From the video above…
Let me tell you my story.
It was about 50 years ago when I was in seventh grade. Someone invited our family to church. We went to church that Sunday. It was exciting, friendly, very accepting. The pastor preached about Heaven that morning. He told all of us that he knew for sure he would go to Heaven. And I always hoped I would go. So, I listened very attentively. He showed us four things from the Bible that we had to know to go to Heaven.
Let me ask you a question:
If you were to die today, are you 100% sure that you would go to Heaven?
If not, I hope you’ll join me for just a few moments as I share with you those four things that he shared with us that day.
1. We Have All Sinned
The first thing we have to know is that we are all sinners. The Bible says,
“for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
All have sinned. Nobody is perfect.
It started with Adam and Eve, the first two people. They took the fruit off of the tree, disobeyed God, and sin took over this planet. The thorns grew. Pain, death, disease. And that sin nature has been passed down to each of us.
We’re sinners by nature. We’re sinners by choice.
Can you imagine if God took a video camera and followed you around your whole life and videoed every thought, every word, every action, every place, every text, every date, every motive, every attitude? And what if He took your entire video and put it on nationwide television? I wouldn’t want my entire life on television because I know I have sinned. I have sinned sometimes on purpose, sometimes on accident. I know I have broken some of God’s commandments. Have you? Realizing that is the first step to Heaven.
2. There is a Penalty for Sin
The Bible says,
“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a).
Or, you could say the payment required for sin—that payment is death. The Bible describes two kinds of deaths.
(1) Physical Death
The first kind is a physical death. Remember Adam and Eve? Because they sinned, the penalty was that one day they would die. We too have sinned, and one day we too will die. God already knows the day we will die. We can’t avoid it—only prepare for it. Death never sends a notice.
Hopefully, we will die when we’re 80 or 90 or 100. Or, it could be today. If a person dies forgiven of their sins, they go immediately to Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8). They walk the streets of gold. They see loved ones. They see Jesus.
(2) Spiritual Death
But the Bible describes a second kind of death, a spiritual death. If we die unforgiven of our sins, we will forever pay for our sins in a place called Hell: “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Revelation 20:14).
By the way, Hell was never made for people. It was made for one angel named Lucifer, who became evil. He became the devil. He has caused all the death, disease, addictions. He has caused all the hurts and all the tears. And that’s why God created this place called Hell—for him. And he deserves it. Me, I don’t want to take a chance of burning for my sins. Do you?
Now here’s the good news. The Bible says,
“…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23b).
God is not trying to keep us out of Heaven. He’s letting us in.
He says Heaven is a gift from God. It’s like this pen. If I were to give you this pen right now as a free gift—just like a Christmas gift—that would be a free gift. But it would not become your gift until the moment you decided to take it. And it’s the same thing with Jesus Christ. He died, was buried, and rose again for everybody. But that does not mean everybody’s going to Heaven. It is only those who take or receive Him into their heart (Ephesians 3:17).
A gift you have to take only one time. So, Jesus Christ must come into your heart just one time. And that means it’s not how good you are. You could get baptized and join every church in town. You could drive a church bus, be a pastor, a priest, a rabbi. You could give all your money to help the poor people, but that won’t earn you Heaven. It’s a gift.
So, first, we have sinned. Second, without Jesus Christ, we cannot go to Heaven. And then third, the Bible says that Jesus paid for that gift. The gift is free to us, but it cost Him dearly.
3. We Can Have the Savior
The Bible says,
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Jesus loves us, and He died on a cross. You know the story. It happened over 2,000 years ago at Christmas time. A virgin named Mary had a baby, but He was not just another cute baby. He was God in a human body. All God, all man.
Why was Jesus born? One reason is so He could identify with us. He felt tears, hunger, pain, rejection, poverty, homelessness. Right now He can look at you and me and identify and say, “I understand. I know what you’ve been going through, I’ve been there” (see Hebrews 4:15).
And the Bible says that at age 30, He announced to everyone, “I’m not just a man; I’m God. And He began healing blinded eyes and crippled legs. He began preaching God’s Word and changing people’s lives. He fed the hungry and did many miracles. He loves people.
But not everyone believed. The Bible says many people thought Jesus was a fake and a liar. And the Bible says they spit on Him. They plucked His beard. It was like gang torture. They slapped Him, they blindfolded Him, stripped His clothes off of Him, and nailed nails in His hands and feet. They stabbed Him in the side with a spear. And that day a mob of people gathered at His feet as He was crucified—dying and bleeding. And they laughed and mocked at him.
And that day God took the sins of the world—past, present, future, even yours and mine—God the Father took all those sins and placed them on His Son, Jesus. That day, He became our substitute. He took our place. And if you were the only sinner in the whole world, Jesus would have left Heaven and died on that cross just for you. He loves you.
And then three days later on Easter Sunday, He did something, no man’s ever done with his own power. He rose from the dead. Over 500 eyewitnesses saw him (1 Corinthians 15:6). They testified to that fact. And one day He’s coming back for us. Right now, He said I’ll be up in Heaven building mansions, preparing a place for you (John 14:2). Three days later, He rose from the dead and that’s where He is—in Heaven right now.
So, I believe just like you. One, I’ve sinned. You said, “Me too.” Two, without Jesus Christ we cannot go to Heaven. Three, Jesus loved us, died, was buried, and rose again. But there’s one difference if any between us right now. It’s not age, address, name, background, but the only big difference is this: if I died this very moment, the Bible says I would go to Heaven.
When I was in seventh grade, I did not know. If you would have seen me walking down the street and asked me, “Mike, are you going to Heaven?” I may have said something like, “Sure, I go to church.” Or. “Yes, I was baptized when I was young.” Every night I would pray and say, “God forgive me. God come into my heart. Please forgive me. Don’t let me go to Hell.” But I never knew if He came into my heart and forgave me or not. No one had ever explained to me that it was a one-time thing, a gift.
So, I had never received that gift personally until that next morning after church I knelt down by my couch and prayed. That was February 23, 1970. I’ll never forget it. Seven o’clock in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I did not see lights or visions or angels. I didn’t hear voices. But that day I knelt, and the best I knew how to, I invited Jesus Christ to come into my heart and forgive all my sins. I said something like, “God, I know I’m a sinner. I should go to Hell, but I don’t want to. I believe You died for me. Come in my heart. You said You would. I’m trusting in what You did on the cross and not in my good works.” And immediately all my guilt left me. And that fear of death disappeared. For the first time, I knew I was going to Heaven because of God’s promise in the Bible. I’ve received that gift of eternal life. Have you ever done that yet?
A Wordless Book
Two pictures and I’ll be done. This little book here—have you ever seen it? Some people call it a Christmas book because of the colors. I call it a wordless book because it’s a book and it has no words. But it tells the greatest story. It’s just colors. It’s so simple that a child can understand.
Gold—that stands for the golden streets in Heaven. That’s where God lives. No tears, no death, no heartache, no disease, no grief, no goodbyes. That’s where everybody wants to go.
The next page (dark page) is our heart—all dark with sin. God will never allow sin up in Heaven (Revelation 21:27). So, if a person with a heart like this (dark page) cannot go up there (gold page), who gets to go to Heaven? Only those with a clean, spotless heart (clean page). So how do we get our heart from here (dark page) to here (clean page)? Only right here (red page), the red blood of Jesus.
So, this was my heart in the seventh grade (dark page). And that Monday morning when I knelt and He came in, His blood turned my heart to this (clean page). And now if I died, I’m going here (gold page), and I’m not going here (dark page). And the green page? That simply means go tell the good news to everyone that you know.
If you were God, wouldn’t you make it simple to understand how to go to Heaven so lots of people could know? I would. And He did.
One last picture. It’s a picture of you. You probably didn’t even know I had one. Some people call this the bridge picture. It represents the entire human race. Here’s God over here. Here’s you and me.
The first time we ever sinned, our sins separated us from God like a ditch. That’s the empty spot we all feel. We try to fill that spot with friends or drugs or alcohol or games or success or money or popularity or things. And they never satisfy. That’s why some of the richest and most famous people known around the world end their lives, they become addicts, they’re miserable, they’re depressed, they’re angry, they’re sad. How come? Because they have everything, but they don’t have what is needed to fill that void, to cross that bridge. That void is never filled until we are reunited with God.
So, if we got what we deserve, we would fall into Hell. No one wants that. The second picture shows we want to be close to God, so we try to build our own bridges. And while all of our bridges are good, they’re all too short.
