COMMON FAITH QUESTIONS
AM I GOOD ENOUGH TO GO TO HEAVEN?
Nope. Not on your own. But the great news is that you don’t have to try to go it alone!
Although it may sound harsh, the Bible says no one is good enough to go to heaven on their own. According to scripture, even our good deeds are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) It also says that all men have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6), all have sinned (Romans 3:23), and none are worthy (Romans 3:10).
Which makes the love of God even that much sweeter! You’re not good enough to go to heaven on your own, but Jesus has prepared the way for you. He lived the perfect life you couldn’t live, and died the death you should’ve died, paying the sacrifice you couldn’t pay. You’re not good enough to get to heaven on your own, but Jesus is. And he says, “Follow me.” (Matthew 16:24).
IS JESUS REALLY THE ONLY WAY?
Yes. But don’t take our word for it. Because Jesus himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).”
Many people try many ways to get to heaven. But only one man lived a perfect life, and paid the sacrifice for you. His name is Jesus. Though there have been a lot of great men and women throughout history, none were the Son of God like Jesus was. So none could live the life He lived, die the death he died, and offer you true life like he does.
WHAT MAKES THE BIBLE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER RELIGIOUS BOOKS? CAN WE TRUST IT?
Absolutely and beyond a doubt you can trust it. But, we also recognize that there is a faith step required in that trust.
The Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible word. God has preserved exactly what we need “that pertain to life and Godliness” (2 Peter 1:3-4) in the pages of Scripture. The picture that the Bible itself paints is that Scripture is “breathed out” by God, useful for “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16). But to fully trust something, you’ve got to take a leap of faith. And trusting the Bible is no different. Read it for yourself. Wrestle with its claims. Live out the truths that it commands us to live out. Find out for yourself just how trustworthy it really is.
For those that want even more evidence of the accuracy of the Biblical text, research the Qumran or Dead Sea Scrolls and discover just how accurate are our modern Bibles.
IS HELL A REAL PLACE?
Yes, it sure is. Jesus talked about it. He said it was a place where the suffering never ends (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:48). It’s a curse worse than “being drowned in the sea.” (Mark 9:42) The pain of Hell will produce “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12). Hell is the place reserved for those who reject Jesus in this life.
CAN I LOSE MY SALVATION?
No, you can’t. Here’s what Jesus said:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)
Salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2:8) that God doesn’t take away (Philippians 1:6). When someone is living in a pattern of sin, a better question to ask might be, “Was I ever saved?” We know that people saved by God live a changed life. If someone isn’t living a changed life, there’s the real (and scary) chance that they’re not saved. To which we’d reply, “Be saved!”
Salvation is too precious of a gift for God to remove it once given. God gives us His Holy Spirit which is a deposit guaranteeing His fulfillment. (Ephesians 1:14) When He gives the Holy Spirit, He doesn’t take that away.
However, it's important to realize that God didn’t save us in order to grant us freedom for the purpose of doing what we want; otherwise, it would have been totally pointless to give us His Word that lays out how we can live a life pleasing to Him through holiness on the ground of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If that was the case, we would have been left in the world just living our lives by following our own carnal desires.
God through His grace is calling us to live a life far above the kind of life that we used to live. If we come to Christ, we must always look forward because of that incredible transition that has taken place into our lives. We’re no longer a product of our past, but a new creation through Christ. As apostle Paul says in (Philippians 3:13-14), we should forget what lies behind and everyday push forward to what lies ahead; seeking God in times of peace, in times of trouble and even in times of temptation.
DO WE HAVE TO BE BAPTIZED IN WATER?
Baptism isn’t required for salvation, but is the first step of faith for believers. The baptismal waters don’t save anyone. It’s Jesus that does that. Baptism is a picture of the work that Jesus has done in a person’s heart.
Baptism illustrates Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) It shows our new life as a follower of Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Baptism doesn’t make you a believer… it shows that you already believe. Baptism doesn’t save you; Jesus does! Baptism is like a wedding ring, signifying a relationships rather than forming that relationship.
We follow Jesus’ example in baptism. He was baptized (Mark 1:9), and commanded us to be baptized (Matthew 28:19-20).