If You Died Tonight…



Dr. Robert L. Sumner

Heaven Can Be Yours!


The Way to Heaven Made Plain

From the Word of God!

By Dr. Robert L. Sumner

Dr. R. A. Torrey told of talking with a young society lady at New Haven, Connecticut, when suddenly she interrupted him to say, “Don’t talk that way; it makes me think and I hate to think.” This sin-weary world is filled with people who hate to think, somehow supposing that by thus ignoring the issue of salvation everything will eventually turn out all right for eternity. Nothing could be farther from the truth and I earnestly urge you to think seriously with me for a few moments about missing Hell and gaining Heaven.

Everyone wants to go to Heaven! No one in his right mind desires an eternal home in Hell’s house of horrors. The only man in my entire ministry—he was in the Livingston, Illinois, county jail at the time—who told me that he definitely wanted to go to Hell was judged insane and taken to a state hospital three days later. I know I am expressing your choice when I say you desire to reach Heaven eventually.

Yet, as the Negro slaves sang while chopping their Alabama cotton, “Heab’n, Heab’n, ev’ry body talk about Heab’n ain’t goin’ there, Heab’n, Heab’n.” Jesus Christ Himself is the authority for teaching that more people will miss Heaven and end up in Hell than will make Heaven. He said in Matthew 7:13, 14:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Since this is a subject of utmost seriousness—the most important one you will ever consider—it is vital that we start at the root of the matter and note first,

I. SIN, the Bar to Heaven!

Some might question, “Why doesn’t God just let everyone into Heaven when they die and be done with it? What keeps anyone out of Heaven?” The answer is sin!

Consider how plainly the Bible declares that sin shuts Heaven’s doors to every guilty sinner. After God gives that glorious picture of Heaven in the 21st chapter of Revelation, describing the gates of pearl, the streets of pure gold like transparent glass and the walls of jasper, He warns:

And there shall in no wise enter into it 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

Notice the expression, “in no wise!” God will permit no sin or sinner in Heaven under any circumstance whatsoever. In the next chapter, the last in the Bible, after again describing some of the glories of Heaven, He declares:

For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and make a lie. —Revelation 22:15.

Again we have the strong insistence of the Almighty that every sinner must remain “without” Heaven. That lovely, unspoiled, unspotted city will not be tarnished or polluted with the single sin of a single sinner. So, in order to protect His Paradise and keep it pure, every sinner must be denied access to it.

If God allowed a sinner to enter Heaven, that sinner would sin. A Hitler or a Saddam Hussein would not be in Heaven long before he started a revolution. Confidence men would soon be trying to sell some prospective sucker a golden street. Liars would unceasingly be endeavoring to deceive the redeemed, the angels, and even God Himself. The adulterers would attempt to satisfy their passions if only through the thoughts of their hearts (Matt. 5:27, 28). In Revelation 22:11 God explains this truth about sinners continuing to sin forever, saying, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still.” Therefore, if one sinner entered Heaven he would soon spoil it by his transgressions. Heaven must be kept “off limits: for unredeemed sinners.

In I Corinthians 6:9, 10, the Word of God declares:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

The same truth is stated in Ephesians 5:5, 6:

For as ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Another strong emphasis of this truth is found in Galatians 5:19-21 where we read:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Sin, A Universal Fact

Perhaps you are one of the many who seek to still the pricking of your conscience by telling yourself that you have never killed, never committed adultery, never robbed a bank, never defrauded a neighbor, or committed any of the so-called “baser sins.” Then let me remind you that God classes hatred with murder, envy with adultery, strife with drunkenness, and anger with witchcraft in the above scriptural condemnation.

He has further stated,

…for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. —Romans 3:22, 23

No difference! No difference between the society queen and the scarlet woman! No difference between the president and the pauper! No difference between the community leader and the common thief! If you are a moral, self-righteous woman who has never trusted Christ, you are on the same level before God with the worst fallen woman of sin who plies her trade on ignorant, foolish men. If you are a man without Christ, no matter how highly esteemed in your community or respected by your associates, you are on the same level before God with the worst drunkard and dope addict who ever staggered into a rescue mission begging for free soup and a place to sleep. No difference!

There may be differences in the degree of sin and the amount of sin, but in the fact that both are guilty sinners whom God is forced to shut out of Heaven, there is no difference!

How abundant are the scriptural statements that all stand guilty before God as sinners deserving a just condemnation in an eternal Hell of torment!

