here they are:

Marks of A Christian1 John
Patterns Concerning Sin:
You know you sin 1:8
You admit you sin1:9
You are having increasing victory over sin2:1 & 3:6
Your Attitude Towards Others:
You love Christians2:9-11
You give to others3:17
You show love by actions3:18
Your Attitude Towards The World:
You do not love the world2:15
Does the world dislike you3:13
Your Desire:
You desire to obey Jesus (You are eager and careful to keep Jesus’ commands)2:3-5
Other Things That Should Be True About You:
You are learning the Word2:13-14
You are overcoming evil2:13-14
You desire to know God more and more2:13-14
You continue in The Faith2:19
You are taught by the Holy Spirit2:27
You do not always feel guilty3:21
You believe Jesus is God4:2-3
You have the Holy Spirit4:13

When we read this book, we must remember that the pattern of a person’s life reveals who the person really is. It is not one or two events in his/her life. It is not one big mistake or one great deed of kindness, but the way in which a person lives day-after-day which reveals the true person. That is the message of this verse,

Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; (NASB) 1 John 3:7

A man or a woman who practices righteousness is righteous. It is important to notice the person is not always righteous day-after-day. We have also listed some other marks of a Christian at the section Marks of a Christian.

God’s Standard

You can go to heaven if you are perfect!

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (NASB) Matt. 5:48

God’s standard has always been perfection. Adam was created perfect, but he sinned. The effects of his sin changed our world and the entire creation (Rom. 8:19-22). It also changed us. Every man and woman is born spiritually dead upon entering this life and leaves this world by a physical death only to live forever in a place called the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14-15).

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned . . . death reigned from Adam . . . (NASB) Rom. 5:12, 14

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB) Rom. 6:23

But we can escape spiritual torment!

For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. (NASB) 1 Cor. 15:21-22

Those who in believe in Jesus Christ and only in Jesus are obvious because they desire to submit to Him and no one else.

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

To believe” means that we understand who Jesus is, what Jesus did, and that we depend on Jesus to forgive us our sins – to make us spiritually perfect.

Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. (NASB) Isa. 1:18

Conclusion:

How can we be sure we are a Christian? We can know that we are a Christian if we are actively trusting in Jesus – the God-man – for the forgiveness of our sins, and by changes that we see in our life. When Jesus forgives our sins, He forgives all of our past sins, our present sins, and all the sins we will commit in the future. Otherwise, Jesus would need to die again and again.

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (NASB) Hebrews 10:10

When we start trusting Jesus for the forgiveness our sins, we are completely forgiven forever! The Holy Spirit starts working in us to make us holy. Philippians tells us that we must pursue holiness, be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:17-18), and bathe ourselves in the Word while God is working in us.

. . . work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (NASB) Philippians 2:12-13

Reference Links:

Searching For God
Are You A Christian? – Two Answers to Help
What must a person do to go to heaven when they die?
Sin and Salvation
Is salvation by grace through faith alone?
Do I have to believe that Jesus is God to be saved?
I want to seek God; how do I seek God?