My name is Michael. I’m 18 years old. I’m a member of the ___________________ church and I’m afraid I might be going to hell when I die. Although I’m a born-again Christian and believe it is my faith in Jesus Christ that will save me, I’m still not 100% sure that when I die I will be spending eternity with God in heaven.
You see, I’ve been to a couple of different Christian churches lately which a few of my friends invited me to attend. And although their beliefs are similar to mine, they differ in certain areas.
For example, one of the churches I attended claims that in addition to needing faith in Jesus Christ, that in order to be saved, I must also speak in tongues. They told me if I don’t speak in tongues, it is evidence that I never received the Holy Spirit and because of that, I will be going to hell.
Another church I attended with a different group of friends informed me that in addition to speaking in tongues, that I also need to be baptized by water or I will surely go to hell.
By the way, when I attended these churches, both of them showed me scripture which they say PROVES that their teachings are correct. To make a long story short, when I left each of those churches, I was scratching my head, thinking to myself, “Wow, they must be right, after all, they showed me in scripture that their teachings are correct!”
The bottom line is that right now I’m miserable. I’m having trouble sleeping at night. My head is spinning and I feel awful.
I’m not sure what to believe anymore!
What must a person do to make it to heaven?
– “Messed Up Michael”
From: Somewhere in the USA
Saturday, 9:23 a.m.
April 22, 2012
Dear “Messed Up”:
First of all… you are not “messed up”… I’m only kidding around with that intro. Look, Michael, I know how you feel. I’ve attended dozens of churches over the years. Churches of various denominations. I’d go to these churches and listen to their sermons about heaven and hell and then after the service I would ask the pastor/minister a few questions.
These questions of mine… what kind of responses did I get?
Pretty much the same thing you got.
To begin though, I really need to emphasize that when I started asking questions, most of the pastors/ministers of these churches would begin by stating… “At this church we ONLY believe and preach what is written in the Bible”.
Well… yeah… I’m sure they do… however… what these pastors and ministers should have said to me was…
“At This Church We Only Believe And Preach
Of What Is Written In The Bible”.
That would have been more accurate.
Michael, I don’t know if you realize it, but Christianity has more than 38,000 different denominations. And I’ve got news for you…
They Can’t All
But let’s get back to the topic at hand. So you’re worried about ending up in hell when you die?
Is that right?
However, I’m just a little bit worried. (I’ll explain why later.)
Here’s what I believe is the way into heaven…
Let me elaborate on that a little though, because I know you won’t let me off the hook that easily.
We’re all sinners. (I believe every single person reading this agrees with that.)
Well, when Jesus was being crucified on Calvary, he hung on the cross between two sinners/ criminals. From what I remember reading in the Bible, in the beginning, both of them… yes… BOTH of them were hurling insults at Jesus (See Matt 27:44 and Mark 15:32). But one of them finally came to his senses and said something along the lines of… “Wait… what are we doing? We are criminals… we are sinners… we deserve to be up here receiving this punishment. But this man… this man Jesus Christ… he has done nothing wrong.” He then turned to Jesus and said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
To which Jesus replied…
“Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise”
Michael, that was it.
That’s all it took for that person to make it into heaven.
He admitted he was a sinner, he repented and he believed (he had faith) in Jesus Christ.
I don’t recall reading any place in the Bible, where that criminal “spoke in tongues” and/or that he was baptized by water.
And I am 100% positive that he did not get down off that cross and start doing “good deeds”… you know… trying to earn enough “brownie points” with God… so God would grant him entrance into heaven for being a good person.
It doesn’t work that way!
It Was His FAITH
In Jesus Christ That Saved Him!
And that, my friend, is what you need to focus on.
P.S. In the “comments” section below this post, it is almost certain that dozens… perhaps maybe even hundreds of people are gonna try to point out to you that what I have just shared with you is wrong. These beliefs of mine Michael… are they correct? I believe they are. Whatever happens though Michael… remember these two things… #1. ONLY GOD decides who is saved and who isn’t. And… #2. Seek the Lord your God with all your heart… with all your mind… and with all your soul… and he’ll make sure you find the right path that will get you into heaven.
P.P.S. Now stop worrying… and go get yourself a good night’s sleep. (Peace my little brother.)