For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. —Ecclesiastes 7:20

God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. EVERY ONE of them is gone back: they are ALTOGETHER become filthy; there is NONE that doeth good, no, NOT ONE. —Psalm 53:2, 3

How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water? —Job 15:16

ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned EVERY ONE to his own way… —Isaiah 53:6

As it is written, there is NONE righteous, no, NOT ONE: There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God. They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, no, NOT ONE.—Romans 3:10-12

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. —I John 1:8, 10

Some have sinned more than the average, some have sinned less, but everyone has sinned and thereby “become guilty before God” (Rom. 3:19). To deny it is to deceive yourself and in addition commit the terrible crime of calling God a liar! It was Christ Himself who said, “there is none good but one, that is, God” (Matt. 19:17). God’s conclusion is that you and I are both sinners and that our sins have shut the door of Heaven to us.

Sin Must Be Paid for by Someone!

Sin must be settled. There must be a penalty for disobedience. Some suggest that God merely pardons sin without any payment, any settling or making right. Others tell us that since God is love He will never send any of His creatures to an eternal Hell of unending torment.

But human reason unites with Divine revelation in decrying such foolish philosophy. Can you imagine what your city would be like if there were no penalty for the broken law? Suppose there were no policemen, no jails, no sentence or penalty executed against the rapist, the thief, the murderer, the seditionist, and the criminals of various descriptions! What would a state be like with no penalty for the breaker of its laws? What would a nation be like in such circumstances? What would the world be like in such a hopeless condition?

All reason cries that sin must be punished and that law-breakers must be separated from the innocent so they cannot ply their evil upon them. It is exactly the same with God and His Laws! The Scriptures rightly insist, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:4, 20). It is not unjust for Him to declare that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). The eternal principle ever must remain:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. —Galatians 6:7

It would not be right or possible for sinners to sin and remain unpunished.

From the many Scriptures thus far considered we have seen the following positive Bible conclusions:

1. All sin and every sinner must be barred from Heaven;
2. Every person on earth is a sinner guilty before God;
3. Therefore the door of Heaven must be shut to every single individual, with no exceptions, unless his sin is completely and entirely removed.

But, thank God, all is not hopeless! The same Word of God gloriously, joyfully announces to all the world the blessed truth,

II. CHRIST, the Way to Heaven!

In the 14th chapter of John, the Savior told His disciples about the wonderful Heaven He was going to prepare. When Thomas asked that all important question everyone desires to have answered, “How can we know the way?” the Lord replied:

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. —John 14:6

Notice that Christ is the way to Heaven and the only way! No individual can ever go to the Father or the Father’s house of many mansions except by Jesus Christ! Paul’s epistle to the church at Colosse describes it—“…Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). No one can have a sure hope of Heaven without Christ in his heart!

Christ’s Death Opened Heaven to Guilty Sinners

How could Christ open Heaven’s barred doors for wicked sinners? By paying personally the penalty of their sins! This He did at the cross of Calvary, making it possible for God to remain just and yet justify the ungodly who receive Christ as their Savior (Rom. 3:26).

Isaiah looked down through the centuries to God’s sacrifice at Calvary and wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

Surely he hath borne OUR griefs, and carried OUR sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for OUR transgressions, he was bruised for OUR iniquities: the chastisement of OUR peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed…and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. —Isaiah 53:4-6

Scores of other Scriptures unite in telling the glorious gospel story of a Savior who offered Himself a sacrifice for sinners and paid the penalty of the condemnation they justly deserved. The Bible says:

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. —I Peter 2:24

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. —John 1:29

And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. —I John 3:5

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. —I Peter 3:18

In whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. —Ephesians 1:7

Oh, dear reader, thank God again and again that His lovely Son left the glories of Heaven, coming to earth and taking upon Himself the outward form of a servant (Phil. 2:7), that He might “give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). The Bible expresses:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. —Philippians 2:8

Sin had placed an uncrossable chasm between man and Heaven, but Jesus Christ bridged that gulf with His cross. Sin had built a wall between God and man so tremendous that, in the words of the old Negro spiritual,

My Lord, it’s so high, Can’t get over it;
So wide, Can’t go around it;
So low, Can’t crawl under it.

But the Son of God used His cross as a spiritual battering ram to blast a hole through that wall big enough to let the vilest sinner through. Now all who will come by the way of the cross and its Christ can enter into fellowship with God.

