We will go through the entire New Testament of the Bible, beginning with Matthew and ending with Revelation, and stopping at every verse I can find that tells us how we might gain eternal life in heaven. There are literally hundreds of such verses.
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The Bible tells us that when we die we will spend eternity (a very long time, wouldn’t you agree?) in either paradise or torment. Matthew 25:46. If we search the Bible, with an open mind and heart, we will discover what God says about how to gain eternal life in heaven. If not, maybe we are relying upon what friends or family or churches have taught or told us. Is this wise? Or should we investigate for ourselves? If you were buying a car, would you rely upon what you were told or would you check it out for yourself? If you were buying a home, would you rely upon what you are told or would you check it for yourself? Eternity is much more important than earthly matters. Let’s look at what God says, week by week, to see how what we might think compares with what the Bible says. Then, remember, God promises that if we seek him we will find him! I Chronicles 28:9, II Chronicles 15:2, Proverbs 8:17.
We will go through the New Testament of the Bible, week by week, stopping at each of the hundreds of verses that tell us how we might gain eternal life in heaven. But, first, let us spend a moment considering whether or not the Bible is true, and inspired by God, as it declares in II Timothy 3:16, or whether it is a pack of fairy tales, as some would contend. If the Bible is not true, such a search is without any value. But, if the Bible is true, and God does tell us in the Bible how to gain eternal life and avoid eternal torment, then this is the most important search that any of us will ever conduct.
There are many proofs that the Bible is true, but let me mention a few. The center of the Bible is Jesus and the key question here is whether or not he rose from the dead, as the Bible says. If he did, I think this would prove the Bible is true, don’t you? Will you be writing out today’s date at any time? 2007 means 2007 years from the birth of Jesus. Something important must have happened back then to establish our dating system. And, do you notice a difference between the Christian countries of the world and the countries that have been plagued by false religion? If not, I suggest you turn on your television news this evening and you may notice some differences. And, finally, let us consider the disciples. All but one of the remaining eleven died a martyr’s death for teaching that Jesus was God. These men knew whether Jesus rose from the dead or not because they were there. Did they die a martyr’s death to protect a lie? If so, for what conceivable reason? Next week let’s consider what may be the greatest outside proof of the Bible’s truth and then we’ll begin to look at verses that tell us how to gain God’s great gift of eternal life in paradise!
Before we start looking at salvation verses, let’s look at a great proof of the truth of the Bible. How do we know the Bible is true and not one of the other multitude of false religions? Let’s consider prophecy. Most of the false religions of the world do not even attempt prophecy and those that do invariably get it wrong. Humanism, the man centered religion of today’s elite, and many others, published its “Bible”, the Humanist Manifesto I, in 1933. Within 40 years, in 1973, it had to be rewritten (the Bible has never been rewritten) as their first “Bible” couldn’t even accurately predict 40 years hence. And, these scholars are still rewriting the “Bible” they couldn’t quite get straight (and never will). But in the real (i.e. Christian) Bible are hundreds of prophecies, most already fulfilled to the letter with only a few yet to be fulfilled. For example, thousands of years ago it was predicted that Jerusalem would be destroyed, the Jews exiled and scattered and persecuted, and that the Jews would again be drawn to Israel to there recreate their nation (which occurred in 1948). The Bible also foretold that Israel (a tiny nation no bigger than most of our states), as we approach the end of time, would become the center of world history--and if you don’t believe that incredible prophecy is being fullfilled before your very eyes, just pick up and read any newspaper any day of the week. See http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com for references to these and many other prophecies. I think we should worry a lot less about today’s maddening political situation, which God will deal with in His time, and a lot more about where you and I will spend eternity. The Bible, for example, has a lot to say about what will happen in the Mideast in the coming years - - but more importantly it has much more to say about where you and I will spend eternity. Stay tuned!