How To Be Sure You Are Going to Heaven

From our dear friend, Dr. Tom Cucuzza is this wonderful message:

A Clear and Simple Explanation of

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

By Dr. Thomas M. Cucuzza

All Bible quotations have been taken from

The Authorized King James Version

How To Be Sure You Are Going to Heaven

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Friend, has anyone ever taken the time to explain to you from the Bible how you can know for sure you are going to Heaven when you die? This is the most important issue you will ever face in your life. It is God’s desire for you to be sure of Heaven. But there are certain facts you must understand and believe. This booklet will explain to you those facts and then challenge you to believe them. We will divide our study into two parts:

 1. Understanding Our Condition and Need

According to the Bible, each and every person will spend forever in Heaven or forever in Hell. This is a sobering thought. As someone once said, “Forever is a long time.” This is perhaps the greatest understatement in the history of mankind.

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion about the way to Heaven. The key is that we understand and then believe what God says about it. Let’s look at this question together, one point at a time.

We Are All Sinners

The first point you need to understand is that the Bible says that we have all sinned and are less perfect than God.

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

To sin means literally to miss the mark. We all miss the mark of God’s perfection. It is like shooting an arrow and missing the bull’s eye. We can try to do our best to live right and do good things, but we will fail to be perfect.

When we think of sin most of us tend to think of those acts we qualify as “major” transgressions such as murder, kidnapping, rape, etc. We categorize or measure them, according to our view of their severity. But sin, as defined in the Bible, is often something as simple as envy, pride, anger, lust, or unwholesome thoughts. Certainly you would agree that we are all guilty of at least one of these, and so we have all violated and broken God’s commandments.

Many people think that because we are sinners, God hates us. The truth is, God loves us but He hates our sin. It is our sin that separates us from God. This leads us to our second point:

The Wages Of Sin Is Death

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). 

What does this mean? This means that because we have broken God’s laws, we must pay the penalty for our sin. Think of it this way: If you were to break the speed limit and get a ticket, you would be required to pay the fine. Even if you appeared in court and told the judge that you were sorry and would never do it again, you would still be required to pay the penalty for breaking the law. This is “justice” and most of us accept it because we desire to be treated justly.

If a criminal harmed someone in your family, you would certainly want them caught and brought to justice. However, if they “got off” you would think that the judge had been unfair, and you would be right. God’s Word tells us that the wages, or penalty, that must be paid for your sin is death, which would be spiritual separation from God forever in Hell. This is a terrible thought, but it is true.

Your “good works,” or good intentions, will not pay for your sin. According to the Bible, death is the only payment.

 Heaven Will Be A Perfect Place

Man must be perfectly righteous to go to Heaven. The fact that each of us is already a sinner disqualifies us from entering Heaven. The Bible says:

And there shall in no wise [way] enter into it [Heaven] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

If there was even one sin in Heaven there would also be death. Heaven would then have the same problems we experience on earth. Consequently, a person cannot get into Heaven with even one sin. Notice not even one lie can enter Heaven. You must be perfectly righteous in God’s eyes to enter Heaven.

So far our situation sounds pretty grim. We are all sinners. God requires that our sins be paid for by death-eternal separation from God. Heaven is a perfect place, and we are not perfect. We are sinners. But it gets worse! Please examine the next point very carefully. The majority of people in the world are confused about the next issue.

 No Amount Of Good Works Could Ever Be Enough To Get Us Into Heaven

Many people think that trying to be good, being religious, stopping bad habits, or starting good ones will qualify them to enter Heaven.

Here is a list of some of the good things people think will help them get to Heaven, yet according to the Bible, none of these things can make us perfect in God’s sight:

  • Trying to keep the commandments.
  • Repenting of all your sin.
  • Going to church.
  • Sincerely trying to turn from sin.
  • Getting water baptized.
  • Being sorry for your sin.
  • Keeping ordinances or sacraments
  • Committing yourself to God to try to live a better life.
  • Making Jesus the Lord of your life.
  • Trying to get rid of bad habits.
  • Giving money.
  • Promising to be a better husband or wife.
  • Asking Jesus into your heart.
  • Giving your life to Christ.