Calvary’s Sacrifice Sufficient for Any, All!

Now none has an excuse for missing Heaven and entering Hell since any and all can be saved forever by trusting Christ. The meanest man, the wickedest woman, the most defiled youth, all can find forgiveness and salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. The standing offer of God is: “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37), and, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).

Anyone can be saved and gain Heaven who wants to be saved! Earlier we reminded you of God’s vow that no fornicator, idolater, adulterer, thief, drunkard, or sinner of any kind (I Cor. 6:9, 10) will enter Heaven. But in the very next verse He declared:

And such were some of you: but ye are WASHED, but ye are SANCTIFIED, but ye are JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. —I Cor. 6:11

Yes, sinners of every description—guilty of every conceivable sin—can find pardon and forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ. I do not know you or what sins you have committed, but on the authority of the infallible Word of God I positively guarantee that you can be forgiven and saved by trusting Christ!

The poet was right when he cried:

The blood that purchased our release
And purged our crimson stains;
We challenge earth and Hell to show
One sin it cannot cleanse!

The Word of God expresses it, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL sin” (I John 1:7).

John Newton, the man who wrote one of the sweetest songs of all time, “Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me!” had been guilty of every sin known to mankind in his days as a drunken rum runner and slave trader in the South Sea Islands. Yet his own epitaph, hung over a century ago on the north wall of the Woolnoth Chapel, is:

Once an infidel and libertine,
A servant of salves in Africa,
Was, by the rich mercy of our
Lord and Saviour
Preserved, restored, pardoned, and
Appointed to preach the Faith he
Had long laboured to destroy.

He will do the same for you that He did for John Newton and countless thousands of other guilty, Hell-deserving sinners down through the ages. Sin is the bar to Heaven but the atoning death of Christ opens the way to Heaven for all who want it.

Do you ask how this salvation offered by Christ can be yours? Then follow the Scriptures carefully as they unfold,

III. FAITH, the Key to Heaven!

Here is the strange thing exceedingly difficult for the natural mind to understand: salvation is by faith alone, completely apart from any human merit! The average person supposes that Heaven is gained by good deeds, works of righteousness, religious acts, exceptional morality, or other forms of righteous achievement. But the Bible is crystal clear that such is not the case and that it is absolutely impossible to earn or merit Heaven.

Ephesians 2:8, 9 tells us:

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.

And Titus 3:5-7 reminds those already saved of how it happened:

NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being JUSTIFIED BY HIS GRACE, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Augustus M. Toplady was right when he wrote in his beloved hymn, “Rock of Ages,”

Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill Thy laws demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Bible Way Is the Faith Way


Throughout the entire Word of God the only plan of salvation taught is that sin is forgiven and eternal life received only by faith. Over and over God guarantees a home in Heaven to all who will believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Consider just a few of the plain statements:

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM shall receive remission of sins. —Acts 10:43

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, even we have BELIEVED IN JESUS CHRIST, that we might be justified by THE FAITH OF CHRIST, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. —Galatians 2:16

…Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. —Acts 16:30, 31

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is BY FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST unto all and upon all them that BELIEVE…Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which BELIEVETH IN JUESUS…Therefore we conclude that a man is JUSTIFIED BY FAITH without the deeds of the law.. —Romans 3:20-22, 24-26, 28

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that BELIEVETH ON HIM is not condemned: but he that BELIEVETH NOT is condemned already, because he hath not BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God. —John 3:14-18

He that BELIEVETH ON THE SON hath everlasting life: and he that BELIEVETH NOT the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. —John 3:36

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

Don’t you see, dear reader, that salvation is merely a matter of accepting what God has provided through the finished work of His Son at Calvary? A home in Heaven will be yours the moment you will trust Him to forgive your sins and take you to Heaven. Can you trust Him? Can you risk Him, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), to do what He said He would do for all who receive Christ as their personal Savior? It is simply a matter of taking God at His Word.

The great reformer, Martin Luther, was asked on one occasion if he felt his sins had been forgiven. That mighty man of faith replied, “No, I do not feel they are forgiven, but I know that they are because God says so in His Word!” That’s it exactly! God has promised salvation to all who will receive His Son as their personal Savior. Now, if you will receive Christ, salvation and Heaven will be yours according to the very Word of God! He died to make your salvation possible; will you let Him save you?

God Is Helpless to Save Those Who Reject Christ

Before I close this message I must warn you that the finished work of Christ at Calvary is absolutely worthless and meaningless for the individual who refuses to receive Him. God reminds us in Hebrews 10:26, 27:

For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more [lit. “no other”] sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

There is no other way of salvation for the individual who scorns the sacrifice Christ made at Calvary through His death, burial and resurrection.

One of the strangest cases in the annals of American legal history centered around a young man named George Wilson. For crimes committed on December 6, 1829, Wilson and a companion, James Porter (alias James May), were charged with six indictments in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, all dealing with obstructing or robbing the mail, two of which were for “putting the life of the carrier,” Samuel M’Crea, “in jeopardy.” Found guilty, both men were sentenced “to suffer death on the 2nd July following.”

Porter was executed on schedule, but because of a “numerous and respectable body of petitioners” pleading with him for Wilson’s life, President Andrew Jackson issued a formal pardon, signed on his behalf by Secretary of State Martin Van Vuren, in which he said he “had pardoned, and do hereby pardon the said George Wilson the crime for which he has been sentenced to suffer death, remitting the penalty aforesaid.”

Then came the blockbuster: Wilson refused the pardon!

The finest minds in the field of legal jurisprudence were called in for consultation as to what to do and eventually the problem reached the Supreme Court. In a unanimous decision, that top legal body ruled a pardon to be unqualifiedly ineffective until accepted by the party involved. John Marshall, one of America’s ablest lawyers and the fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, wrote in the decision:

A pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed….

A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential; and delivery is not completed without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it be rejected, we have discovered no power in a court to force it on him.

It may be supposed that no being condemned to death would reject a pardon, but the rule must be the same in capital cases and in misdemeanors.

The same is true spiritually! You are a sinner under the sentence of sin, condemned to an eternal Hell. It is hardly to be supposed that you, in your right mind, would reject the pardon of God’s love which His Son Jesus Christ provided at Calvary. But if you do, it is no pardon and the atonement is worse than worthless in your case—you must pay the penalty of your own sin in Hell forever!

Don’t Refuse God’s Pardon; Trust Christ Now

Yes, Heaven can be yours! But you had better settle the matter right now before it is too late. Multifold are the warnings in the Word of God against putting off salvation. For example, He tells us:

Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. —Proverbs 27:1

He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. —Proverbs 29:1

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, TODAY if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts…)…—Hebrews 3:7,8

Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation. —II Corinthians 6:2

Decision for Christ

If you want to make sure of Heaven and will receive Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior today, please indicate it by signing the following decision form. Then, as soon as possible, let others know of the stand you have taken.




First Name:

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If you will fill out the information above and submit the form, I will write you a letter of counsel and encouragement. Now that you have honestly received Christ into your heart you should be baptized and unite with a Bible-believing church.   –Dr. Robert L. Sumner


 © Biblical Evangelism 1956
All Rights Reserved

El Cielo Puede Ser Tuyo

El Cielo Puede Ser Tuyo
Por el evangelista Robert L Sumner

sociedad de New Haven, Connecticut, ella le interrumpió, diciendo: “No me hable así, pues me hace pensar y no me gusta pensar.” Este mundo cargado de pecado esta lleno de gente que no le gusta pensar, creyendo que si hace caso omiso del asunto de la salvación, al fin todo le saldrá bien en la eternidad. Nada puede estar más lejos de la verdad; y te ruego querido lector, que pienses conmigo por unos momentos acerca de cómo evitar el Infierno y ganar el Cielo.

¡ Todo el mundo quiere ir al Cielo! Ninguna persona en su juicio cabal desea vivir eternamente en el Infierno aterrador. Durante mi ministerio, el único hombre que me ha dicho que quería ir al Infierno estaba en la cárcel del Condado de Livingston, Illinois, y tres días después fue declarado loco y envidado al maní comió del Estado. Se que estoy expresando lo que tú realmente quieres: alcanzar el Cielo.

Pero, como decían las palabras del canto de los esclavos negros del sur de los Estados Unidos cuando labraban el algodón: “El Cielo, el Cielo, no todo aquel que había del Cielo va a llegar allá; el Cielo, el Cielo.“ Jesucristo mismo nos da la autoridad para enseñar que más son los que perderán el Cielo y llegarán al Infierno que los que llegarán al Cielo. Dijo en Mateo 7:13 y -14:

“Entrad por la puerta estrecha; porque ancha es la puerta, y espacioso el camino que lleva a la perdición, y muchos son los que entran por ella; porque estrecha es la puerta, y angosto el camino que lleva a la vida, y pocos son los que la hallan.”

