Hell – Reality or Fiction

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Hell – Reality or Fiction

There is a movement today that says there is no Hell. Some say there is a place of punishment, but it isn’t forever, because God would never do that. I could tell you my personal thoughts, but what authority would that be? Therefore, I will give you what the Bible – Absolute Word Of God – says.
Starting with Luke 16:19-31, is the “parable” of the rich man and Lazarus. A parable is a story to illustrate Jesus’ teachings. I believe this parable is an actual story because it’s the only one where Jesus uses a name. Jesus was very specific with this illustration.
Lazarus, a poor beggar, had found favor with the Lord in this life, and when he died, he was taken to “Abraham’s Side” by angels. This refers to a peaceful place of rest before Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. After Jesus’ sacrifice, the righteous souls who have died go directly to be with Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:8, Philippians 1:21-24, Revelation 6:9-11.)
The rich man died and went to “Hades”, a holding place for the unbelieving and unfaithful to be there until the “White Throne Judgment”. (Revelation 20:11-15) He didn’t go because he was rich, but because he relied on his riches rather than God. The world and money were his gods.
Hell is a place of ETERNAL TORMENT (Luke 16:23-28, Psalm 116:3, Isaiah 14:9-11, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9 and Revelation 20:10.)
A place without mercy (Luke 16:24, Revelation 20:10-15)
A place without escape (Luke 16:26).
Souls are immortal in Heaven and Hell. (Luke 16:22-32, Luke 20:38). We will have bodies designed to last all through eternity. For believers of all ages, this immortal body will experience all the joy and Holy pleasures and being with Jesus and the saints forever.
The unbelievers and unrighteous souls will have a body designed to suffer punishment forever. By the way, when God says FOREVER, that’s just what it means. A time without end.
In today’s terms, “Hell”, “Hades” and “Sheol” are all the same referring to the holding place until the appearance at the White Throne Judgment, Just before being thrown into the “Lake of Fire” or the final Hell. (Revelation 19:20, 20:10,14 -15).
The final Hell/Lake of Fire was made by God for Satan and his demons/fallen angels. The first occupants will be the antichrist and the false prophet of the tribulation (Revelation 19:20.) Satan will be next 1000 years later, and then all from the White Throne Judgment after that.
The main point to all this is: Each of Us Chooses which path we will take. You will decide to accept Jesus for an Eternal Heavenly Home, or you will choose to reject Him and forever be in darkness, pain, suffering, and be shown constantly through all eternity the opportunities you had on earth not to be there.
Joshua 24:15 says, “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve; whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
The “gods” mentioned in this passage refer to anyone or anything that takes the place of Jesus in your life. It’s OK to enjoy nice things and we are to love each other, but our dedicated Worship is reserved for Jesus, period. James 4:4 says “Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Reading His words in the Bible is a great way to get to know Him better.

Mercy & Grace…

Mercy & GraceMERCY is not getting what you deserve, eternal separation from God – hell.

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? (a small minority of people who remain faithful to God and so be saved) You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.  Micah 7:18-19

GRACE is getting what you don’t deserve, eternal life with God – Heaven.

As for you, you were dead (spiritually dead) in your transgressions and sins, 

Ephesians 2:1

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works (human effort), so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:4-9

We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He (Jesus) is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20

AMEN!!!

Nuggets of Wisdom … spread the Word

But seek first the kingdom of God

~ and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

In my reading in 2Chronicles 16:1-9 King Asa of Judah was warring with King Baasha of Israel. Now, King Asa asked for the help of King Ben-hadad in Damascus to intervene between him and King Baasha.

Now, King Ben-hadad was not of King Asa community and neither was He a loyal believer of King Asa God. Why was he inquiring of King Ben-hadad to help him when He can inquire from God himself?