This list is not all inclusive, but it is indicative of what many people believe. But it is not what the Bible says. The Bible says,

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Think about it for a moment. If we have to be perfect to get into heaven, and we have already sinned, no amount of “good works” will ever make us perfect. Clearly our good works cannot save us in any way, shape, or form. We have already failed and are disqualified. Each and every one of us stands condemned before God because of our sin.

Notice also that the Bible says that being “saved” is not something one can achieve or earn. It is the gift of God and is not the result of good works.

So, here is the situation we are in. We have all sinned and our sin must be paid for. If we are going to “take care of it ourselves”, we will spend forever separated from God in Hell. God does not want that for us and there is nothing we can do of ourselves to get rid of our sin. If we die in that condition we will be lost forever. So what are we going to do? This leads us to the eternal solution:

2. God’s Perfect Provision in Meeting Our Need

 Because God loves us and does not want us to spend forever separated from Him, He provided the solution.

Jesus Christ Died In Our Place, Making The Complete Payment For Our Sins

This is the beauty of the Gospel. The Lord Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, had no sin of His own. When Jesus came into this world He came to die for us. I am sure you have heard that before. Jesus died for our sins, but do you understand that He died for your sins and died in your place? The Bible puts it this way:

But God commendeth [displayed] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

When Jesus died on the cross, all the sin that we have done or ever will do He took upon Himself, making the complete payment for us, leaving us nothing to pay for. The Bible says:

For He [God] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus has paid the price in full for your sins. When Jesus died on the cross He said, “It is finished.” The word “finished” means “paid in full”. He was buried and came back from the dead three days later to prove it was done. God is satisfied with the payment Jesus made for your sins, and there is no “work” left for you to do. This leads us to our next point:

All We Can Do To Receive Everlasting Life Is To Believe In Jesus Christ As Our Savior

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Please understand my friend. All of the work required for you to possess everlasting life has been done through the payment Jesus made on the cross. As a result, He offers you eternal life as a gift. The moment you put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, God gives you eternal life as a free gift. The Bible puts it this way:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Notice that it is a gift. A verse I quoted earlier says the same thing:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

What is there for you to do? Simply believe. Simply put your faith, or trust, in Jesus Christ, that He made that payment for your sin. The moment you put your trust in Him, He will give you everlasting life. Jesus Himself put it this way:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath [possesses now] everlasting life” (John 6:47).

Let me ask you a question. If God gives you everlasting life, how long will it last? The obvious answer is it will last forever. That is exactly what the word “everlasting” means. If it ever stopped, it would not be everlasting.

That is precisely what Jesus does the moment you trust in Him. He saves you and gives you the gift of everlasting life. You are forgiven of all your sins and declared “righteous” by God Himself. You become God’s very own child.

Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:  And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39). 

You Can Know For Sure That You Are Going To Heaven, Because “Everlasting Life” Is Everlasting

God promises that once you trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, He will never lose you nor cast you out. God cannot lie. Look at these promises God has given to us. Jesus said:

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise [way] cast out.  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day” (John 6:37-39).  

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath [possesses now] everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is [has] passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).  

What happens when we sin after we have trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior? Some would say that you could end up losing your salvation. However, that makes no sense in light of what Jesus accomplished in paying for all of our sins. It would also contradict God’s promise of everlasting life, no condemnation, etc. Remember Jesus paid for all of our sins.

Furthermore, when we trusted Jesus Christ as Savior, we became children of God, and He is the perfect parent. If we, as His children, choose to rebel, the Bible says that He will chasten, or discipline, us. But He will never cast us out or disown us. An Eternal God does not give birth to temporary children. (For a further discussion on eternal security see my PDF booklet, The Permanence of Salvation << Click).

