Heaven Coach

How To Get To Heaven

Obey The Gospel

God’s perfect test has been underway since the “beginning.” It is all about your soul and it is not about anything else. God’s purpose and His plan for humankind are easily understood by those with a good heart. The gospel message is the culmination, the outcome of God’s plan and finally revealed after the death of Jesus. There is a spiritual war between you and sin and to win that war and achieve heaven you need the gospel.

The Gospel

Gospel Definition

We will begin by defining the word gospel. The dictionary meaning of the word is reasonable, but the concept is exceedingly more important. We will be explaining the gospel meaning provided by the scriptures. Once you can tie together all the things in the graphic above the importance of the gospel to your eternity can be accurately understood.

Dictionary and Other Definitions of Gospel

The origin of the word gospel is from the words godspell, from godgood + spell message. One might conclude from this that the gospel is a good message from God. This of course is correct.

Gospel Synonyms

There are various SYNONYMS and they convey some good ideas about the word gospel, such as doctrine, news, teachings, message, revelation, creed, credo, tidings, truth, fact, certainty. We might get the idea from this that the gospel is a message of truth, of certainty.

A typical dictionary definition of gospel would be:
The gospel is a message concerning Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation.
The gospel describes the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Interestingly, the KJV (King James Version of the bible) dictionary definition of gospel is a bit more helpful as we begin to understand the importance of the concept as God intended.

Gospel: a good or joyful message. KJV Dictionary

The history of the birth, life, actions, death, resurrection, ascension and doctrines of Jesus Christ; or a revelation of the grace of God to fallen man through a mediator, including the character, actions, and doctrines of Christ, with the whole scheme of salvation, as revealed by Christ and his apostles. This gospel is said to have been preached to Abraham, by the promise, “in thee shall all nations be blessed.”

Despite these definitions of the word gospel the understanding you seriously need is still missing.

The Importance of Understanding The Gospel

It is possible that this page may be very helpful in your understanding of God and His purpose/plan. Of course, that will only true if you love the truth more than anything else. In a world where there is so much religious confusion and deceit you would be wise to doubt the claims of everyone, including the author of this page. However, that does not mean there is no truth. What you currently believe religiously (including not believing in God) is undoubtedly the result of someone indicating what they spoke was the truth. It indeed might have been “bible-like speak,” but does that make it correct? You can choose to believe what is contained here or reject it, but always understand what you believe – I like to say believe no one.
You need to find and understand the truth and not depend on someone else doing that for you. As the verses indicate below; prove what is good and acceptable, hold fast that word, test all things. Throughout the scriptures there are warnings about changing God’s word, but there is also Godly advice to prove, to test in order to determine you are doing what is acceptable to God.

Romans 12:2

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

1 Cor 15:2

2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

1 Thessalonians 5:21

21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.

God is in Control and He Choose The Gospel Message To Save

When we talk about God and His ability to have some spend their eternal existence with Him in heaven, by what means can this occur? Well, one might say God can do whatever He likes and God by definition has no limits. So, He can select those whom He wishes. However, God is limited inasmuch as He Limits Himself. One way He Limits Himself is by not being capable of lying.

Titus 1:2

2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began

God creates all things, but allows humankind the ability to choose and this means choosing to serve God or to serve their own desires, to follow the doctrines of others.
The means God uses to save people is the gospel. God points out His power to save is the gospel (Romans 1.16 below). People will choose to take advantage of what God has provided or they will not. This is the free will decision each person will make. There is no luck involved in salvation. There is no doctrine other than the gospel by which a person can be saved. Religion, the religion of humankind does not teach the gospel, but religion by-in-large perverts the truth.

Romans 1.16

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

God says the gospel is His power to save. When you understand God, you will know that when God says the gospel is His means to save a person, it eliminates all other ways. If you are saved, from what have you been saved? Although, God allows you choice during your lifetime, those choices can result in God defined sin. Sin separates you from God and left unresolved means you fail in life. You need to be saved from sin, that is your sin needs to be covered in order to achieve heaven. Salvation is being saved from the final result of sin – eternal loss. The process beginning in Genesis 3.15 to resolve the sin problem was completed in Jesus. The word to describe the process is the gospel and obeying the gospel is the requirement for each person to solve THEIR sin problem.

Note: The following is a simple test to determine your love of the truth. A great deal of the world lives in excuses, in reasoning that helps justify their actions or inaction’s. Those who love the truth are not satisfied with anything less than the truth. As Jesus pointed out, blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. If, as you read or hear God’s word and you look for excuses for rejecting the message – you will find them! They will not be valid excuses, but they will shut down your search ………… well short of the truth. You examine the scriptures and find them unfair. You might decide that all people are not mentally capable of making the right decision and others are easily influenced. The excuses which sound good to you and especially since you are LISTENING FOR PROBLEMS you will find them. You fail to realize you are dealing with God. God, who created all things seen and unseen simply by thinking or saying them did not leave His purpose vulnerable to things you see as problematic. God says people will fail because they did not receive a love of the truth and thus they do not obey the gospel. This idea of loving the truth is central to your success in life and is closely associated with your attitude, specifically a truly humble attitude. God’s test is perfect and those who reject His solution for their life because of some grand iron-clad excuse are fulfilling God’s plan to sort out those who love Him (keep His commands) from those who do not. Thus, how did you do in the test? It is doubtful you will love the truth if your life is filled with yourself, with gaining all you can in this short life. It is doubtful you will love the truth if you close your mind to things that have to do with God. Certainly, if you live with no concern about the purpose of life, then you are a “million miles” from having a love of the truth.

The verses below from first and second Thessalonians make clear the seriousness of God in relation to the souls of men and women. There is a time coming, no one knows when and it may precede your death or it may not. The event is Jesus returning to bring an end to all things, leaving only the judgment. He will first take those in Christ out of the world and then in flaming fire take vengeance.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 1.7-9

7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not OBEY THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power

2 Thessalonians 2.10-12

10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved.
11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

These few verses above from Thessalonians should be known to all humankind. They represent a reality somewhere in the future with a coming wonder for some and the pending terror for others. The answer to avoid the latter is the message, which is foolish to so many – the gospel message. The advice is to the point – love the truth, obey the gospel.
Shortly after the gospel plan was in effect there were those who began to pervert the gospel. It seems unbelievable that the most important thing for humanity, the thing God had in mind since sin entered the world, the thing that required the death of God’s Son, the thing that if changed would be of no effect would “immediately” be handled so carelessly.

Humankind – Truly Self-Destructive to Their Own Salvation

The gospel is no more than revealed before people are changing it and Paul warns that there is no other gospel than what he preached.

Galatians 1.6-9

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

Paul, makes it clear where he received the gospel message.

Galatians 1.11,12

11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Your Only Way To Heaven – The Gospel

There Is No Salvation Outside The Gospel

There is no salvation in Islam, in Catholicism or in Protestantism. These doctrines vary greatly and none are helpful and consequently are exceedingly harmful because they mislead people to believe they have found the truth. Man-made teachings do not direct a person to take advantage of what God did in Christ.
We learn that God decided to save people by the foolishness of preaching. God knows that to those who love the world, preaching would be dismissed as foolishness. This is for various reasons, but one big reason is that the things being preached were hard and require more than they were willing to give. It would be foolish, they reason, to give up what they want in life.
What is being preached that saves? It is simply the gospel. The gospel is the truth about what you must do. So when we see people obeying the gospel – what are they obeying? They are obeying that “Form of Doctrine.”