In the start of King Asa’s reign Azariah a man of God told King Asa that “the Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” For a long time Israel has been without a God to counsel them so in their distress they sought God with all their heart and God protected them. “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded” King Asa took courage and the people made a covenant to seek the Lord, with all their heart. King Asa rid the land of the idols except the high places to worship idols. (2Chronicles 15:1-4, 7-8, 12-17)

Peace reigned in King Asa’s kingdom as the Lord said “…be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded” that was until his 35th year of reign. In King Asa’s 36th year Israel invaded Judah and King Asa’s sends for help to King Ben-hadad. Why?

Let us look at our own heart to see where King Asa went wrong. When we gave our heart to the Lord and our sins to him and said we will seek you Father with all our heart. We also made a covenant with the Lord. We promise that we would follow his commands of reading his word, fellowshipping with other believers, abiding in the Lord, and praying. At first we were zealous for God we told everyone about him and we went on mission trips. Slowly, we got into a routine and we went back to doing what we did before but we have now added going to church, Bible study, and praying. Gradually, we have started our own life and not the dream the Father planned for us. Time for God has begun hard, we struggle to pray and read the Bible. We try different tactics for reading the Bible hoping that will help. Did we not get rid of the high places that have now come into our daily lives that cloud out seeking God with all our hearts, souls, and minds?

When we don’t get rid of the high places in our hearts they will seethe in and slowly you will forget who is in charge. First, you will trust someone other than God for your counsel.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

Secondly, your pay check will be gone when it’s time to tithe to your church. Thirdly, you will not have time to spend sitting at your Father’s feet and learning from him because the idol of time has been used up with all your wants and none of your needs.

Jesus said “be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded”. (2Chronicles 15:7) We don’t consciously give up but slowly we let the world in, because we love stuff/things.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness … (Matthew 6:33)

King Asa had peace and no wars because they sought God each day with all their heart. But, slowly those high places seethe into his heart and He forgot who was ruling King in his heart. Our flesh of wanting to sleep in or blaming our children for the reason we can’t make our time with him are excuses.

King Asa’s punishment was mercy from God in 2Chronicles 16:7-13:

7At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you… 9For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.” 10Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time.11The acts of Asa, from first to last, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. 13And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign.

“all these things will be added to you”

The Lord says “seek first the kingdom of God” in all things we seek God’s counsel first. Again the Lord says “all these things will be added to you.” For King Asa the things that were added were peace in his borders. God took care of him and his kingdom with all their needs.

The Lord said ‘do not worry of what you wear or what you eat for the Lord would provide for us’. (Matthew 6:25-34) We think that going to work and coming home is all there is; but, that is not what God planned for you. Seek first the kingdom of God for everything and watch God work in your heart the things of God. Jesus Christ will get rid of the high places in your heart and He will establish his kingdom within your life and family. Fathers become the spiritual leaders in your family’s life that Jesus Christ has called you to be.

Why do you see people living extraordinary lives? Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. God will add provision, peace, kindness, long suffering, mercy…God wants you to last more than 35 years in your reign on this earth with him.

Promises of mercy

“I will punish you as your deeds deserve, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 21:14

Don’t you realize how patient he is being with you: Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance. Romans 2:4

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

“What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins have deserved… Shall we again break your commands…?” Ezra 9:13

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with fullest confidence, that we may receive mercy for our failures and grace to help in the hour of need. Hebrews 4:16

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Thank you, Jesus Christ for your mercy and grace that covers all our unrighteousness. Let us seek the kingdom of God in everything we do so that we may shine our eternity light before men. Thank you Father that you care enough to send us mercy and grace through your son Jesus Christ who died a death and rose to live in our hearts forever more.

I pray that we seek you, Jesus Christ first in everything we do or say so we can live a life in fulfillment of your promise. May we not lean on our own understanding but lean on Jesus Christ so you will make our path straight to you. Let us not look to the left or right but full on your face Jesus Christ so we will not lose sight of your plan. That we trust and believe on your son Jesus Christ for the work that needs to be done and the race that needs to be completed. In Jesus Christ name, I pray. Amen.

