I remember reading a gospel tract entitled “How to get to heaven from Pineville, Kentucky” It had a catchy title and got me to reading. The truth is that it would read the same from anywhere on the earth. There is only one way to get to heaven and that is the way that is specified in the Bible. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) So that begs the question, how do you come “by me?”
It is at this point that there seems to be confusion. Does that mean to try hard or is it by doing good things like benevolent acts? Does it mean that I have to quit doing “something”? Does it mean that I have to give up fun things? How does it work? None of these answers are correct for they are all works of man? Eph 2:8-9 Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The problem between God and man is not what he does but what he is. He is a sinner, which is another way of describing rebellion against God’s control on our live. We cannot earn His favor for as soon as we try that avenue, our true nature takes over and our sin nature is exposed. It is at this point that we need to note the difference between Sin and Sins. Sin is the self life that we hold naturally. It is all about me; what I want, what I think, what I do. I don’t want God directing my life because He won’t let me do my thing. Sins are what we do because of this attitude. Sins are the symptoms of the rood cause, sin. We are incapable of paying for our “sin” so God made a way for us to be accepted and that is by our placing our faith in Jesus instead of ourselves. When we are willing to do that we repent of our sin (that is turn from it) and place our faith in Jesus to make that payment (turn to Jesus as our way). It is not two separate actions, but one. It is like a coin. It has two sides but it is just one coin. The act of turning moves you from one thing and unto another.
If we continue to deal with the symptoms (sins) we will fail to treat the problem of sin, itself. Faith in Jesus as the Lord of our life is the way to heaven.