In the Good News (Gospel) of John the Apostle of Jesus, he wrong through the Inspiration (God breathed words) of the Holy Spirit these words:
“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciplies, which are Not written in this book: but these are written that you may believe (trust, have confidence in, rely upon, embrace totally, have absolute faith in) that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
This is the bottom line concerning where a person goes after this life here on earth. Without HIM and knowing Him, and having Him work a miracle of Divine grace in your heart and soul/spirit, you will NOT go to Heaven and live with God forever. Impossible to do! Nothing outside of Christ will work. No religion, no good works, no ideas or philosophies, no idol, no other idea concocted in the mind and heart of an individual, no person can make it happen, no Pope or Preacher or Teacher can make it take place for it is ALL done and accomplished and purposed by God Himself through His Son Jesus and the working of the Holy Spirit in a life.
The point is this; Grace works! Holy special Faith(a gift from God) alone in Christ works! Christ did all of the work by living perfectly as God in the flesh during his some 33 years on earth. He then worked by becoming One who could take the punishment due man for their sin, which was death and the wrath of God poured out upon Him for those whom He calls and pardons and saves. To prove it was acceptable to the Father God, He rose from the dead, conquering death, hell, and the grave and removing from those whom He calls into His kingdom, from the wrath and condemnation of God the Father. He became our Savior and our Advocate or Lawyer before the Father.
So again, Grace works! Holy faith works! The works of man do not work! The work of any one else whomever or whatever it may be, does not work! ALL are excluded except Jesus Christ who is the God/Man who stood in our place. He transfers His holy life to us, and His payment results upon us which is the Atonement made in His own blood. We overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb of God who is Jesus Christ the Messiah.
Now that we are saved, we lift Him up, we speak of Him all the time, He is our love, our choice, our desire, our constant companion, our great Physician, our Lawyer or Advocate before the Father, our One and only Savior, our Friend, our Companion, our Israel, our David, our Sword of the Lord, our creator, our sustainer in life, our helper, out joy and our delight. We love Him and we speak of Him all the time for HIS is our First Love! Nothing compares to Him! Because of Him we not only Love God with all of our hearts, mind and soul, but we love our neighbor as ourselves. Our first neighbor is our Wife, then our children, and then our relatives, and then our friends, our real neighbors in life, and also our enemies. This love to others is NOT on the same level as our Love for HIm because HE comes before ALL others in the highest expression of Love anyone can have and experience. But because of that LOVE we are able to love others even those who are our enemies. NO human being can become our IDOL, for our God is the ONLY living and true God that exists and HE will not share His glory and honor and status to any other, NO not even our spouse, our children, our friends or neighbors, or enemies. Today, even professing Christians, allow those closest to them to become Idols in their lives! You cannot serve two masters folks, Christ is the ONLY master we serve. The only God we serve! The only Lord we serve. But that makes us become a very different person in our conduct and activities toward other human beings. Even our brothers and sisters in Christ, which is a higher status over and above the flesh and blood, we do not LOVE more than God (the Triune Godhead)! He is a jealous God and will have none of that! Scriptures teach for instance in Romans written by Paul the Apostle, words from God, that we are not to worship the Created things or the a Creature including human beings! Worship is putting any person or thing above God! That is idolatry. Idolatry isn’t only a piece of wood or stone carved into some image, but it is the image and thoughts we have about anything that can control our life and set it above God and His word!
We are to DIE to Self! Self is put behind, and Christ and God and the Holy Spirit are First always!
So, seek the Lord God with all of your heart, mind and soul and strength. Pursue Love for without Love all of our works are of no value. Love God first, and all others second. But that love must not be to others topping our Love for God alone and first! Flowing from HIM comes a right relationship with other people! Also, a right attitude about the “things” we have in creation. They do not rule and dominate our lives!
So what we talk about a lot, have a high interest in a lot, if we are not careful they can be an idol! Let it not be! Walk in the Spirit of God and fulfill not the lusts of the flesh whatever those are! HE is the ONE and ONLY!
Now here is the bottom line as it actually works out through the Spirit of God in our life regarding eternal salvation and being in God’s family forever! This is what takes place in our heart (soul/spirit) by God’s power and through His mercy and grace! Romans 6:3 et al, “……Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized (this means enveloped, immersed into and by the Spirit) into Christ Jesus, were baptized (immersed – not water but Spirit), INTO HIS DEATH? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, KNOWING this that our OLD MAN was crucified with Him – that the body of sin might be Done Away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him………Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be DEAD indeed to sin, but Alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord”
In another scripture we are told we are “….seated with Christ Jesus in the heavenlies NOW” and do we realize this? Can we identify with the verses referenced above? This means that you and I have to and will if we are truly saved by grace, realize and embrace the fact that we actually DIED with Christ on the Cross as God’s wrath came down upon Christ, we too suffered with Him, and also, when He rose from the grace, defeating death, hell and the grave, WE TOO rose to life with Him and will live forever with Him. In other words, spiritually, we have died to our own self, our own sin and sins, and have been raised to Everlasting Eternal life with Christ and are in the Heavenlies now with Him! That is to be embraced and recognized and it will LIVE OUT in our life now as we recognize this powerful work done in us by Christ through the Holy Spirit. It isn’t just our sins forgiven and one day we shall be in heaven, (Of course that is true), but it is a realization and active matter that we are IN THE SPIRIT and IN CHRIST right now and that changes our entire life and thoughts. Do we recognize that. Have we truly received the Holy Spirit and have we truly received in our hearts the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, these are realities existing right now. Of course in the physical aspects of it, it is considered to be, the Now but Not Yet principle.
I am a person that has actually DIED to self and me! And now I live by and through Christ Jesus and it is all because of the Work He has done for me through what we recognize as the Gospel message which 1 Corinthians 15 so well explains. We have to Die in order live. We must lose our lives if we expect to have life! So said Christ Jesus! That means Christ becomes our Lord, our God, our High Priest, our Savior, our Master, our all in all! Everything focuses upon HIM! This is all about Him!
All praise and honor and glory be to His name!