Romans 6.17

17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that FORM OF DOCTRINE to which you were delivered.

The form of doctrine is the gospel; The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Romans 6.3,4

3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

A reasonable question might be who is a fit subject for baptism? The scriptures make this clear, but a good place to look is in Acts 8 when the Ethiopian eunuch asks what was hindering him from being baptized.

Acts 8.35-37

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

Clearly, one who believes Jesus is the Christ the Son of God is a fit subject for baptism. Repentance is also a requirement since as you go into baptism you are committing to leave sin.

Luke 13.5

5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Not surprisingly, after Peter declared Jesus to be the Christ, the answer to WHAT MUST WE DO is given in Acts 2.38 and begins with REPENT.

Acts 2.38

38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In addition to humility, a child of God is one who is courageous. Can you imagine God being pleased or finding it acceptable if you are ashamed of the gospel of Christ? The scriptures point out the necessity of confessing Jesus with your mouth and believing God raised Him from the dead and ties this to salvation just as He did for repenting and being baptized.

Romans 10:9,10

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

God knows your heart (Hebrews 4.12) and when you obey the gospel in baptism your past sins are forgiven. That is if your heart is right, your intentions are right and although you can fool others including yourself, you cannot fool God. We really underestimate God by thinking we can be less than 100% sincere in our intentions and subsequent actions in relation to salvation. You will not be sincere if your attitude is to continue in sin, to attempt to live for God AND for yourself. You see, it will not be difficult for God to sort out persons for heaven by the choices they make. As you study to better understand God, you will realize a certain difficulty in what God requires and may wonder, how many are up to the challenge? Thus, it should not be surprising when Jesus points out in Matthew 7.13,14, “Few who find it” that is find life, eternal life. People love the world and will do anything to gain it, to possess all the things it offers. God does not want you to fail, but how many will be willing to lose their life’s to save it? How many are humble, courageous, forgiving and love the truth?

Obedience To God
It Is Not “Picking and Choosing”
What You Want To Obey

This is a good place to provide some help for those who love the truth, who want to achieve heaven. The truth is the gospel, it is the hope you have for heaven.

Colossians 1.5

5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel

There are people who “pick and choose” what they like from scripture. A great example are those who believe the teachings of Luther and Calvin. Those two like so many others less well-known would “pick and choose” what they liked to support their beliefs. Luther developed the concept of “faith only” or it might referred to as “a mental believing in Jesus” or the more modern “accepting Jesus as your personal savior” as the answer to salvation. Calvin’s inventions include irresistible grace, once saved always saved and others all of which follow the pattern of “picking and choosing” and defining words differently than the meaning God provides. Some other “picker and chooser” could read Luke 13.5 and repent and think they are going to receive salvation. There are lot’s of “pickers and choosers” when it comes to the bible and since there is nothing more important than your soul, you need to have a deep interest, a love of the truth as the scriptures emphasize.
Your attitude, the intent of your heart may be to find WHAT BEST SUITS YOU from God’s word. God’s test is perfect in sorting out those who respect His word and those who do not. Those who trust in themselves or in others will fail to achieve heaven. Those who indeed love the truth, who love their savior WILL DO ALL THAT HE COMMANDS for forgiveness and then continue to live faithfully until their death. They will (believing in Jesus as God’s Son) confess Jesus as the Christ before men, repent (commit to, and indeed change their life – foregoing sin), and be baptized. God will be selecting those who love him for heaven and the simple instruction for loving God is given precisely in John 14.15.

John 14.15

15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.

The commandment, Jesus died for, the one wherein your sins are forgiven, the one that puts you “in Christ” and gives you the hope of heaven is to OBEY THE GOSPEL.
It is NOT believing in Jesus as your personal savior, although you must acknowledge Jesus as God’s Son and that is integral to obeying the gospel. It is NOT being a Catholic and obeying the invented rules of their hierarchy. It is NOT following after the creations of John Smith or Mohammed. It is not following after any of the thousands of doctrines that have originated from humankind. It is uniquely obeying the God of the bible, the God of all things seen and unseen, the only God who has ever existed. God is the one you must believe.

The record of Godly authorized conversions can be found in, “Conversions of The New Testament.”

Perception and Reality

Many people have a perception of what the gospel means and as they say your perception is your reality. You might say your truth is the truth for you. Perception for each person is what counts in their life and people live in their perception. The way we perceive something may be comforting or helpful in avoiding reality. However, your perception of something is only true during the time you have the freedom to choose, that is during your lifetime. You may perceive you have no sin or your sins have been forgiven and that God in His goodness will save you despite how you live. You may perceive God does not exist and that when you die you go out of existence. These things become the truth for you. Unfortunately, there is truth and there is your perception and if they do not align then you have seriously fooled yourself. Your present life is one of choice and you indeed will make choices and those choices will determine your eternal outcome. Now, you can perceive anything the way you wish, while the next existence is one of truthful reality. God wants that reality to be a wonderful reality and He designed the gospel as the way to that heavenly reality.

The gospel may mean something to you or it may not. Those who have an average understanding of the gospel perceive it a certain way, but that perception may be terribly wrong. The word of God accurately defines the gospel and there is much more to the gospel than a word definition. The gospel is essential to attain the wonderful reality God desires for you. Some of the dictionaries do a good job of defining the word, but knowing a word does not define its importance. We know the definition of the word “good” and the word “bad.” Yet, do we know what is good and bad? Do we understand the meaning of the gospel as God wants us to understand it? Do we know that the gospel is central to God’s purpose, central to God’s plan and to your eternity? We do not get those things from a dictionary. You will see as you understand God better that God defines the important things in relation to our salvation. Baptism is a good example of a word that is important to the doctrine of Christ and God defines it clearly. Many wish the word to mean something different, such as meaning sprinkling. Some want to minimize the importance of baptism, while others create their own definitions for its purpose. The things God requires for your salvation have been defined carefully and accurately and are easily understood.

Word Meaning – Baptism

In the scriptures we see the following things about baptism that allow us to clearly understand its word meaning and the reason it has that word meaning. You might perceive the true meaning as trivial as many do, “What is the difference between sprinkling and immersing?” This attitude is exceedingly displeasing to God and eternally devastating to those who are non-caring, careless. The real problem is that so many do not take what God delivered seriously. Yet, if you understand God from what He has delivered you would not be so careless. Let’s look at some verses in relation to baptism and their implications.
Actually, for the most part those word meanings have not changed to this day. One important example of distorting the meaning of a word is as suggested the word, baptism. The word baptism in the Greek language means to dip, plunge, or immerse {Vine}. There is another Greek word for sprinkle. We see the disciples baptizing in Aenon because there is much water there.

John 3:23

23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there.

We learn that baptism is immersion from the account of Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. This verse was used earlier on this page to indicate who was a fit subject for baptism and now to help us understand the meaning as God intended of the word baptism.

Acts 8.34-38

34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?”
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.

The gullibility or really the pride of humankind is absolutely amazing. I have seen pictures of the baptism of Jesus where Jesus and John the Baptist are standing up to their waist in water and John has a cruet of water pouring it over Jesus head. There have been many centuries of deceit redefining the idea of baptism. Baptism is a concept so easily understood. Why would anyone want to redefine it differently than God defines it? A better question might be how many more things have been distorted to the point of making them meaningless? The picture below is a typical rendering of Jesus being baptized and can you see the prejudice of the artist, the indoctrination of the artist? In this case, Jesus is being sprinkled or having water poured over His head. Jesus is standing with His feet in the water while John the Baptist kneels on the shore pouring water over His head. In this picture, Jesus is not being baptized.

Jesus Baptized

Depiction of Jesus Not Being Baptized

Matthew 3.14,15

14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

We see Jesus being baptized (not for forgiveness of sins), but we are told to fulfill all righteousness and the description given (verse 16 above) is Jesus coming up out of the water.

The Basis Of Your Success – Obedience – Obeying The Gospel

The issue is always the same. There are those who will follow God’s commands and those who will make excuses or say “this or that” which God commanded is not important. Although, the case of Naaman (2 Kings 5.1-14) has nothing to do with New Testament baptism, it does have everything to do with obeying God’s instructions as He gives them and for the reason He indicates. Naaman is told to dip in the Jordan river seven times to cure his leprosy. In Naaman’s case, he did not like the Jordan and suggested two other rivers. In a moment of wisdom, he follows God’s instructions and is healed. What difference does it make, this river or that? What difference does it make, immersing or sprinkling? As you study scripture independent of all the “voices” of the “experts” you can understand God. In the case of baptism, you will understand that baptism represents the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and is the way you participate in those elements inasmuch as you go into the watery grave and die to your sins and come out of the water into a new life. Does that sound like something sprinkling can provide? It is always important to obey God’s will exactly as He commands. The gospel is defined in terms of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Thus the term used so powerfully in scripture is, “Obey The Gospel.”

1 Corinthians 15.1-4

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures

So, the gospel is declared to be the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It is the message by which you are saved. “Obey The Gospel” is obeying the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We do that in baptism and receive forgiveness of sins.

2 Thessalonians 1:8

8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not OBEY THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The verse just above and just below point out the seriousness of obeying the gospel.

1 Peter 4.17

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not OBEY THE GOSPEL of God?

The Church built by Jesus begins on the day of Pentecost following His death. The things that occur in Acts 2 are the things God intended and Peter says, “know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Then the question is asked, “what must we do to be saved.” The solution for sin is now given for the first time in Acts 2.38.

Acts 2.38

38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Hence people will be able to participate in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ in baptism and that is where their sins are forgiven.

Jesus is building His church and in Acts 2.47, He adds those who have been obedient (that is obeyed the gospel) to the church. It is a universal spiritual church and only those who have participated in the death, burial and resurrection are added to the Church belonging to Christ.

Acts 2.47

47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

God Beautifully Brings Together

His Son and You In Baptism

There is a relationship between Christ’s death, burial, resurrection and baptism. It is simply that Christ died, was buried and rose from His tomb and in the process of baptism we die to sin, are buried in a watery grave and rise out of the water into a new life. Someone might say this is just symbolism, just ritual and not really important. The scriptures are clear from the beginning that success in life is about obedience. There are hundreds of examples throughout the scriptures in relation to obedience and looking at King Saul who was directed to take certain actions against the Amalekites, but decided to change some things. The things changed might be conceived as not only unimportant, but also a kinder way of dealing with the situation. His rejection was complete and Samuel tells King Saul it is better to obey than sacrifice. Nadab and Abihu decided to offer a profane fire different than God commanded them and God instantly sends a fire to devour them. If there is one lesson regarding the character of God coming from the old and new covenants it is simply that God must be obeyed and exactly as He directs.
God has chosen to save people by His gospel and obeying the gospel is how you receive forgiveness of your past sins. It is how you are added by Jesus to His spiritual church. When you reject God’s way, perhaps calling what God commands symbolic or ritualistic you make the decision which will cause you eternal loss. The ridiculous symbolism and ritualism of made-made religion should be rejected. Do not be fooled along with most of the world in thinking there is no truth, but differentiate truth from error. It is not as hard as humankind would have you believe to find the truth. On the other hand making the commitment God requires can be more than you can do. You can do it if you understand correctly about God and life. When you come to understand that God has fit everything perfectly together in His word you will be able to do whatever it takes. God’s message is perfect in every way and whoever has a love of the truth can come to that understanding. God’s children understand what life is all about and thus realize the insignificance of this present life compared to eternal life. You also can understand that God is the One who truly cares about you, Who loves His creation and desires your success. Then, all the things of the world that were so important to you will seem meaningless. You can participate in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and getting into a relationship with Jesus will matter more than anything else.

Romans 6.3-5

3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection

Few Understand
The Meaning Of Being Born Again

The scriptures teach we must be born again of water and the Spirit. The water is obviously baptism and the Spirit is involved inasmuch as you are born again of incorruptible seed by the word of God. By faith, more than getting wet has occurred in your obedience; your sins have been forgiven. Something spiritual occurred and the Lord adds you to his universal spiritual church.

John 3.3-5

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Notice below how the idea of being born again is presented in 1 Peter 1.3. God has begotten us again (another way of saying born again) to a living hope through the resurrection of His Son.

1 Peter 1.3

3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has BEGOTTEN US AGAIN to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

Simply said, when you come out of the watery grave of baptism you have been born again. It is the same thing Jesus spoke of when He said, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. You need to look no further than the next verses in 1 Peter 1.4,5 to know why you should do this.

1 Peter 1.4,5

4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

This inheritance is reserved for you and it is heaven. Your success in life will simply be measured by obtaining heaven – all the other things that seem so important are truly meaningless. Obeying the gospel does not place you in heaven, but in the kingdom of God. Now, you have a path to heaven because your past sins have been forgiven and you have an advocate with the Father – the very one Who suffered and died for your sins.

The kingdom of God spoken of in John 3.3-5 is clearly NOT HEAVEN. It is the church. The outcome for those in the kingdom (the church) if they live faithfully IS HEAVEN. As Jesus began His earthly ministry, He began by saying the kingdom of God is at hand.

Mark 1.14,15

14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Jesus reveals the timing for the kingdom He is preaching. Some, He is speaking to in Mark 9.1 will not see death till they see the kingdom come with power.

Mark 9.1

1 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
If we would like to tie down the time for the kingdom’s appearance, you can go to Luke 24.46-49.

Luke 24.46-49.

46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And you are witnesses of these things.
49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Of course, the kingdom comes on the day of Pentecost and Jesus adds the obedient to the church – the kingdom. We can then for the first time see people are in the kingdom.

Colossians 1.13

13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

The Kingdom of God and
The Kingdom of Heaven

Matthew uses the term kingdom of heaven thirty times. Mark uses kingdom of God sixteen times. Luke uses the phrase kingdom of God thirty two times.
If you look at these verses you will find that the terms kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God are equivalent, interchangeable. Here are some examples:
Matthew 19:23
Mark 10:23
Luke 18:24
In fact in Matthew 19:23 Matthew uses the phrase kingdom of heaven, and then in verse 24 he uses the phrase kingdom of God.
Jesus talks about the kingdom as He begins his ministry, saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4.17

17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The parables are parables of the kingdom. We are to seek first the kingdom of God.

The kingdom is the church and the bible makes this very clear. It is the kingdom of God and/or the kingdom of heaven.
In case, you need to better understand that the church is the kingdom, you can read “The Church Is The Kingdom.”

A Citizen of Heaven While on Earth

Philippians 3.20,21

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Obeying the gospel places you into a relationship with God through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The Lord places you in the church (spiritual) and you are a new creature. You are in the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, but not in heaven. Those who do the will of the Father will inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21). Christ, Himself now reigns in heaven (Acts 2:30-36). Ultimately He will translate all of his subjects (who remain faithful unto death) to the heavenly kingdom (Matthew 25:1-13).

The church is spiritual, but has a functioning local physical body as defined by scripture. You can be part of that local body if you are in Christ, that is in Christ’s spiritual church. Indeed, as Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world. Jesus said,”The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). The kingdom is established in the hearts of faithful men and women. This truth would ruin the likes of most of the “Christian” / Catholic churches, who rely on their physical churches and their leaders for direction.
Those who have obeyed the gospel have a citizenship in heaven and one day (if they remain faithful) they will be translated to heaven itself – be caught up in the air to be with Christ forever. A poor comparison would be a person who has a citizenship in certain country, but lives far away. One day if they maintain that citizenship they can return as a citizen of that country. God grants His children citizenship in heaven due to their devotion, obedience to Jesus and He desires that in the end they will realize heaven.

The Washing of Regeneration

Paul teaches being born again in Titus when he uses the word “regeneration” which literally means “new birth.” Notice the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, i.e. born of water and the Spirit.

Titus 3.4-7

4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE.

The “washing of regeneration” refers to the new birth resulting from baptism. As mentioned, God places us in His kingdom (the universal spiritual church) and there we have the HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE. When we talk about being in the family of God or being a child of God or being sons of God this occurs at baptism. Remember, a person is fit for baptism when they believe with all their heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Thus Galatians 3.26-29 is very appropriate in tying together sons of God, faith and baptism.

Galatians 3.26-29

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Water baptism demonstrates our faith in the word of God. That is, our trust in God to transform us as we emerge from the watery grave to be free from sin (a new creation), just as He raised Jesus who died to life from His burial place.

The verse in the letter to the Colossians below is talking to Christians, who were buried with Christ in baptism and again at the core of their decision was faith in the WORKING OF GOD. There is such confusion among Protestant’s as they hold to their Calvinistic / Lutheran doctrine of works. That “works” teaching is not in scripture – ANYWHERE! Quite to the contrary a person in baptism has faith in the WORKING OF GOD! Simply said, in baptism they have faith in God to do what He says, namely forgive their sins.

Colossians 2.12

12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the WORKING OF GOD, who raised Him from the dead.

Clarify Being Born Of The Spirit

After Jesus tells Nicodemus that a person must be “born again.” He compares the Spirit to the wind, which you cannot see.

John 3.6-8

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Jesus is talking about faith – believing without seeing and considering the context (and all scripture) you will NOT actually see that your sins have been removed, but by trusting God you are 100% sure they are gone.

You may have realized by now what it means to be born again of water and the Spirit. Lets us clarify being born of the Spirit. First, we know being born of water is baptism and you make a decision to be baptized. You have been in the process of being born of the Spirit for some period of time, maybe a long time and maybe a very short time. You will not be born of the Spirit until baptism occurs. That is, being born of water and the Spirit occurs simultaneously at Baptism. Void of the Spirit part you will never correctly reach the stage where baptism can benefit you. Many, have been baptized in a way that it has no value, no benefit. Protestants are typically baptized to gain membership or show an allegiance to a local group. Catholic babies are not fit subjects for baptism, but nonetheless sprinkled for baptism. It should not be surprising that the religious world is confused over the gospel even its most basic principles. Why, you might ask, is there all this confusion? God’s commands have always been clear, but routinely meet with resistance. A reasonable conclusion from scripture would be that because of the implications of God’s commands on their life’s, many look for a way around God’s way. People conceive of a different way, of a different gospel. Over many years, the norm for “religious” organizations has become to move away from God’s inspired word to more of a doctrine by committee, by some council, by some hierarchy. Thus we see the very things taught here about the gospel in its simplicity are seldom ever part of religious instruction. Whereas, the truth can set you free from sin the inventions of humankind in the name of religion have no spiritual value. Actually, this is nothing new and even Jesus warned His disciples it was coming and Paul indicated the gospel was being changed. The first century brought the truth and also the falling away.

If You Were Born of the Spirit?
Then You DID NOT Follow The Teachings of Men/Women

How could you possibly know what God wants you to do? There is no way you could know this except if God reveals it – that knowledge is spiritual, in other words not attainable from anything you could learn from all the worldly knowledge.
God describes the gospel in many different ways so you can better understand. The idea of being born again is pointed to in 1 Peter 1.22,23 and here the emphasis is on being born of the Spirit. Peter is talking to those who have obeyed and have purified their souls THROUGH THE SPIRIT. Telling them they have been born again of incorruptible seed by the word of God. They obeyed the truth, the thing they can only know if God revealed it. The word of God is associated with the Spirit to the point of appearing inseparable. The word of God we learn is the sword of the Spirit. We see Jesus telling the apostles that He will send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. The Spirit is about delivering the truth and has accurately delivered the New Covenant – the gospel of the New Covenant.

1 Peter 1:22-23

22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth THROUGH THE SPIRIT in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever

Ask yourself, where is the emphasis in scripture? It is clearly on God’s word delivered by the Spirit. You are born of the Spirit when you align yourself with what the Spirit delivered, that is the truth. The Spirit delivered to you the solution for sin. You can go dip yourself in water, but if you do not know why, if you do not know what God requires in association with baptism and in advance of baptism then all you have done is get yourself wet. That is why you must be born of water and the Spirit.

Do not be fooled, but realize that if a person is baptized without repenting or baptized by the wrong method, or without believing with all their heart that Jesus is the Christ or baptized for the wrong reason then their sins will not be forgiven when they come out of the water. As the verse below indicates the word of God, that which the Spirit of God delivered discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. You may even fool yourself, but God is not fooled.

Hebrews 4:12

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Do not reject the gospel for it is the one and only hope you have. One can reject God, reject the gospel, reject the word of God, reject God’s Son, reject the word of truth and these all have the same outcome. You shall be rejected by God’s Son.

John 12:48

48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

God’s word directs us towards the gospel truth and as above, God’s word will also judge us. The faith we need to learn of and respond to comes from God’s word. You need the truth of God’s word and not your private interpretation of God’s word. One is born of the Spirit when one accepts the scriptures as God’s inerrant message to humankind and acts on it. Your actions now correspond to the truth, that is what God requires. The Spirit and water are both essential to being born again; hence, Jesus’ Words: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” There can be no real Christians, except born-again Christians. Yet, the vast majority of those claiming to be born again have not been born again. In most cases, they have not been born of the Spirit or born of the water and in fact as mentioned they must be born of both.

