What Jesus Says About Going to Heaven
When thinking about matters of life, religion, and the afterlife your source of information about these subjects is very important. Humanity has always given various opinions in these areas, but it is more important to put man’s opinions aside and see what Jesus Christ Himself says about these topics.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
As shown by the first two words of verses three and five, Jesus is the one talking. In these passages He is speaking to a leader of the Jews who is knowledgeable in religious tradition and there is no mention of organized religion, baptism, the Lord’s Supper (communion), or living a good life. Jesus simply says, “Ye must be born again.” For a deeper understanding when thinking about that statement look again at John 3:6 which states," That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Here Jesus is discerning between two kinds of birthdays. The first, being born of the flesh, is a physical event that every one has in common. However, to have a spiritual birthday, you must be born of the Spirit. Notice that there is a capital “S” representing God’s Spirit and a lower case “s” representing man’s spirit. John 4:24 states “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Has anybody physically seen God? Of course we haven’t. As this verse show God exists in a spiritual realm of life not completely comprehended by man. In order for anyone to be reading these words, three things had to have happened. We had to have a father, a mother, and a birth. Jesus is simply stating that just as we have a physical birthday and a physical father, we must also have a spiritual birthday and a spiritual Father. God, is God of the universe, but He is not our Father until there is a second birth; the spiritual birth. Mankind realizes that a father never sees or holds the baby until there is a birth. Man is flesh and needs a physical father to be born. Our spirit is dead because of sin and therefore needs a Spiritual Father so that we may obtain life spiritually and experience a spiritual relationship with God.
Thinking about that may cause us to consider a question. If Jesus says,“Ye must be born again” then when is our spiritual birthday? It is not attained through religion, baptism, church membership, trying to live right, or even praying. If one of these could get us to Heaven, Jesus would have said so! Therefore, that brings up another question: how do we get a spiritual birthday?
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Repentance is realizing our hopeless, helpless, sinful state and understanding that though God does no necessarily need mankind, mankind desperately needs Him. Repentance is understanding that our sinful state has condemned us to Hell! Repentance is realizing that God is holy, and we must surrender our will and our ways and go to Heaven God’s way! Repentance is being sorry for all of our sins and hating sin! It might seem after repentance that there is a sense of hopelessness, but thank God the verse does not stop there!
He then goes on to say, “…and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” It was Jesus who died on the cross and shed His blood for our sins. It was Jesus who became our substitute. It was Jesus who rose again from the dead three days later. We will not go to Heaven on Jesus plus self, or Jesus plus baptism. To add anything to the formula for salvation is to state that what Jesus did in His death, burial, and resurrection was not enough. He did it all for us! The tragedy is that rejecting Jesus Christ, not repenting, and not putting our faith in Christ sends a soul to Hell which burns with fire forever!
Now it is clear that we need to repent, put all of our faith in Jesus, and ask God for a spiritual birthday to become a child of God! Finally, just as a birth physically brings forth a new relationship between a father and a child, so does being spiritually born again bring forth a new relationship between God and man. Just as you were born physically into a family and will always be someone’s child, when you are born again, spiritually, God keeps you in His family forever. Once born into the family of God, one is always a part of the family of God!
So again, when is your spiritual birthday? Remember what Jesus Himself said, “Ye must be born again.”