Most people when asked, “Would you like to be assured of a ticket to Heaven when you die, would say “Yes”!  The bad news for us is that Heaven is a place where no sin is allowed to contaminate it. The law demands we be excluded from getting this free ticket if we carry the burden and consequences we deserve for our sin to the grave.
Think you don’t have a sin problem? Then let me ask you a few quick questions: Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever lied? Have you ever lusted in your heart? Have you ever dishonored your parents? Have you ever used the Lord’s name in vain? The answer to many of these questions is probably “yes,” “yes,” and “yes” to these and a 100 hundred other similar questions you could be asked about your sin history. This means you have not lived up to God’s standards. You have broken the law and will be judged by the law on that day of reckoning.  Here is what James, the brother of Jesus and author of the book of James in the New Testament, says:  “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it (James 2:8-10).  So, have you always loved your neighbor as yourself? Have you ever shown partiality to anyone? It even gets more difficult. Have you ever missed that high mark of God’s pureness and Heaven’s entrance requirement by not doing what you know you should do?
In the Old Testament of the Bible, the prophet Habakkuk reveals this about the character of God: “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing….” (Habakkuk 1:13).  So, if God cannot tolerate any evil, sin or wickedness in His presence and you are contaminated with sin, how will it ever be possible for you or me to make use of that free ticket? Well, we never will get there unless we can somehow be totally cleansed from all our sin.
We learn in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that God did something wonderful but very costly, He did the only thing possible to pay our sin debt. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ (God in the form of a man) who lived a 100% sinless life, thus becoming a worthy ransom, sufficient to pay the penalty we deserve for our sin and thus make us pure enough to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
You have probably heard this Bible verse before.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).  Read the verse one more time very slowly and let it help you understand how you can be assured of getting the ticket in the picture above. You can’t get it by being pretty good or even better than most other people. There is only one way to get it and be assured entrance to Heaven. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph 2:8-9). “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)  So, to get that all important ticket, you must repent of your sins and believe in the full, free and final payment of your sin debt by what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross. “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”(Rom10:9). 
One more thing you need to know about this ticket, which is free but not cheap. Many people, because of pride, try to justify their thinking that they are at least somewhat deserving of the ticket because they have lived a pretty good life. This is a big mistake. Again, the ticket comes to us only by God’s mercy and His saving grace alone. The Bible spells this out in clear terms. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work (Romans 11:6). You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace (Galatians 5:4).
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the Christian’s good deeds or works are not important to God. They are very important, just not a part of salvation. Your good works done through God’s enabling power are however a sign of a changed life, a life that is given to God in appreciation for what He has done for you. When you give yourself to God in complete trust, you can be sure you have that most valuable ticket securely tucked in the pocket of your heart, and you will be a part of His family in Heaven for eternity. The ticket is the sinless, thus worthy blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. There is no other way! Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  If there were other ways, Jesus would be a liar. If He is telling the truth, which He is, then give yourself (your heart, your body, mind, soul and spirit plus your conscience) to Him in complete trust that He will make you a new person and then take up your cross daily and follow Him.
At the conclusion of the “Last Supper” with His disciples Jesus said: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another” as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). Then, after Jesus rose from the dead (see our article “Empty Tomb”), but before He ascended to Heaven to take His position as Lord and Christ, He spent a final time with His eleven disciples and gave them what is often referred to as “The Great Commission”. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
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