 

The Power of Raw Mercy

 

I may fight and strive, run and rave, to reach distant visions of personal victory and gain only to end up in the middle of a religious mirage. The destinations we run to are not so much the point of our lives as is the journey we are on. Throughout our pilgrimage, through all the hardships and joys, trials and pains, God is simply attempting to reveal unto us Himself.

 Often we think that God is there to help us through our pains and trials, to be our coach who trains us to win races of religious proportions. Our ideas of why God exists are often servant to our own personal wants. What we see as the issue we need God to save us from, God sees as the issue that will reveal to us who He really is. It is mercy that reveals God in a touchable way. It is mercy, not our ability to run, that brings us to God. How can I ever know mercy unless I am in the place of need? How can I know God who can deliver until I am somewhat hemmed in? My situations are more of  a window opening  into Gods abilites than the dungeon to which I feel bound.

Mercy is God’s kindness stooping down to a society that is not worthy to have God stoop. Mercy is God’s way of saying, “I love you.” Mercy is not a magic pill we pray for so that we can no longer feel the pain of life, it is God’s power of love extended in action to His saints. Mercy shows me what kind of God I really have.

David was often surrounded by his enemies, he was constantly at war, constantly in battle with something, himself, his enemies, his family, or his friends who turned into enemies. It was during these battles that he saw and prayed for the mercy of God. God took up a friendship with David that went as far as being with him in day to day life. This is Mercy. God with me in daily battle, not so that I may win, though we always will, but so that I can see that in God I have a friend.

In David’s life he cried to God for mercy over his sin, his mistakes, his battles, his enemies, and his desires for his Savior. What gave David this ability to live in the mercy of God was that he knew who God was. When I come to prayer in place of knowledge and pray for mercy without the heart of faith behind my prayer, I expect God to fail me. In this place I do not believe that I am friends with God enough for Him to show Himself to me in MY circumstance. I may believe that God can do this or that, but I often do not believe that He will, especially for me. Doubt keeps me from receiving the mercy of God. 

The mercy of God is the tender part of our Fathers heart toward us, His children. Mercy is the desire that wells up within a fathers heart to pick up his child after he falls and skins his knee. Mercy is God’s desire to help and be for His offspring what they cannot be for themselves. When I view mercy as something that I want God to do for me so that my situation will be better, I have the wrong set of lenses through which I am viewing prayer and God. But, when I understand mercy to be the desire of God to show Himself as my Father in MY situation, then I can have the faith to wait upon Him to accomplish the revealing of His beauty to me in my horrible circumstances. David cried for mercy when he was in the darkest times in his life. It was these cries that revealed to David who God really was. God has an intense pressure to show mercy to me, or better said, to show me Himself.

David had a confidence in God’s eternal mercy, mercy that endures forever. A mercy that endures through my sin, my shame, my loss, my defeat, my failure, my reproach, my grave, and my cross. God’s mercy is raw and real, so real it is often scary. Frankly, it often bends the power of my mind.

Psa 57:3 

He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. (emphasis mine)

The beginning to understanding mercy is the beginning of understanding God. Jesus told the Pharisees that they had omitted the heavier parts of God’s desires for man. They left out things like mercy, faith, and judgment. (Matt. 23:23) The things that man has a tendency to leave out of the make up of God are the things that often make God, God. If we Christians today do not have an understanding of who God is then who will tell the world? There is a constant push in me to believe that God will fail me more than He will show me mercy. Many times in our life our idea of God hinges upon the scripture “…Be it unto you according to your faith” (Matt 9:29) What I believe God to be, often He is, because the Bible says that whoever we submit to that is who’s servant we are. Funny that I find unbelief a better task-master than mercy.

Jesus states that the amount of mercy that we show is the amount of mercy that will be given to us. Showing mercy is when I have the right to extract payment, judgment, and justice from someone due to my position of being right and then not using it. Giving what one does not deserve is the heart of God, it is the heart of mercy. When I do not deserve forgiveness and God extends it to me is Jesus showing me who He really is. If I choose not be accept this gift or if I refuse to believe it, I then refuse to believe in a good God. I create a different God whom I will serve, one who is more cruel and taxing than loving and caring. To do this is to remake God into the image of a cow instead of a loving Father; this is ultimate idolatry.

God longs to extend His mercy to the areas of our lives where we do not deserve it. He does this for us so we can realize that He is better than all the powers of the earth. When God shows mercy it is to make me fall in love with Him again, a love that will keep me from sin, storm, and self.

Mercy is the embrace of God, let Him hold you again. This hug will boil within you an explosive praise!

Psa 106:1 

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.

 www.proclaimingjesus.com

A Clear View

Shining Perspective

“Wow, Isaiah look at the sky!” “Oh. Umm…Mommy? What about the sky?” (Ok back up! It was spectacular! I’ve tried to capture it with words several times now and I just can’t seem to do it justice, so I will just say it was absolutely beautiful! It was stunning!) God’s glory shines in each new day; He gives us a freshly painted sky every morning. I had to stop, because it was clear that we were not looking at the same sky. As I looked at it, I looked at him and identified why we weren’t looking at the same sky. Sunglasses. I removed my glasses and when I did the sun was so bright that its light actually overwhelmed the picture. I gave Isaiah my glasses and he said, “Wow mommy, you’re right that is an awesome sky!” So often it is the same with my circumstances, if they are not viewed through the cover of God’s grace and mercy, if I am not wearing my faith glasses, my circumstances are too bright, they are overwhelming and they blind me.

What do they blind me from? Not what, but who? Jesus. I simply lose sight of Jesus. We live in a world that is overloaded with gizmos and gadgets, and over-available media cramming the next “big thing” down our throats. A world that is convincing us that we need far more than we do and teaching us to constantly live in a state of discontent, essentially we are distracted. I know I am. It’s no wonder to me that many of the most amazing works, testimonies and devotions I’ve read were written sometime prior to the early 1900’s. By now the obstacles that steal my attention shouldn’t surprise me and yet they still do. I find when sitting down with the intention to write, I can get distracted by the vast choices of where I can go with a click of a button. (Somehow that doesn’t happen when I sit down with a journal and a pen.) I have also learned that even while I am serving the Lord, I can get distracted from Jesus Himself.

I am coming out of a difficult season. It has been filled with nothing but surprise after surprise, some good and some bad.  God has answered some prayers in surprising ways and I have received what I can only describe (for now) as a mind-blowing miracle in the midst of it all. Through the tough moments and wonderful blessings one thing remains…I fall so short. I almost never land where I think I will when I jump. My own will often deceives me. I repeatedly find myself left with these challenging questions that surface when I’ve been tested. Can I be as diligent in thanksgiving, in seeking Him, in the simple beauty of tarrying with Him, as I am in persistently asking for what I think my needs (my desires) are? Can I just love Jesus with the same dedication as I give to acts of service? Can I surrender all parts of my life, at all times, not just in worship or at certain times of the day, but always?

In and of myself, no I cannot. (“In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” ~Job 12:10 NASB) I can’t make myself breathe. I can’t make my heart beat. I can’t grow the hair on my head.  I can’t do anything apart from Him. (“For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”~Acts 17:28 NKJV. The NASB says it this way: “For in Him we live and move and exist…For we also are His children.” And the CEV says: “And he gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are.”We are his children…”)

When I choose to look at my circumstances, when I choose to look at the world, when I choose to walk by sight even though I know I’m called to walk by faith; I lose my clear view of Jesus. Once I take my eyes off of Jesus, essentially I lose my joy. (“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” ~Nehemiah 8:10 NIV) I fail to see the details of my life, my circumstances through those indescribable faith glasses, where mercy and grace abound in Christ Jesus each and every new day.

