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Heaven

The Plan of Salvation

(Highway to Heaven)

     Most religions teach people rules and rituals rather than showing them the simple truth. They are addressing the symptoms rather than the cure. In other words, they attempt to clean up the heart (or soul) of a man by giving them a bath. We at The Only Hope want to show you the cure. There are three points (man, God, and Jesus) that you must come into agreement with God. Then, by faith put two steps into action (the 'call').

Man (mankind)

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Man is a sinner.

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Man’s righteousness or morally best is as dung in the site of God. (Isa 64:6) “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags… Filthy rags are rags that have excrement on them. That means the most righteous moment of our lives looks and smells like filthy rags to God. (Rom 3:10-12) “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one… there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

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We were all born sinners. Apart from salvation we are all condemned (damned, eternal separation from God). Adam was our representative and he chose to sin. (Rom 5:18) “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation…” We do not have to choose hell to end up there. By default (without choosing either God or Satan) we were born headed away from God. (Ps 51:5) “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Rom 14:23) "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin."

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Man cannot achieve righteousness.

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The Ten Commandments (the law) was not given to achieve righteousness. The law showed us what sin was. (Rom 3:20,23) “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified (guiltless) in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The law showed us we couldn’t live up to God’s standard.

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You may be saying, “But I haven’t sinned that much.” (James 2:10) “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” In other words, if we keep all the laws of God and break only one the penalty is still eternal separation from God. One sin condemned us. Since we can’t help ourselves we must trust in God’s grace and mercy.

God

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God is love - Grace (Unmerited love towards man). 

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(1 John 4:16,19) “God is love… We love him, because he first loved us.”

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Heaven is a gift. (Rom. 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Wages was the word that described what we earned which was death (eternal separation from God).  (Eph. 2:8-9) “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.” No amount of good works or religious deeds can earn us a place in heaven.  As there are two sides to a coin so it is with God (mercy and justice). We will receive grace or we will be judged.

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God is just – sin must be punished.

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(Heb 9:27) “And it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this judgement.” (Matt 12:36) “But I (Jesus) say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” If we do not accept God’s way of escape, by default, we accept God’s wrath on ourselves. (Heb 2:3) “How shall we escape, if we neglect such a great salvation?”

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(Matt 25:41) “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire…” (Rev 20:15) "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Our sin must be punished. God’s way of escape is through his son Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ

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Jesus is the Son of God - He is 100% man yet 100% God in the flesh.

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(John 1:1,14) “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made 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.” (John 3:16) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever believeth in him (Jesus) should not perish, but have everlasting life." (I Jn 5:7) For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. (NKJ)
 

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Jesus died on the cross - He paid the penalty for our sins and arose from the dead. 

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God loved us so much that he placed the punishment we deserved upon his son Jesus. (Isa 53:6) “…The LORD hath laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity (sin) of us all.” Jesus was the only one that was worthy to pay for our sin debt. Jesus became our sinless sacrifice. (Heb 9:22) “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Jesus died on the cross taking our sins to the grave.

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Three days after Jesus died he arose from the dead. Thomas was so amazed at Jesus’ victory over death that he cried out My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Thomas for the first time recognized Jesus as God Almighty in the flesh. Jesus was God’s way of escape for us. Heaven is now our inheritance. We receive the gift of heaven by faith. 

Faith

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True faith is not - Simply believing God exists.

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Many people believe Jesus actually lived and that he was the son of God. The Bible says that demons believe in God. (James 2:19) “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-- and tremble!” James is saying, “You believe in God. So what! That doesn’t mean anything because the devil also believes that.” That kind of belief is based upon historical or factual data. Faith is not involved in that type of belief.

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Many people think they accept Jesus as Savior but never repent to accept Him as LORD (Master of their life). This is one of the most misunderstood belief's in churches today. (Luke 13:3) "(Jesus said,)...Unless you repent you will all likewise perish." (NKJ)  (2 Cor 5:17) "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (new creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

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True faith is - Trusting in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life.

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How can anyone believe the correct beliefs and still not trust in Christ? They trust in their belief rather than the object of their belief, which is Jesus Christ. The difference is an eternity apart. The question we must ask ourselves is this. Is my trust solely in Jesus Christ or is it really in Jesus plus my belief, faith, good works, confessions, church or experience? If the answer is Jesus plus anything in reality the answer is Jesus not at all. How can you know that you are really trusting in Jesus alone? What is the bottom line?

The Bottom Line

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Simple two-step process – It MUST come from the heart (soul).

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The process can really be summed up in one verse. (Rom 10:13) “For whosoever shall call (cry out or call in desperation) upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” To ‘call upon the name of the Lord’ does not mean to talk, bargain, chant, or even pray to the Lord. To ‘call’ is a two-step process.

  1. Before one can truly ‘call upon the name of the Lord’ one must see themselves a sinner. Nothing can be done to deserve or help earn salvation and in reality deserves hell. 

  2. Repent (turn from the ways of this world and turn towards Jesus). This is accomplished by giving God complete control of your life. You must be willing to let him reign in your life. 

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Then and only then will one truly cry out to the Lord for mercy. It is at that point that the Lord hears our call. (Ps 51:16-17) “You (God) do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; you do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart-- these, O God, You will not despise."

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The two-step process in action - The Call.

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If you want to go to heaven (receive eternal life) pray this payer to God. It must come from the heart.  Otherwise, it is just lip service.

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Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner. I deserve to go to hell. I know that I can't earn eternal life (salvation). I’m relying on Jesus Christ alone. Take control of my heart (mind, will, and emotions) and save my soul. Jesus I accept you as my Lord (master / boss of my life) and Saviour (my only hope). Amen.

If you prayed that prayer (and really meant it for the first time) please let us know. We will rejoice and pray for you on your new journey!

Read The Bottom Line tract. 

It is the gospel in an easy to understand cartoon form.

 

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