God says you can be sure of going to Heaven when you die. The Bible says:

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (I John 5:13).

What does it mean to believe on His name? The name “Jesus” means God who is our Savior. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you are trusting in Him to save you. When you do, at that very moment, He gives you the free gift of everlasting life.

This is the most wonderful truth that you can ever know. It is truly “good news”, which is what the word “gospel” means! I hope that makes sense to you. It is the greatest news in all of world.

Dear friend, would you right now, in the quietness of your mind, put your trust in Jesus Christ? He loves you and wants to be your Savior. Believe in Him and He will give you that gift of eternal life. The decision is between you and Him. There is no formal prayer that you must say. It is simply understanding that you are a sinner, that you cannot save yourself, and instead you put your trust in what Jesus has done for you as your way to Heaven. When you do, the Bible says that He then gives you the gift of eternal life, that very moment. From that moment on you are secure forever. Remember Jesus said:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47).

 I hope this makes sense to you. If you have any questions at all, please contact me. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning salvation or the Christian life.

Dr. Thomas M. Cucuzza

3686 County Road 8 SE

St. Cloud, MN 56304

Copyright © 2013 by Thomas M. Cucuzza

All rights reserved. St. Cloud, MN 56301

This article will soon be available in PDF form which will be posted here at ExPreacherMan.

Email: tmcucuzza@northlandchurch.com

8 responses to “How To Be Sure You Are Going to Heaven

  1. mike thomas

    as the old westerners use to say Jesus took a bullet for us mike t

  2. Amen! The Truth the Whole Truth and nothing but the Truth!
    Simple, True, and Free!
    John 8:32
    King James Version (KJV)
    And ye shall know the truth, and the truth( Jesus )shall make you free.
    John 14:6
    King James Version (KJV)
    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

  3. Thanks Tom

    It is refreshing to read a very comprehensive, yet clear and simple, explanation of the Gospel of our Salvation in Jesus Christ. I pray we never tire of it.

    We pray it will clarify the Truth for many people.

    Together for souls, Jack

  4. Thank you Tom and Jack.

    I hope others will take the time to refresh themselves, and see if some of the terminology they may have learned, if they find it in His Word.

    He has the words of eternal life, and they were written down so we might KNOW….

  5. I love Tom C. and listen to at least one of his sermons every week . . .

  6. Tom,

    Thank you for your steadfast preaching and teaching of the simple straightforward gospel message of the Bible: We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone. Amen!

  7. What about “Romans 10:9?” “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Where does that verse fit in to all this? I ask, because that seems to be “Salvation 101″ to many people and preachers.

  8. Robert,

    Thanks for visiting and your comment.

    “Many people and preachers” are mistaken if they use Romans 10:9-10 as verses about how to have salvation.

    This is a comment in a precious article which fully answers your question.

    The following is a pretty good explanation of Romans 10:9-10, written by Larry Moyer, with which I agree. One is justified (declared not guilty) by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    “Romans 10:9-10 is many times used to support the misconception that if you don’t confess Christ publicly, you can’t be saved. We read “ … 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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Above all else, it’s worth noting that the word righteousness in Romans 10:10 is a noun form of the verb translated “justify.” Romans 5:1 reads, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Justified here means “to be declared righteous.” Therefore, the meaning of the first part of Romans 10:10 is, “ … with the heart man believes and is justified before God.” But confession in Romans 10:9-10 is a part of what’s necessary to live a victorious Christian life. The context is arguing that one has to be willing to confess Him publicly in order to triumph over sin…

    Regardless, the passage itself clearly says that believing is what justifies a person before God. A public confession of Christ is very important, but the importance is not related to our eternal salvation. Upon trusting Christ, we receive His gift of eternal life. By confessing Christ consistently and unashamedly, we experience victory over sin and gain eternal reward when we see the Savior face-to-face.

    You might also enjoy reading further discussion, a comment about Romans 10:9-10 from a previous article at this link: http://tinyurl.com/ljl6373

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

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