What is the question that I should ask at the end of the day? The same one we all should be asking.

Did I walk with God today?

(“…walk humbly with your God.”~Micah 6:8 NIV “”…As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people’.” ~2 Corinthians 6:16 NIV)

“Christ is not so much interested in pointing us to a place or path as he is in pointing us to a Person and a relationship.” -Ravi Zacharias

Is Allah the God of the Bible? Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

Is Allah the God of the Bible? Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

Islam has become a major force in the world today. Because they believe in a few of the things Christians and Jews do, especially monotheism (one God), there is question as to whether Allah and the Judeo-Christian God are the same.

Son of God? Who is God?

Let’s start by looking at the God of the Bible. He is called Elohim when the Godhead is emphasized, and Yahweh when referring to His nature as one god.

This means that God shows Himself in three distinct ways, yet He is one God. If a man is married with children, and his father is living, he behaves (or, should behave) in a different manner toward his father than he does toward his wife, and in yet another way toward small children. He is still the same man. Another example is an egg – the yolk, the egg white, and the shell are all part of the egg. And yet, they are distinct. Finally, there is water. The chemical formula for it is H2O. H2O exists as a solid, liquid and gas all at the same time, in different part of the world.

So, we see the Godhead – what some call the Trinity – is very clear. God manifests Himself as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. God is eternally pre-existent in the spirit (non-physical) realm, in all three persons. In other words, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit were all part of Creation. (Ge. 1:1-2, John 1:1-3, Col. Col. 1:16-17) God the Son appears in the Old Testament – before His miraculous birth via the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary – a number of times as the Angel of the Lord. This is how He wrestled with Jacob, how He likely made the animal skins for Adam and Eve, and so on.

The Koran/Qur‘an, on the other hand, makes it very clear that Muslims believe Allah has no son. The idea of Allah having a son is “blasphemous” and a “monstrous falsehood” (18:46, 9:30-31) to them. Muslims are told, “[F]ight everyone who rejects Islam, even Christians and Jews, until they pay regular financial tribute with willing submission and feel themselves completely subjected to their Islamic conquerors.” (9:29) While the Koran/Qur’an says to say that they are the same (29:46), elsewhere it considers this a lie, and in fact states that Christians and Jews are the “worst creatures on earth.” (98:6) It says that Allah is “too majestic” to have a son. (4:171-172)

This goes opposite the Bible in a few ways.

First, Jesus commands us to love our enemies, and bless them that despitefully use us. (Mat. 5:44, etc.) We are to be known by our love, and not fight each other. Many places, that great unconditional love is proclaimed. Yes, evil people who refused to follow Jesus have tried to conquer claiming to be doing it for God, any a close reading of the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ commanded His followers to show Godly compassion to others. God is longsuffering toward us; while he is holy and must punish sin, He is also faithful to save the souls of any who call upon Him, and take them to His perfect heaven, even if – like the thief on the cross – they have forfeited their chances in this world. Sin has consequences, but God is love.

Second, it goes against the Bible’s insistence that Jesus is totally equal with God. He and the Father are one. (John 10:30) he is God’s only begotten Son (John 3:16, etc.), which means that He is of the same substance – that’s what Son of God means. Yes, there is the relational aspect as humans understand it – but Jesus is never seen, in the Bible, as being inferior. Everywhere, He is shown to be the one and only God. He simply chose to step down from His Heavenly throne to this world, in order to die for our sins, and rose from the death, defeating the devil once and for all.

A few other aspects:

The one above is crucial. There are too many differences to cover here, but a topical study of the Koran/Qur’an would be quite rewarding. For now, let‘s look at just a few short ones, which you may view more yourself:

Personal God of love:

That part about being too majestic comes from their concept that God can‘t be approached. However, the Bible says otherwise. God is very personal, and in fact, wants a personal relationship with each of us. He wants us to take all our cares and worries and burdens to Him. (Mat. 11:28-30, 1 Peter 5:7, etc.). He understands all of what we go through (Heb. 4:15-16), because He lived a sinless life, bearing our sins (1 Peter 2:24) – so He lived, but never sinned, thus He can help us through whatever we’re tempted by.

He is a personal God of love, too – this means He is always moved with compassion and will not only never tempt us beyond what we are able, he will provide a way out for us. He will lovingly guide us according to what is best for each of us.

Sacrifice for our sins:

A great archaeologist named William Ramsey set out to prove the Bible wrong, and wound up finding Luke to be an incredible historian who got all his facts right. One of those facts that Luke and the other Bible writers note is that Jesus willing gave himself for us. Because he was God, He could have come down from the cross – He could have called 10,000 angels. Yes, another man had to carry the cross part of the way, but this was very common – quite a few people never survived the scourging before they were crucified, and Jesus didn’t have the strong, broad shoulders that the thieves who were crucified often had. Jesus clearly died on that cross, then rose from the dead. Indeed, among early believers were likely his two sons – otherwise, it’s not likely they would have been mentioned.

Compassion, not honor:

Among some Muslims, there is a form of law called sharia,. This law boasts no compassion when it comes to the treatment of women. It is all about honor. On the other hand, jesus and His followers insisted that women be honored, and when he came across an adulteress, He pardoned her. Jesus constantly forgave sins.

It can be argued, of course, that this law – like some unorthodox Christian teachings – isn’t in the Koran/Qur’an. What’s important, though, is that believers in Christianity are admonished to loves their wives as Christ loved the church. And, if someone sins against another, the only one at fault is the one who sinned, not the victim. God consistently has compassion on those who suffer. The Bible also clearly says that men should love their wives as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25); and He was constantly giving Himself for it.

Indeed, elsewhere, we read that God is no respecter of persons, and that all are equal in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28) – there is no disparity between man and woman, except in how men are called to be the spiritual leaders. But, this doesn’t give man the right to walk all over a woman, and when the man won’t or can’t lead a family spiritually, a woman can still become great for doing so. (2 Kings 4:8 onward)

Another excellent article, which contains facts from The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Edition 15, Volumes 22 & 25, discussing how the ecumenical movement has discusses things such as the origin of Islam. There is also much evidence for the truths of the Old Testament, and the people mentioned therein – evidence which is being destroyed.

However, the important thing to remember is this:

The God of the Bible, the Creator and sustainer, loves you. He is not the same as that of Islam. Instead, He is a personal, loving, and caring God, who deliberately came to this world and died on the cross, rising from the dead so we could go to Heaven.

He doesn’t require anything of us but our faith. To get to Heaven, one must: A. Admit your status as a sinner, that you fall short of God’s perfect glory, and that this means you can’t get into His perfect heaven on your own; B. Believe that Jesus Christ, God in flesh, was born of a virgin, took the punishment for your sins when He died on the cross, and then rose victoriously from the dead; and, C. Choose to repent of your sins – that is, agree with god about your sin – and receive him as your Savior by simple faith. For by grace are ye saved by faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)

God will never just weigh things in a balance the way other religions claim. No sin at all can get into heaven. The Bible is true when it says, “Ye must be born again.” (John 3:3) This concept is not present is Islam. It is the truth that God, in His perfect love, only wants us to come to Him and accept that we need Him to forgive us and save us, and to then receive that forgiveness by faith, letting Him make us new on the inside. Then, we will no longer be slaves to self, but we will be free. And, we can be certain – because, He wants us to be sure, and to know that just by believing – receiving Him by faith (John 20:31, 1 John 5:13) – we can have life forever with Him, now and in Heaven, where nobody suffers, nobody feels pain, nobody dies, and where nobody can imagine the wonders that await us.