Why Do People Reject God’s Word And
Still Claim Jesus As Their Savior

It is the most incredible thing that people who carry bibles and claim Jesus as their savior will NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL. How can this be? There is an answer which fits very well, namely people wish to define their own salvation or are willing to trust others as opposed to trusting what God delivered. Yet, to be born again of the Spirit requires you are led by the Spirit, that is led by the word of God. The doctrines that have developed in “so-called Christianity” have the Spirit of God acting in some way totally alien to scripture. The Spirit is claimed to work on individuals in some unseen and unknown way that guides people in many different directions. In fact, there are hundreds of different versions of how this works. What terrible confusion exists in religion and yet God does not confuse! You would be right to conclude that the vast majority of religions in the world have nothing to do with God.

1 Cor 14:33

33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace

Fortunately, the scriptures are clear on the working of the Spirit and there is a singular process of conversion. Those who today believe they are led by the Spirit in some supernatural way are really misled into believing that by men and/or women. Indeed, the delivery of the word of God was supernatural and now you have what is perfect in converting the soul.

Psalms 19:7

7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul

I am not sure how God could make it any clearer than He does in 2 Timothy 3.14-17. There is no special operation of the Holy Spirit apart from the scriptures, which He oversaw during the first century confirming the word with signs and wonders.

2 Timothy 3:14-17

14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Peter says we have ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness and Jude says the faith was once delivered to the saints. Yet, the world picks and chooses and ignores the context. In this case, so-called Christians look at the things done by the Spirit in the first century in the process of confirming the word of God and try to bring those things into the present. If you love the truth, you know that when that which is perfect comes, that is the word of God, that these other things in part would cease. Amazingly, that terribly incorrect understanding of the operation of the Holy Spirit is why the “Christian world” never obeys the gospel. They want to receive the special operation or working of the Spirit of God personally.

note: if you click the link above regarding that which is perfect, scroll down that page to reach 1 Corinthians 13.10 and read at least to Jude 1.3 you can have a good explanation of that which is perfect.

The Love of The Truth and The Sword of The Spirit

Of course, as Jesus taught the blind will lead the blind and both fall into the pit. The reason is because people do not love the truth, instead they love what they were taught. In other words, they respect those doing the teaching more than what God delivered through the Spirit.
Getting to the truth is ultimately as simple as differentiating what men teach versus what God has provided in His word. In some way choosing to follow the doctrines of humankind is a form of loving the world, of respecting the creature more than the creator. In the end, the sincerity of your beliefs does not matter, the truth matters. The question is, does the truth matter to you?
The Spirit’s weapon in God’s plan is the sword and it’s power is as a blade inasmuch as it separates those who love God from those who do not. Some will hear, read the word and will be cut to the heart (as those on the day of Pentecost) and be separated for God. Others, hearing the same message will be separated for the world and live satisfying their own desires and/or following the varied reasoning of humankind. Those of the former group will be born of the spirit when they obey the gospel. As mentioned, there is a spiritual war and it is between you and sin. If you die in sin you lose the war, BUT here is the gospel! Take the sword of the Spirit (the word of God) and let it guide your life.

Ephesians 6:17

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

God is the creator, we are the creation (humankind), but through His creation (humankind) sin has entered the world. God’s tells us that all have sinned, but also tells us of the remedy. In obedience to the gospel we become a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5.17,18

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation

The terminology “in Christ” in the verse above is the outcome of obeying the gospel as that is where we become a new creation. In bible terms you have “put on Christ.”

Galatians 3.26-27

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have PUT ON CHRIST.

The first two chapters of Ephesians references “In Christ” a great number of times emphasizing the benefits of being “In Christ.”

God cannot lie and when God says unless you are born again you cannot enter the kingdom of God – you should understand the seriousness of obeying the gospel.

God Is Logical, Infinitely Logical,
Perfect In Every Way

Those who love the truth can easily understand God and God’s Ways inasmuch as He has revealed them. Jesus was with the God in the beginning.

John 1.1,14

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus, is introduced to humankind in Genesis 3.15 albeit only in describing His mission. Of course, the meaning of what God says here would not be understood until the first century. It would be the gospel that would be preached, the single most important thing in the life of each person.

Genesis 3.15

15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

Jesus approaches the pinnacle of God’s purpose as He faces the terrible death and suffering. When that time arrives, He asks the Father if this cup of suffering could be removed. Jesus prefaced His request with, “If it is Your will.”

Luke 22.41-44

41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,
42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

There is no other way. This was God’s plan and the only way to reconcile humankind. It was also the best way to powerfully demonstrate God’s love for His creation in a way that will evoke the response God requires. That is, a response needed to FULFILL GOD’S PURPOSE for humankind. Indeed, the response would come from those who love the truth. We learn it will be a response to the gospel.
God sends His Son to the terrible death. The answer to taking care of sin is the gospel and there is no other way. If your sincerity, if your kindness, if your concern for others were sufficient or in any way possible to remove your sins and achieve heaven; Then God could have spared is Son. If as various religions teach there are second chances such as purgatory, or reincarnation then God could have spared His Son. If you believe in God with all your heart, but there was no perfect sacrifice then you could not achieve heaven. The death, burial and resurrection were needed to cover your sins. Obedience to Christ and your subsequent forgiveness was only possible if God did not spare His Son. There is absolutely no other way any person can achieve heaven, there is also no excuse. So many people hide behind, “I was taught the wrong thing – it is not my fault.” If that were true, God could have spared His Son. Jesus would not have sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles into all truth if there were many ways to take advantage of Jesus going to the cross. Jesus would not have told His DISCIPLES to preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them ……. if that was not the plan of God back in Genesis 3.15. Jesus would not hold all His children (those who obeyed the gospel) accountable for bearing fruit – that is for bringing the gospel message to the world if it was not essential to salvation. God sent Jesus to the cross because it was the only way and Jesus sent his disciples and subsequently every child of God to carry the message because there is no other way to be reconciled to God.

Carelessness, Pride And
Not Realizing We Are The Creation
Not The Creator

Baptism is a burial, not a sprinkling. No man has the right to change this! The words baptism and baptize are transliterations. They are transliterated from the Greek words baptisma and baptizo, respectively. In Vine’s expository dictionary of New Testament words we see baptisma means: consisting of the process of immersion, submersion, and emergence (from bapto, to dip). There is a separate Greek word for sprinkle, namely rhantizo. For instance in Hebrews 9.13,14 “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling (rhantizo) the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Changing a basic word like baptism to mean sprinkling and doing it to sinless babies violates every principle of Scripture that God so carefully delivered through the ages.
A person once suggested to me (with the intention of justifying sprinkling for baptism) that if there was insufficient water present to immerse, that surely God would accept sprinkling. This is exactly the kind of thinking that most displeases God. People have tried to suggest what God will accept, when of course, they do not know. We know what God commands and we know the clear meaning of baptism. Those who appeal to humankind’s wisdom to make excuses for doing things their way are failing the test that determines their eternity. It is not wise to speak for God, but if any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God. That is, God breathed “speak” as found only in the scriptures.
In so many ways humankind acts as though they are the Creator and not the created. Life is all about choices and those on the road to heaven realize their position and humble themselves before God. Their humility is shown in obedience to God, in living for Christ and the gospel.

Romans 1.24,25

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.

