If you had a treasure that you hid in such a way that none could find it, people would only be able to find it if you wanted them to and then according to your directions or your map. The greatest treasure ever is not found on this earth but is rather a gift for those who follow God's directions to receive it. Being in the presence of God is the greatest treasure ever. The fullness of God's presence is in heaven. If we want to get to God, the only way to get there is to follow God's instructions. Man has devised many ways of their own to get to heaven. Many believe that if they live a good life and follow the golden rule or ten commandments then they will get in. Others believe that if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds then they will get in. Many think if you say a prayer and ask for forgiveness and yet aren't sorry for your sin then you are alright with God. Keep reading and you will see from God's Word why these ways are man's way to God and not God's way to Himself. Remember, God is the only One qualified to tell us how to get to this greatest treasure. We can only get to Him on His terms!
Here are some important things to know about God and how to get to Him:
God is a loving God! God wants us to find Him and experience the greatest treasure forever (heaven). John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9
God is a holy God! Leviticus 11:44; 1 Corinthians 3:17; 6:19, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, Revelation 4:8. This presents a problem for us because we sin and this brings about darkness. We can not find a treasure when it is dark. John 12:23-50 Since all of mankind has sinned (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23), none of us can make it to heaven on our own. We are lost and unable to obtain the treasure because God will not give us the greatest treasure.The Bible says that God is light and in His presence there can be no darkness. 1 John 1:5-10, Romans 6:23
In John 12:23-50 Jesus tells us that He is light and He is the One we must follow to get to the treasure. Jesus doesn't just give us a map or a set of directions but rather takes it a step further, He says He leads us(John 14:6). Jesus came to this world to show us how to live and to make a way for us to get to heaven. To be a Christian means that we are a follower of Jesus Christ. We can't be in the light unless we are a follower of Jesus Christ. He is the light that guides us. He is also the One who can wipe away all of our sin(darkness).
Jesus died so that all of mankind has the opportunity to be forgiven of their sins and enjoy being in the presence of God for eternity. While this relationship is available to everyone, it isn't automatic for everyone.
So here is the way to God in a nutshell:
Admit that you have sinned against God and cannot get to God or heaven on your own.
Believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins and that His sacrifice is able to wash away every sin that you have committed.
Confess your sins to God which is agreeing with God about your rebellion against Him and His righteous and perfect ways. Jesus becomes your Master at the point of your salvation. This simply means that we recognize that we are placing ourselves under the authority of Jesus after we trust in Him to forgive us and save us. Our desire is now to please God! This goes hand in hand with repentance.
Repentance is mandatory for us to be able to go to heaven. Luke 13:3 says, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish". Repent means to turn away from. Belief in God or Jesus alone is not enough to get us into heaven. The Bible says that the demons believe in God and tremble (James 2:19-20). There must be a belief in Jesus followed by a desire and commitment to turn away from sin and obey Him. It is not faith and works that saves us but rather a faith that works. Throughout the Bible we are told that a genuine faith produces good works. The work that Jesus did on the cross was completely sufficient to forgive our sins and make us right with a holy God. The point is that anyone can say that they believe in Jesus but a genuine faith has evidence of that faith being lived out. In other words, Jesus brings about transformation in the lives of people. This does not mean we become perfect but rather a transformation begins. This transformation continues throughout our life. As God reveals sin, we must repent.
We don't have to get our life right with God before we ask Christ to forgive us and come into our life. We do have to be ready to submit to Him and let Him change us the moment we surrender our life to Him.
SO WHAT DO I DO? HOW CAN I MAKE SURE THAT I AM GOING TO ENJOY THE PRESENCE OF GOD FOREVER?
The question is, "Are you ready for God to transform you?" God sent His Son Jesus so that He could radically change us. He wants to give us a new heart and make us a new creation (Ezekiel 11:19; Romans 12:2; John 3:16-21; 2 Corinthians 5:17). If you are ready to begin a new life through faith in Jesus Christ then please take a moment and go to God in prayer. Tell God that you know you have sinned against Him and you believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for and provide forgiveness for your sin. Express your desire to God that you are sorry for your sin and agree with Him that your sin is wrong and that you want to turn away from your sin and commit your life to being a faithful follower of Jesus by beginning a life of obedience to Him. Thank God for sending Jesus to die for your sin and for saving your soul.
After you have received forgiveness by accepting Christ as your Savior, you can start this life of obedience by being baptized by immersion in or through a New Testament, Bible believing, Bible teaching local church and then get involved in that church by attending Bible Study and joining in public worship.
For more information about baptism and why you should be baptized click here.
Luke 6:46-49 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.49But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version of the Bible. 2001 Wheaton, Standard Bible Society