But the third picture is the good news. The bridge is already built. You don’t have to build a bridge to go to Heaven or earn it. It’s already built. The blood of Jesus and the love of Jesus has built a bridge from Heaven all the way to your front door.
But just because the bridge is built doesn’t put you across the bridge. God is not going to put a rope around your foot and drag you across. You must decide to cross.
Well, how do you get across that bridge? First, you must believe He died for you. You believe that, don’t you? And then, you must receive Him one time, officially, into your heart.
People always ask me, “How do you know if you are picture #3 or over here with picture #4?” If you’ve ever crossed that bridge, it’s such a big thing that you could never forget it. If you’ve ever had a baby, if you’ve ever been married, if you’ve ever been given an honor, if you ever won the California lottery of $400 million—do you think you’d ever forget those events? If you caught the winning pass during the Super Bowl and won the game and they carried you off the field, do you think you’d ever forget that moment? Well, this is greater than all of those moments. The moment you cross that bridge and you’re forgiven and have eternal life and know you’re going to Heaven, that’s life’s greatest moment. Wouldn’t you remember that?
Let me ask you a question. Has there ever been someone like me explain this to you and make it this simple and clear? And has there ever been a time, place, and day when you found out you were here at picture #3, headed down there (Hell), and then you crossed over there (picture #4)?
For me, it was February 23rd, 1970 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I found that I was here (picture #3), headed down there to Hell, and then God put me across that bridge. Has that happened to you? If it never has, this would probably be you right here (Picture #3), the wrong side of the bridge, the dark page. If that’s the case, if you were to die right now, (dark page, wrong side of the bridge, unforgiven) and if you had to pay for all your own sins, where does the Bible say you would have to go? Is that what you want? Is that what God wants? Wouldn’t it be great to cross that bridge and have a clean page?
4. We Can Be Forgiven Now
Here is God’s promise to you. He says,
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
And the word “saved” means saved from Hell. “Whosoever”—that means you. You could put your name there. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That’s God’s promise. He said He would save anyone who would believe it and then receive it (Romans 10:9).
In just a moment, I’m going to pray just about the prayer that I prayed 50 years ago in my living room. And if you would like to cross that bridge today, receive the gift of eternal life (Jesus Christ), and if you believe what He did on the cross was enough to pay for your sins, and if you believe He’ll give you the clean page and take you to Heaven when you die, and if you believe that He will keep His promise as He said and save you, then now is the time to accept God’s gift of salvation. I’m going to ask you to just imagine you’re sitting next to me right now. I’m going to place my hand on the Bible and have a prayer for you.
Words will not save you. A prayer will not save you. You are simply expressing with your mouth what you’ve come to believe and accept in your heart. It must be from the heart. God says,
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).
He said he would save you if you would ask. If that’s what you want, I’m going to ask you to just imagine that you’re putting your hand right now on that Bible next to mine.
Heavenly Father, please hear my prayer and see the heart of this one that’s been listening. Our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed. If you’re accepting Him right now, would you pray this simple prayer from your heart out loud after me? Here we go:
“Dear Jesus. I know that I’ve sinned, and I’m sorry. Please forgive me and come into my heart. Put me across the bridge, save me from Hell, take me to Heaven one day, and help me to live for you. Amen.”
Wow! If you just accepted Jesus as your Savior, that is the greatest news I will ever hear. That’s why the gospel is called good news. It’s good because it’s free, and it’s news because most people have never heard it clearly. So, according to God’s promise, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” if you just called upon Him, then who just got saved? That is wonderful. Welcome to the family! Your loved ones in Heaven are overjoyed about what just happened. They just heard the news. I hope that you will share the good news in this video with everyone you know so they can hear how to go to Heaven. Thank you for listening.
Where to Go from Here?
We would love to hear how you responded to life’s most important question. If you put your faith in Christ today, we would love to know. You can email us by filling out the form on the Contact Us page and include any questions you might have about what you heard in this video.
Just like a wedding is the first step in a marriage, being saved is the first step in your relationship with Jesus Christ. What is the next step? Connect to a Bible-believing local church and start developing your relationship with the Lord. If you are in the Napa Valley area, we would love for you to be our welcomed guest this Sunday. See our Planning a Visit page to get acquainted with our church.