The right choice is always to obey God and for many the choices are difficult and sometimes because of the earthly consequences. Abortion is an example of a choice a woman makes and is a good example of a decision made in selfishness and often supported by the rhetoric of the created instead of the Creator. Persons living for Christ and the gospel can make the correct choice because their concern is the heavenly consequences.

The woman says the child she aborted was not a person and God says He knew the child being yet unformed.

Psalm 139:16

16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

God will not spend eternity with those who selfishly and recklessly take the innocent life. Humanity is capable of excusing every sinful thing, but not a single excuse will be acceptable to God. God mentions seven things he HATES and in that list in Proverbs 6.16-19 is the taking of innocent life.

Be Reconciled, Be In Christ

Few will take advantage of the reconciliation offered in the gospel. Sin itself has a root cause related to pride and selfishness as well as other base self-seeking characteristics. Those characteristics do not drive a person towards God, but away from God. God makes an irrevocable decision regarding the souls of every person and it is not arbitrary. Every person will be judged by God’s word and that word of course is perfectly aligned with His purpose. The world thinks God’s judgment should be aligned with their thinking, their purpose. Jesus knew the people who loved the world were not headed for success in life and said the world was at enmity with God. This is the great division, that is you are IN THE WORLD or you are IN CHRIST. By observation, I do not expect many in the world to transition and live godly (although this is why the gospel is taught), but to continue in their adoration of the world. Nonetheless, the only hope of those “in the world” lies in the gospel and the forgiveness it offers.

Baptism is a central part of the gospel – it is the part of the gospel where your sins are forgiven. When you are baptized (immersed) in the appropriate manner, that is having believed, repented and confessed Jesus as God’s Son AND for the reason God provides (forgiveness of sins) you are obeying the gospel. Indeed, in the eyes of God you are a new creature.

Clarifying The Gospel

The material above has clarified the gospel meaning and the essential nature of the gospel. Jesus fulfills His mission, but it is of no value unless there are people who respond to the message. Jesus has left the message in the hands of His children, those who have put on Christ (Galatians 3.26-29, see above). Thus, we see Jesus making the following declarations to His disciples:

Matthew 28.19,20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.


Mark 16.15,16

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

God’s children quickly learn that being forgiven of their past sins does not excuse any future sins they may commit. However, they now have another means of forgiveness for sins “post baptism” namely an Advocate, Jesus. Every child of God needs to be faithful unto death and “lose” their life for Jesus sake and the gospel. “Lose” refers giving up their life’s desires and wants to live for Jesus and the gospel. The end result of an obedient, courageous and humble life is heaven.

We Always Have Some Regret

As you age there are more and more things that you regret. Most people regret that they have lost their youthful appearance and usually there are some health concerns. This is a reality, but the gospel message NOT UNDERSTOOD and NOT ACTED ON are things to be regretted for eternity. That gospel message is what you need. It successfully resolves your eternal outcome if you live by it, but first you must receive it and obey it. Interestingly, it also resolves many of the earthy regrets. Suddenly, aging is just what God designed and your regret over having not done things differently is less important. If you are where God wants you NOW, that is headed for heaven, then you are on the right course. You do not want eternal regret, because it is exceedingly worse than any earthly regret.

The World Does Not Know The Gospel

The world does not know the truth because the world is at enmity with God. The world lives for themselves, while Jesus said to save your life you must lose it.
Individuals quite often do not know the truth because they believe the experts and in religion these may be the theologians, the pastors, or the hierarchy of their chosen organization. God warns of such “leaders.” They are the prudent and in the scripture this points to penetrating consideration which precedes action. In 1 Corinthians 1.19 the idea of prudent is NOT that of understanding. God points out that the prudent over-discern, never take action , look for excuses and will not accept His word at face value. This leads to the creation of private interpretations of scripture. This is quite different than hearing the word, studying to see if it is the truth and responding to it. You respond to God’s directives because they are from God. You need to know if it is true, consistent with all scripture, and perfectly fits with God’s purpose and plan. It is your hearts desire to know the truth as opposed to trying to discard things you consider problematic. Those standing in pulpits say, “such and such” is the correct explanation from the scriptures, but is it? Now, being careful regarding the religious claims of men/women is very wise, really essential to your salvation. Those in Berea were fair-minded (characterized by fair judgment; impartial; unprejudiced). “These” in the verse below were the Berean’s Paul was referring to as fair-minded.

Acts 17:11

11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

Obey God, Please God By:

Holding God’s Word In The Highest Esteem

Many people over think, filter and are prudent regarding God’s word. God’s word if taken at face value would be taking His word with the greatest respect. Some things take more consideration, most do not. A good example of things that are very straight-forward and require little examination are things God refers to as sinful. God indicates these things will keep people out of the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5.19-21

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6.9,10

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Can you accept these things as true or do you need to deeply consider the meaning and “figure out” what God had in mind. Actually, if you listen to the arguments people offer they are trying to find a way to make a specific sin appear acceptable – or perhaps under some conditions be acceptable.

So, what is the difference? God says homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God – don’t filter it, just accept it. All the arguments are exactly the same in that they do not respect God or specifically respect His word.
God says even the desire to murder is the same as murder.

Matthew 5.21,22

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’
22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

The wise person does not try to justify abortion, but understands the process of regenerating life comes from God. An abortion stops a life from beginning outside the womb, although God has already provided that life with a soul. One might think that the mother would know that the child who she would so love and nourish was extinguished by her selfishness. This attitude now demonstrated is not ever acceptable to God – it is like the old saying, “shooting yourself in the foot.” You have in effect murdered your child, but your sin, as is all sin, is against God.
Humankind is proficient at finding ways to excuse their actions and their thoughts and seldom realize they are only fooling themselves.

The gospel being discussed on this page is defined clearly within scripture and obeying the gospel can easily be seen as required by God for your salvation – for the forgiveness of sins. Where in the scriptures is the idea of salvation as developed by Luther, the idea of receiving Christ as your personal savior as the answer to salvation? Where is the idea of irresistible grace or all the things that make up the varied beliefs of Protestantism? Where is the pope or the priests of Catholicism and the non-ending rule making of their many organizations? They all reside in the deeply prudent thinking of humankind in relation to scripture. It is a prudent thinking typically driven by the desire for selfish gain. In the case of Luther, I do not see selfish gain, but instead just one man, quite courageous, but also quite careless. You see you can believe Luther or any number of people you judge to be knowledgeable and that would be a mistake. You need to believe God and you are wrong to think any person speaks correctly for God. Study, be diligent and find out for yourself, convince yourself from the scriptures.

Nothing seems as destructive as the wisdom of the wise, the prudent, the over-thinkers, the intellectuals of the world in relation to the word of God.

1 Corinthians 1:19

19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

These are the over-thinkers, the dissectors of every word from God. Those who filter God’s word using such filters as their own standards, or how God SHOULD see this, or filter everything from the viewpoint of human wisdom/logic that supports things THEY believe are important. God refers to these as the wisdom of the wise. They miss even the basics that any person seeking truth can easily see by using NO FILTER. God says if you love me, keep my commands. The person trying to analyze God might say, “which commands.” The person who loves God keeps all of God’s commands. The world does not know the gospel because it interferes with their life, it contains rules that will limit what “I want.” God’s plan was designed to sort out those who love Him, that is those who keep His commands from those who choose to reject Him, that is reject His word.
The respect within the various religions for their hierarchies is amazing and pathetic. There is no need for such in God’s plan and consequently the output of these organizations is much error and much deceit. Translation: Many souls will be lost.

