Thank God, according to the Bible, not only can you know, but you can choose where you will spend eternity.
Now we all believe—or at least most claim to believe—in the Bible as God’s Word. We believe in eternity and know that life is short. The Bible itself asks, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
Many claim to believe in heaven and in hell, yet, unfortunately, show little concern over their eternal destiny. We are far more concerned about this life than the next, yet we know that eternity is endless. The Word of God describes eternity as being “for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).
Just think...an eternity to be spent forever, either in the perfect paradise called heaven or in the terrible torments of hell.
Surely we’ll agree that it is just good sense to prepare for eternity now, before it is forever too late. God says, “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
“Well,” you say, “I believe in God, go to church, and live the best I can. What else can I do?”
Now believing in God, attending church, and doing one’s best are all admirable; yet, according to the Word of God, the Holy Bible, these cannot get us to heaven. Neither, according to God, can our church membership, baptism, confirmation, nor our good deeds attain for us eternal life.
But God has provided an answer to the matter of life and death, heaven and hell. It is an answer so simple it is frequently overlooked.
A religious leader named Nicodemus came to Jesus one night for help. Jesus told him, “You must be born again,” and expanded this to include all of us by stating quite emphatically, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Pretty dogmatic perhaps, but these are the words of Christ Himself.
Some today, like Nicodemus, will ask, “How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” (John 3:4). But Jesus answers, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:6), stating again that one must experience a spiritual rebirth in order to enter heaven—“You must be born again” (John 3:7).
Now, have you been born again? Have you experienced this spiritual rebirth? This is the one thing, according to the Bible, that will determine your eternal destiny.
So, for those who really want to know how to be born again, here is the answer from God’s Word.
We must recognize that we are sinners, that we’ve all violated God’s laws. The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God....There is no one righteous, not even one....There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins....If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us....If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives” (Romans 3:23,10; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8,10).
We must repent of our sins. The Bible says that God “commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Jesus said, “unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3). And it is not so difficult to repent as we pause to think of what our sins have cost God. It was for our sins that God, the Creator and King of this universe, left His home in heaven and came to earth in the Person of Jesus to suffer and bleed and die—that we might be forgiven. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). Then Jesus rose from the dead, proving His victory over sin and death.
We must receive Christ into our hearts and lives as our Savior. We read in the first chapter of John, speaking of the Lord Jesus, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:10–12).
The moment we open our hearts to the Lord Jesus and place our complete trust in Him—and Him alone—as our Savior, God promises to forgive our sins, save our soul, and reserve for us a home in heaven. Then, on the authority of the Word of God, we can know where we’ll spend eternity. God says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). And Jesus promises, “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).
Now, are you willing to settle the matter of your eternal destiny? Will you do it? You can, right this moment. I sincerely hope that you will.