Can sinners make it to heaven?
Wow, what a mouthful! I don’t think that I’ll attempt to answer each and every question, but rather we will do a general Bible study on salvation, which should in the end answer all of your questions.
The Bible states that all of us are sinners, and therefore deserve eternal death. But because God is love and full of grace, He made the provision for His Son Jesus to come and die on the cross for our sins, so that we can live forever with Him. This gift of salvation, of the forgiveness of sins and of eternal life, is something we can’t earn, but receive by God’s grace. Anyone and everyone can get it, if they believe in God and accept the gift by faith. When we look at the great love of Jesus’ death on the cross for us, we become aware that we are sinners in need of a Saviour, and we turn to Him and grab hold of the free gift. God doesn’t want us to stay sinners, so He now starts to change us into the persons He wants us to be. We can’t change ourselves, all we can do is let Him live and work in us. Jesus said that the key to eternal life with Him is to know Him, which means to have a relationship with Him. We all know that a relationship depends on communication for success, so we talk to God every day in prayer, and He talks to us in His word, the Bible. To hear Him speak to us, we have to spend time reading the Bible. When we have this relationship, we will not want to sin anymore, but if we do sin, Jesus is our advocate. When we repent and confess, He wipes out our sins and restores us in our relationship with Him. Repentance is the realisation that we hurt God every time we sin and damage our relationship with Him, and our turning away from the sin.
Romans 3: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6: 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Ephesians 2 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Ezekiel 36 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Galatians 2: 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
John 17: 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
1 John 2: 1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
1 John 1: 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
No sinner will enter heaven, for God cannot afford to turn heaven into a sinful place like earth. Only the repentant, forgiven, transformed person, who desperately longs for and enters into the relationship with God, will be there. That is why we ask for forgiveness for our sins and turn away from them. If we are serious about this relationship, we will spend time with Him and ask Him to show us any unconfessed sins. We are saved only by Jesus’ death for us, and no other way.
Acts 4 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Please understand that God is love, and that He wants everyone to be saved and to live with Him forever. He is not waiting for us to step out of line so that He can zap us, but if we sin He is eager to forgive, if we ask Him. But if we keep on sinning, not willing to let go of the world and its pleasures, we are making a choice against Him. He has no choice but to allow us to follow our own ways, which lead ultimately to our destruction. When we are in this deliberate sinning mode, God cannot help us until we turn to Him. Of course we sometimes fall into temptation and sin, but if we immediately come to God for forgiveness, our relationship is not harmed. But deliberate sin comes between us and God, and the relationship will suffer.
1 Timothy 2 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
So there you have it. Give yourself to God and get to know and trust Him, and you will quickly see that He is keen to have you in heaven. God bless as you study these passages of Scripture! If you still have questions after this, please write again.
Got your own Question?
Ask a Pastor!
Are you wondering what the Bible has to say on a topic? Maybe you are at a crossroads and don’t know which path to take next.
Whether you want to know why there is suffering in this world or you want to learn how to save your marriage. We will do our very best to bring you sound biblical answers. Completely free, ask away: