Heaven and Hell: How can a person qualify to go to Heaven?
The Bible tells us that those who trust solely in Jesus Christ and His work, namely His death to pay the sin debt for all mankind, burial, and resurrection, can rest assured of entry into heaven. It is by faith in that provision of God that a person can be certain they will get to spend eternity in the wonderful place called heaven.
I Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]
Entrance into heaven is not based on one’s own works of any kind, but the one work of Jesus Christ through His death, burial, and resurrection. When a person accepts this work that Christ has done to provide a way for our salvation, he is given as an expression of God’s grace the perfect righteousness the justice of God demands. It is this which is called justification by faith that provides a person with the means to enter heaven.
II Corinthians 5:21
21 For he hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]
Despite our sin, salvation is offered freely of God.
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
This salvation comes to us by faith in what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross.
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Salvation is not something that can be earned or deserved. It is a gift that comes by faith in what God has provided. It is offered to us by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Emphasis added]
This means that salvation from eternal condemnation is provided by God’s grace and is received by relying solely upon Jesus Christ as one’s Savior.
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, [Emphasis added]
For a more detailed explanation of this and our other beliefs, please go to the section entitled Core Beliefs.