The Understanding of The Gospel
You Need To Achieve Heaven

At the beginning of this page, it was indicated that if you understand the way in which all the elements in the image were intertwined, you would have a good understanding of the gospel. The place to begin would be to understand God’s purpose, that is His purpose for creation, specifically for creating humankind and then His plan in view of sin entering the world.
The following graphics attempt to do that in the shortest and clearest possible way.

Gospel defined 1

The more you understand about God, the better you will understand the perfection of God’s plan. God’s purpose is to determine who is worthy to achieve heaven. Indeed, it is a test and in your free will state you will make choices that will determine your worthiness. God makes it clear that He would like all to succeed, but also indicates in many ways and in many examples that few successfully pass the test. Sin entered the world at the beginning and this would be something that all would do, and the scriptures so indicate all have sinned. Sin and God are not compatible and none dying in sin will achieve heaven. God provides the only acceptable answer to sin in His Son’s death, burial and resurrection. Jesus was God and man and lived without sin – thus the perfect sacrifice. Now, since the time the gospel was first preached, a person can be found worthy by obedience to the gospel.

Life Is A Difficult, Impossible Test To Pass
For The Proud, For The Self-Centered

Many people will not like the idea of being tested. Additionally, that test contains rules that affect how a person must live. Those rules are often contrary to how people would like to live to maximize their “life experience.” God’s test is perfect eliminating the proud because they will not humble themselves before God, that is in obedience to His will versus their own will. Such people gladly accept ideas like “big bang” and evolution since they provide an alternative non-God solution for existence. They will also make and/or support choices that go against God, that is things defined by God as sinful. Worthiness is easily determined by God in the test He provided for men and women. As discussed on this page, you are the created, not the creator. You can imagine if people do not understand their position relative to God, then essentially they become god unto themselves. They live by their rules and never come close to understanding God, His purpose, His plan and His power to save people in sin, that is by the gospel.
The next two graphics are the explanation of the flow chart above. There is nothing difficult to understand regarding the Gospel and how God uses it to save, that is reconcile sinners back to Him. The difficulty is just exactly as God designed it – namely people filled with the pride of life, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and all the selfish people of the world have no interest in accepting what God has provided in Christ. The gospel requires as Jesus taught that you have to lose your life to save it or in other words sacrifice this life – the pride, the lust, the selfishness in order to gain eternal life. The gospel is thus not appealing to the “world” and few will ever care. That will all change when it is everlastingly too late – that is when you die or Christ returns during your lifetime.

Gospel Defined 3

Gospel Defined 4

So, the gospel is something you need to understand – correctly! Understand it, obey it, live it and spend eternity with God!

As mentioned above it is amazing how quickly after its introduction the gospel was being changed. To understand this it takes no more than a quick overview of human history and their opposition to God. There has been a continual changing and/or ignoring of the directives from God. Since the beginning, humankind has been missing the mark, which is really the definition of sin.
1) Adam and Eve chose to disobey God
2) Cain substituted his version of what God requested and also took His brothers life
3) Only Noah and his family were spared from the flood. The remainder of the world was continually evil.
Interestingly, God uses the case of Noah in describing how now we are similarly saved by water in Baptism.

1 Peter 3.20,21

20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ

4) Throughout the time of the prophets, God is severely rejected by the people chosen for a most special purpose – through their lineage the Messiah would come
5) Jesus arrives and teaches the multitudes, but they largely vanish when they are not fed
6) Soon Jesus Himself is taken and murdered
7) The gospel is preached, but it is not long before there is terrible suffering for those who follow Christ
8) There is continual perverting of the gospel and many different religions appear
9) We arrive at the “modern times” and the world continues to reject God and follow after the many different religions and the saving gospel is seldom taught

The world falls in and out of depravity and always seems to be going deeper and deeper into sin with each new generation. The “wisdom of the wise” create doctrines that take God out of the picture. One might think God has failed because so many of His creation will fail in life. However, God’s purpose and plan will be perfectly successful because those achieving heaven are worthy. These are those who love God as demonstrated in their obedience. Everyone needs to obey the gospel because all have sinned. God’s perfect test will not be passed or in general be known to the proud or the selfish or to those who could care less about the truth. The gospel will seem as foolishness to those who are perishing, but to the saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1.18-25

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Again, someone might conclude that the gospel is hidden from the world. Today much of society is enabling and supportive of those who make bad choices, even criminals are enabled. God is not like humankind, but there is truth and there is justice and God is perfect in both. To achieve heaven you must be dedicated to truth and the subsequent required obedience to God. In truth, those failing in life will suffer great loss. In God’s plan all need the reconciliation possible in Jesus, that is they need the salvation offered by Jesus through obedience to the gospel.

Hebrews 5.9

9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him

Indeed, you would be right if you think the gospel is hidden (veiled). It is hidden from those who are perishing – they are perishing because their character is proud, selfish and/or the truth does not matter to them. Thus, it is hidden as a result of the life they have CHOSEN to live.

2 Cor 4:3

3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing

Those who live in opposition to God’s ways are certainly perishing. Fortunately, they are still alive and thus capable of obedience to the gospel. They are hurdling rapidly towards a failed life. On the other hand, the road to heaven is even difficult for those who know the truth, obey it and live it – such believe they can never do enough. God’s children never stop living their lives for Christ and the gospel – indeed remaining faithful unto death. The distance, or the difference between those on the road to heaven and those “perishing” is exceedingly monumental. The question is not do you want to go to heaven. The question for you is how badly do you want to go to heaven?

The Most Deadly Mistake

You can understand God, if you care to know the truth and then you can avoid this terrible mistake. The eternally deadly mistake is to compare yourself to others because you can always find many people who are worse than you and often there is a huge gap between you and a truly evil person per your judgment. It may be that you are right and there are different levels of good and bad people. Maybe on the bad side there are murders, thief’s, despot’s, liars, cheaters, immoral, unethical persons and each to various degrees. On the other side there are kind, gentle, giving, forgiving, sacrificing, god fearing persons and each to various degrees. Somewhere on the lists you place yourself and you might judge yourself in trouble, maybe on the fence and maybe you think you are a sure thing for heaven. I do not know how God will differentiate those who FAIL in terms of the severity of evil and their associated punishment, except that failing in life will be awful. I do know that for those who succeed in life, heaven will be infinitely better than the best they could imagine.

Romans 8.18

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Yes, our earthly existence includes suffering, it is a part of life that came into existence with the onset of sin. However, the scriptures point out the present suffering is for a short time compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us. The suffering in the world makes life difficult, but also can make each person aware of their vulnerability to physical and mental suffering and their mortality. They might even ask, WHAT IS LIFE ALL ABOUT? There is a time coming for God’s children when the suffering and all sorts of sorrow will be finished forever.

Revelation 21:4

4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

Throughout the scriptures God warns that the suffering will continue and be intensified if you are lost. This I cannot understand, but I can imagine the terror of eternal existence without hope, without any escape. The thing that drove Paul to carry the gospel through many harrowing trials was his understanding received from God. One thing he mentions is the fate that awaited those who did not receive the gospel. He relates this in Corinthians.