Puesto que éste es un asunto de vital importancia – lo más importante que el hombre pueda considerar – es necesario que empecemos con la raíz del problema, y notemos primero,

1. EL PECADO, Obstáculo Para El Cielo

Algunos pueden preguntar: ¿Por qué no permite Dios que todos vayan al Cielo y acaben así con el problema? ¿Qué impide que uno entre al Cielo? La respuesta a estas preguntas es: el pecado.

Considera cuán claramente la Biblia declara que el pecado cierra las puertas del Cielo a todo pecador. Después de presentar el glorioso cuadro del Cielo en el capítulo 21 de Apocalipsis, describiendo las puertas de perlas, y las calles de oro corno de vidrio transparente, y los muros de jaspe, Dios advierte:

“No entrará en ella ninguna cosa inmunda, o que hace abominación y mentira, sino solamente los que están inscritos en el libro de la vida del cordero.”(Apoc. 21:2 7)

Nota el vocablo “ninguna”. Dios no permitirá que entre en el Cielo ni el pecado ni el pecador. En el siguiente capítulo, el último de la Biblia, después de haber descrito, algunas de las glorias del Cielo, él declara:

“Maslos perros estarán fuera, y los hechiceros, los fornicarios, los homicidas, los idólatras, y todo aquel que ama y hace mentira.” (Apoc. 22:15)

Vemos, entonces, que el todopoderoso insiste en que todo pecador tiene que permanecer “fuera” del Cielo. Esta ciudad tan hermosa, sin corrupción, sin mancha, no será contaminada ni manchada con un solo pecado. Así que, para proteger su Paraíso y guardarlo puro, Dios tiene que negar la entrada a todo pecador.

Si Dios permitiera que un pecador entrara en el Cielo, este seguiría pecando. Un Hitler o un Khruschev no estaría mucho tiempo en el cielo sin comenzar una revolución. Los timadores pronto tratarían de vender una calle de oro a algún tonto. Los mentirosos tratarían de engañarles a los redimidos, a los ángeles, y aun hasta al mismo Dios. Los adúlteros tratarían de satisfacer sus pasione aunque sólo fuera por medio de los pensamientos de su corazón (Mateo 5:27,28). En Apocalipsis 22:11, Dios explica esta verdad diciendo: “El que es injusto, sea injusto todavía y el que es sucio, ensúciase todavía.” Así que, si un pecador entrara en el Cielo lo corrompería. El Cielo tiene que estar fuera del alcance de los pecadores no redimidos.

En 1 Cor. 6:9 y 10 la Palabra de Dios declara:

“¿ No sabéis que los injustos no heredarán el reino de Dios? No erréis; ni los fornicarios, ni los idólatras, tú las adúlteros, ni los afeminados, ni los que se echan con varones, ni los ladrones, ni los avaros, ni los borrachos, ni los maldicientes, ni los estafadores, heredarán el reino de Dios.”

La misma verdad está afirmada en Efesios 5:5 y 6:

“Porqué sabéis esto, que ningún fornicario, o inmundo, o avaro, que es idólatra, tiene herencia en el reino de Cristo y de Dios. Nadie os engañe con palabras vanas porque por estas cosas viene la ira de Dios sobre los hijos de desobediencia.”

Otra énfasis fuerte de esta verdad se encuentra en Gálatas 5:19-2 1, donde leemos:

“Y manifiestas son las obras de la carne que son: adulterio, Fornicación, inmundicia, lascivia, idolatría, hechicerías, enemistades, pleitos, celos, iras, contiendas, disensiones, herejías, envidias, homicidios, borracheras, orgías, y cosas semejantes a estas; acerca de las cuales os amonesto, como ya os lo he dicho antes, que los que practican tales cosas no heredarán el reino de Dios.”

El Pecado, Un Hecho Universal

Posiblemente, tú eres uno de los muchos que tratan de callar la voz de su conciencia, diciéndose: “Nunca he matado, nunca he adulterado, nunca he robado un banco, nunca he defraudado a mi vecino, ni he cometido ninguno de los pecados mortales. Permíteme recordarte que Dios clasifica el odio junto con el homicidio, la mentira igual que el adulterio, las contiendas igual que las borracheras, y el enojo igual que las hechicerías, según lo ya citado.

