Listen to Nancy answer this question on Moody Radio with Kelli and Steve.

A time will come when we will all die unless the Lord comes back to get us before that time. It may be sooner than we think, making this question important to all of us. Is there anything that we can do to ensure our destiny in Heaven with God? Sadly, many people think that if they lead a good life, then they have earned the right to go to Heaven when they die. God does not grade on a “how good is good enough” curve. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn our way to Heaven. Where we go when we die is determined solely in whom we choose to put our faith: ourselves or Jesus.

“For by grace are you saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves – it is the gift of God. Not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

When Adam and Eve sinned, all humans from that time on are born sinners with a sinful nature desirous of living selfish and prideful lives. Therefore, no human can have a personal relationship with our Holy and Righteous God by their own efforts. However, because God is loving and compassionate, He sent His only Son to pay the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross and rising again to life so humans who choose to put their trust in Jesus will be able to have a personal relationship with God!

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

We deserve death and hell. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

 “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

We are saved and assured of our place in Heaven when we believe in Jesus as our Savior.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8.

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

When we believe that we are sinners and choose to seek forgiveness from Jesus, we are forever saved. The Greek word “believe” means to rely upon and trust someone or continuously without reservation. We don’t say that we believe and go about living for ourselves in our flesh with no thought about growing closer to God. That is not a true belief. Jesus gave all of Himself to us because He loves us and wants an ongoing relationship with us. When we receive His gift of salvation, we no longer live for ourselves; we live daily for God’s glory.

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:7-21).

God’s love for us is beyond human comprehension. Nothing we have done or said can keep us from His love. He wants to save everyone; He has no favorites. None of us deserve to have an eternal relationship with God, but that did not stop Him from suffering and dying so that our sins would no longer keep us from Him. He knows that loving Him and living for His glory is impossible without HIs gift of the Holy Spirit, who guides us through life. He helps us shift our focus from satisfying our flesh to loving and trusting God’s will for our lives. Only through Jesus’ grace can we be assured that He will never abandon or betray us.

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13).

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Jesus assures those who believe that He is preparing a place for each of us when we die!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3).

What does God ask of us for all He has and will continue to do for us?

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:19).

The future for those who reject God’s love and forgiveness is grim.

Matthew 25:42-46: “For I was hungry and  you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying ‘Lord when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then He will answer them saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. ’ And these will go away into eternal   punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”