Are You Heaven Bound?

Introduction:

  1. Read 1 Peter 1:3-5. How confident are you about receiving what Peter talks about in these verses?
  2. Paul was very confident about the path he was on, 2 Timothy 1:12; 4:6-8. He knew where he was going after this life!
  3. God wants us all to have that same level of confidence. See 1 John 5:13. God wants us to know if we are truly bound for heaven!
  4. How can we know which spiritual path we are really on?

The Lesson:

  1. Faulty Standards
    1. Personal feelings.
      1. Before Paul became a disciple, he was so zealous about his Jewish faith that he persecuted Christians, Acts 26:9-11. He really thought that he was pleasing God in his actions.
      2. But he was wrong! His personal feelings about how he stood before God was not in line with the truth.
    2. Listening to preachers.
      1. I personally wish more people liked preachers, but some people like preachers way too much. Some people trust preachers way too much.
      2. Some people fail to understand that at the end of the day preachers are men (and they can be wrong). They can be wrong in the things they say and teach.
    3. Just being “good people.”
      1. If we could go to heaven based on our own goodness, then why in the world did Jesus have to come here to suffer and die on a cross? No matter how good of a person you may think you are, you are still a sinner and you can’t save yourself, Romans 3:23.
      2. If being a “good person” could have ever saved anyone, you would think that it would have saved Cornelius, Acts 10:1-2. And yet, notice what he still had to do, Acts 11:13-14.
    4. All of these things are the wrong standard for receiving the assurance that God wants us to have. Instead of using these faulty standards to determine what spiritual path we may be on, we need to use the right standard. That is the Bible.
      1. The Bible comes from God, 2 Timothy 3:16. It is the only point of contact that we have between heaven to earth. If we are really going to know God and how to please God and how to find the true path to heaven, then we are going to have to open up the Bible and  consider carefully what it has to say.
      2. How can we know we are heaven bound?
    5. By examining whether or not we are keeping God’s commandments.
      1. See 1 John 2:3-5, 28-29; 3:9-10, 24; 5:2-3. Notice how God has commandments that He expects us to keep.
        1. Which commandments is John referring to? Let me first tell you what commandments He is not referring to.
          1. He is not referring to the commandments and the traditions of men. Jesus never approves when we put the commandments or traditions of men on the same level as the commandments of God, Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23; 15:7-9.
          2. He is not referring to the commandments found in the Old Testament law of Moses. Unfortunately, so many people fail to understand that this law was only given to the children of Israel, and then it was only valid up until the time of the cross, John 1:17;          Romans 6:14; 7:6-7; Colossians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 3:7-11; Hebrews 8:7-13.
        2. Instead, He is referring to the commandments found in the New Testament (New Covenant) law of Christ. See Matthew 28:18-20; John 12:48; 14:15, 21; 15:14.
      2. What has the Lord commanded us?
        1. We must be taught about Him and ourselves, John 6:44-45; Romans 3:23.
        2. We must believe in Him, John 6:68 8:24;14:6; 20:30-31. The very reason why we have the account of Jesus in the gospels is so we have enough evidence to believe in His identity.
        3. We must repent of sin, Luke 13:3; Acts 2:37-38; 17:30-31. We must turn away from sin – to give up sin and do our best to live lives that are holy before God.
        4. We must be baptized for the remission of our sins, Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:34-39; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:20-21; Romans 6:3-4.
          1. While many people deny the need for baptism today, the Bible is very clear on the issue. Notice how both Jesus and His apostles taught that if we are going to be saved then we must be baptized.
          2. How will we respond to what the Lord has said about this? If we really want to go to heaven, then we won’t argue and quibble over it. Instead, we will just obey! See Luke 6:46.
        5. We must be faithful to the Lord after baptism. The Bible doesn’t teach the false doctrine of “once saved, always saved.” Instead, it teaches that we must be committed and loyal to the Lord after we decide to begin walking with Him, John 8:31-32; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Galatians 5:4; Hebrews 3:12-14.
          1. Consider the example we have of the early Christians, Acts 2:41-47. Notice how committed they were to the Lord as members of His church. They devoted themselves to studying the doctrine of the apostles, fellowship, prayer, and breaking bread together (a reference to the Lord’s Supper – see 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; Acts 20:7).
          2. These disciples were committed to growing and being faithful to Christ, 2 Peter 3:18.
        6. Someone says, “I want to be baptized, but I don’t feel I have yet reached a level of sinless perfection.” This type of thinking misses the whole point of baptism.
          1. Baptism is not for people who haven’t sinned (babies and toddlers). Instead, it is for people who have violated the will of God and need to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
          2. In fact, even after you are baptized, you need to understand that you are going to fall short of the glory of God from time to time. When you do, God commands you to confess your sin and repent, 1 John 1:8-10.
        7. There are many other commandments the Lord has given us. The point is when we simply do what the Lord says we can live with confidence in regard to our salvation.
  • By making sure that we love one another.
    1. Specifically, you need to make sure that we love those who are fellow members of God’s family, 1 John 3:13-16, 23; 4:11, 19-21.
    2. Why is this important?
      1. Because God is love, 1 John 4:8-10.
      2. Because it is not reasonable to suggest that you love God whom you haven’t seen, when you don’t love your brother who you see all the time, 1 John 4:19-21.
      3. Because our love for one another is one of the main ways in which we demonstrate to the world that we are truly His disciples, John 13:34-35.
    3. The Bible tells us how we are to exercise the kind of love God wants us to have.
      1. We need to treat others like we want to be treated, Matthew 7:12.
      2. We need to be humble, selfless, and willing to serve one another, Philippians 2:3-5.
      3. We should be patient towards one another and help each other grow in Christ. We should never be jealous of one another or towards any success another has in their life. We should not be quick to assume the worst in one another’s words and actions. We should be kind and willing to spend time with one another, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
      4. When we know a brother is in sin, we shouldn’t let him continue down that destructive path. Instead, we should be willing to confront him and help him get on the right track, Galatians 6:1.
      5. We should be willing to share what we have with one another, 1 John 3:18.
      6. If we ever have a problem with a brother, we need to be willing to go to him and work that problem out face to face, Matthew 18:15-17.
    4. How we treat one another has a lot to do with whether or not we will go to heaven.

Conclusion:

  1. Keeping God’s commandments and loving one another are the keys to knowing whether or not we are heaven bound.
  2. Are you heaven bound? If not, then you need to do something about that right now!
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One thought on “Are You Heaven Bound?

  1. Shawn, this is a “keeper.” I just read it again. Some things I like to keep and read and reread…This is one of those. Although I believe that we should not do anything that is considered an abomination… Those who practice abominations will not enter heaven, as the Lord says in Revelation. Since they are only designated in the OT, I observe these definitions of what makes Yahweh want to puke. Love u

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

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