Además añade:

“ … Porque no hay diferencia’ por cuanto todos pecaron y están destituidos de la gloria de Dios.” (Rom. 3:22 y 23)

¡ No hay diferencia! No hay diferencia entre el presidente y el pobre. No hay diferencia entre el líder de la comunidad y el ladrón. Si tú eres una mujer, que te crees justa, que nunca has confiado en Cristo, estás al mismo nivel delante de Dios que la mujer más mala que seduce a hombres insensatos. Si eres un hombre sin Cristo, no importa cuánto eres estimado en la comunidad o cuan respetado eres por tus socios’ estás al mismo nivel ante Dios que el borracho empedernido y el drogadicto. ¡No hay diferencia! Puede ser que haya diferencia en el grado y la cantidad de pecados, pero son iguales en que ambos son pecadores a quienes Dios tiene que prohibir la entrada al Cielo. ¡No hay diferencia!

Abundantes son las declaraciones bíblicas de que todos son culpables ante Dios, pecadores que merecen la justa condenación en un Infierno eterno de tormento.

“Ciertamente no hay hombre justo en la tierra, que haga el bien y nunca peque.” (Eclesiastés 7:20)

“Dios desde los cielos miró sobre los hijos de los hombres, para ver si había algún entendido que buscara a Dios, Cada uno se había vuelto atrás; todos se habían corrompido; no hay quien haga lo bueno, izo hay ni aún uno.” (Salmo 53: 2 v 3)

“¿Cuánto menos el hombre abominable y vil, que bebe la iniquidad como agua? (Job 15:16)

“Todos nosotros nos descarriamos como ovejas, cada cual se apartó por su camino; mas Jehová cargó en él el pecado de todos nosotros.” (Isaías 53:6)

“Como está escrito: No hay justo, ni aun uno; no hay quien entienda, no hay quien busque a Dios. Todos se desviaron, a una se hicieron inútiles,- no hay quien haga lo bueno, no hay ni siquiera uno.”(Rom. 3:10-11)

“Si decimos que no tenemos pecado, nos engañamos a nosotros mismos, y la verdad no está en nosotros. Si confesamos nuestros pecados, él es fiel y justo para perdonar nuestros pecados, y limpiarnos de toda maldad. Si decimos que no hemos pecado, le hacemos a él mentirosa, y su palabra no está en nosotros.” (1 Juan 1:8-10)

Algunos han pecado más, otros menos; pero todos han pecado y por eso están “bajo el juicio de Dios.” (Rom. 3:19) Negarlo es engañarse a si mismo, y cometer además el crimen terrible de llamar a Dios mentiroso. Fue Cristo mismo quien dijo:

“Ninguno hay bueno, sino uno: Dios.” (Mateo 19:17) Según Dios, tú y yo somos pecadores y nuestros pecados nos han cerrado la puerta M Cielo.

El Pecado Tiene Que Ser Pagado Por Alguien

El problema de] pecado tiene que arreglarse. Tiene que haber castigo por la desobediencia. Algunos insinúan que Dios perdona el pecado sin exigir el precio corres pondiente. Otros nos dicen que, puesto que Dios es amor, nunca mandaría a ninguna de sus criaturas a un Infierno eterno de tormento sin fin.

Pero la razón humana junto con la revelación divina, rechazan tan necia filosofía. ¿Puedes imaginarte lo que sería tu ciudad si no hubiera castigo por violar la ley? ¡Supongamos que no hubiera policías, ni cárceles, ni sentencia o pena para el violador de mujeres, el ladrón, el homicida, el sedicioso, y los criminales! ¿Cómo sería un estado sin castigo para infractores de sus leyes? ¿Cómo sería el mundo bajo tales condiciones?

La razón dice que el pecado debe recibir su castigo y que los infractores deben estar separados de los inocentes para que éstos no sean contaminados. Sucede exactamente lo mismo con Dios y sus leyes. Las Escrituras afirman y con razón: “El alma que pecare, esa morirá.” (Ezq. 18:4,20) No es injusto que Dios declare que “la paga del pecado es muerte” (Rom. 6:23). El principio eterno tiene que permanecer:

“No os engañéis, Dios no puede ser burlado; pues todo lo que el hombre sembrare, eso también segará.” (Gálatas 6:7)

No sería justo ni posible que los hombres pecaren y no fuesen castigados.