2 Cor 5:11

11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;

The Hebrew writer indicates, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.” The point is, what God did in Christ is a great salvation. It is the answer for you and it is all wrapped up in the gospel – the New Covenant in Christ’s blood.

Hebrews 2.3,4

3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

I also know your judgment will be consistent with the word of God – God’s word will judge you. The criteria for heaven will be the condition of your soul – is there sin, any sin? There are no degrees of missing the mark. The only answer for sin is God’s Son. Do you have a relationship with Jesus (do you abide in the doctrine of Christ) and if so, you have the Father also.

2 John 1.9

9 Whoever transgressed and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.

There is a great deal of emphasis on avoiding being lost and rightfully so, but having the love of the creator is wonderfully inconceivable. I suspect the loss of God’s love would be unbearable and yet this will be the eternal fate of all but a few. Realizing the bad choices you made and the people you chose to believe will seem foolish. All the silly rhetoric regarding creation and evolution will finally be seen as ridiculous. How could you have believed that this all happened by accident from nothing – yes indeed a tough eternity. How could you have believed what people said about the scriptures when you never looked for yourself.
God looks at evil differently than in the comparisons you make between yourself and others. Your goodness will be determined by the decision you made to accept or reject God’s Son. Did you obey the gospel and remain faithful? Truly, it is a waste of time to consider/compare yourself in relation to others. Use your time to find the truth, the truth of the gospel. Obey the gospel, live in accordance with the New covenant in Christ’s blood and do everything in your power to bring the message to others. You entirely miss the message of God if you sit in judgment of others and yourself – you will judge neither. It might help if you understood that only a few will achieve heaven since then you can realize that God’s standards are substantially different and more stringent than you have imagined.

A Final Thought

Paul knew what every child of God knows today, namely the seriousness of preaching the gospel.

1 Corinthians 9:16

16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!

God has left the saving message in the hands of those who themselves have obeyed the gospel. God designed the plan for humankind to be reconciled to Him, Jesus performed the work that opened the door and the Holy Spirit provided the gospel truth and confirmed that message. Everything that is needed is now available for every person to achieve heaven. Peter expressed this below indicating we have all things that pertain to life and godliness.

2 Peter 1.1-4

1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

This should wake up people, that is those who believe hundreds of other teachings that have come after the gospel message was delivered. In the 1st century people were saved by the gospel – it was simple. There were none of the elaborate organizations, ceremonies, hierarchies, theological schools and just hundreds of different doctrines and yet people were saved. So, where did all these new gospels come from? They came from men and women, humankind speaking for God and differently than God – a different gospel. Indeed, the creation of humankind’s many religions helps no one, but destroys souls since many believe they have the truth.

Preach The Word
All Need The Truth
It Appears Few Really Care
However, Some Do Love The Truth
God’s Word Is Powerful When Combined With A Good Heart
Preach The Word

Here is the strange thing, the vast majority of people who understand that their existence will continue after death show very little interest in determining if they must do something to achieve heaven. Each person it seems has their own idea about what is required. They never hear the gospel message or frequently even know there is such a saving message. Behind their belief system is pride in what they currently believe and no one will tell them what to do or how to live. This acceptance of the doctrines of humankind is the evidence that they love the world more than they love God. The last thing they will do is what they desperately need to do, namely seek God and the truth with their whole being. Many obstacles exist in the world that prevent the gospel message from being heard and/or being received/accepted if heard. God is not responsible for the difficulty, for the mess we call religion and indeed there are powerful obstacles. Those obstacles can be overcome by those who love the truth.
Every person who knows the gospel must pass it along. One can often come to believe no one cares, but the concern of the child of God is simply to continue to diligently pass along the gospel message. There is power in the message, power to convert any person seeking the truth. So, we see the command to preach the word!

2 Timothy 4:1-4

1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

The concept of believing that God allows each person to define their own way to heaven is quite incredible. God’s test is the exact opposite of such thinking. You are not the center of the universe, but God looks for those who are humble. Such people do not look to themselves or others for answers, but trust God. God has pointed people to the gospel, which is His power to save and the humble will obey what He commands. The majority love their life’s, their current beliefs (often religious) more than God and will see God’s commands as foolish. Indeed, God’s test is perfect as is God, as is the life of obedience of His Son as is His word. God’s word (law), we are told is perfect in converting the soul, that is the type of souls with whom God wants to share eternity. That is why God’s test is perfect, because life’s test produces the result God desires, namely persons with the characteristics God requires. At the same time the test exposes those who God will not accept.

Psalm 19.7

7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

Some believe individuals are predestined by God for heaven, but that would make God a respecter of persons and He says He is not. There is a predestination that is perfectly consistent with all scripture. GOD PREDESTINED HIS PLAN, the gospel plan knowing it would differentiate the characteristics of people into two groups, namely those who will obey God from those who will not. Those who follow Christ understand His teaching, namely to save your life you must lose it.

I could mention many obstacles that make your path to the truth difficult. In the book, “What Is Life All About?” the obstacles you face are defined and once understood you can (if you have a “good heart”) overcome them. One of the most significant obstacles standing between you and the saving gospel has been mentioned above, namely your understanding of and your respect for God’s word. When you gain this understanding, you will stop believing those who twist the scriptures, those who are friends/family/pastors/religious leaders and other such persons who have influenced you. This is because your trust will be in what God has delivered and where it differs from your past beliefs you will choose to follow scripture. One last time, life is about the soul, about your personal battle with sin and success in life has been graciously provided at great cost in the gospel.

The scriptures are coming to an end and in the last verse of the next to last chapter the bible provides a warning and a hope. The warning is that anything that defiles, causes abomination or a lie will fail in life and not enter into the rest God purposed for His creation. On the other hand, those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life have forgiveness because the Lamb (Jesus) was obeyed in the gospel. Thus, you will be caught up in the air at Jesus’ return to ever be with your savior. Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him (Hebrews 5.9). He is the author because He did what the Father required to reconcile those dead in sin back to a relationship with God. Appropriately, as author He places the names of the obedient in the registry for heaven – His Book of Life.

Revelation 21.27

But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

It is the Lamb’s Book of Life, because Jesus was the pure and spotless lamb in obedience to the Father, Himself being the perfect sacrifice. Interestingly, it is by gospel obedience that Jesus adds a person to His church. He places those obedient names in the the Book of Life. He registers you for heaven. We see that Paul refers to those who labored with Him in the gospel as being in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Jesus, tells those with Him in Luke 10.20 to rejoice because their names are written in heaven. Once again, Paul refers to those in the church at Philippi as citizens of heaven.

Registered in Heaven

Hebrews 12.22,23

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect

Names in the Lamb’s Book of Life

Philippians 4:3

3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

Names written in Heaven

Luke 10.20

20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Citizenship Is In Heaven

Philippians 3:20

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ

If you want your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then OBEY THE GOSPEL. If you want to keep your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then remain faithful until death. The Lamb’s book of Life is not a literal book, but the book symbolizes those have received forgiveness and remained faithful unto death. You are registered for heaven and a citizen of heaven and now at the end you will receive the Crown of Life – the gift of the Holy Spirit – the salvation of your soul – Heaven.

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