Por medio de las citas bíblicas que hemos considerado (y son muchas), hemos visto las siguientes conclusiones positivas:

(1) Todo pecado y todo pecador tienen que ser excluidos del cielo.

(2) Cada persona sobre la tierra es pecador ante Dios

(3) Por lo tanto, la puerta del Cielo tiene que estar cerrada a cada individuo, sin excepción a menos que su pecado sea completamente quitado.

¡Pero gracias a Dios hay esperanza! La misma Palabra de Dios gozosamente anuncia a todo el mundo la grandiosa verdad.

II. CRISTO, El Camino Al Ciclo

En el capitulo 14 de San Juan el Salvador describió a sus discípulos el Cielo glorioso que iba a preparar. Cuando Tomás le hizo esa pregunta tan importante que todo el mundo quiere saber, “¿Cómo podemos saber el camino?” el Señor le dió respuesta: “Yo soy el camino, la verdad, y la vida; nadie viene al Padre, sino por mí.” (Juan 14:6)

Nota que Cristo es el camino al Cielo y el único camino. Ninguna persona puede ir al Padre o a la casa del Padre donde muchas moradas hay sino por Jesucristo. La epístola de Pablo a la Iglesia en Colosas lo describe – “…Cristo en vosotros, la esperanza de gloria.” (Colosenses 1:27) Ninguno puede tener la esperanza segura del Cielo sin tener a Cristo en su corazón.

La Muerte De Cristo Abrió La Puerta
Del Cielo Para El Pecador

¿Cómo pudo abrir Cristo la puerta de Cielo para los pecadores? Pagando personalmente la pena del pecado. Esto lo hizo en la cruz del Calvario, haciendo posible que Dios fuera justo y al mismo tiempo justificara al pecador que recibe a Cristo como su Salvador. (Rom. 3:26)

Isaías vio a través de los siglos el sacrificio de Dios en el Calvario y escribió por inspiración del Espíritu Santo:

“Ciertamente llevó él nuestras enfermedades, Y sufrió nuestros dolores; y nosotros le tuvimos por azotado, por herido de Dios y abatido. Más él herido fue por nuestras rebeliones, molido por nuestros pecados; el castigo de nuestra paz fue sobre él, y por su llaga fuimos nosotros curados. Todos nosotros nos descarriamos como ovejas, cada cual se apartó por su camino; más Jehová cargó en él el pecado de todos nosotros.” (Isaías 53:4-6)

Muchos otros pasajes de las Escrituras se unen para relatar la historia gloriosa del evangeliodeun Salvador que se ofreció a sí mismo en sacrificio por los pecados, y pagó la pena de la condenación que éstos justamente merecían. La Biblia dice:

“Quien llevó él mismo nuestros pecados en su cuerpo sobre el madero, para que nosotros, estando muertos a los pecados, vivamos ala justicia; y por cuya herida fuisteis sanados.” (1 Pedro 2:24)

“El siguiente día vió Juan a Jesús que venía a él, y dijo: He aquí el Cordero de Dios, que quita el pecado del mundo.”(Juan 1:29)

“Y sabéis que él apareció para quitar nuestros pecados, y no hay pecado en él.” (I Juan 3.-5)

“Porque también Cristo padeció una sola vez por los pecados, el justo por los injustos, para llevarnos a Dios, siendo a la verdad muerto en la carne, pero vivificado en espíritu.” (1 Pedro 3:18)

“En quien tenemos redención por su sangre, el perdón de de pecados según las riquezas de su gracia.” (Efesios 1: 7)

Oh, querido lector, da repetidas gracias a Dios que su Hijo amado dejó las glorias del Cielo, vino al mundo y tom6 forma de siervo (Fil. 2:7), “para dar su vida en rescate por muchos.” (Mateo 20:28)

La Biblia lo expresa así:

“Y estando en la condición de hombre, se humilló a sí mismo, haciéndose obediente hasta la muerte, y muerte de cruz.” (Fil. 2:8)

El pecado ha hecho un abismo entre el hombre y el Cielo, pero Jesucristo ha construido un puente por su sacrificio en la cruz. El pecado construyó un muro tan grande entre Dios y el hombre que según las palabras de un antiguo canto de los negros, “…es tan alto que no puedo pasar por arriba, Tan ancho, que izo puedo rodearlo, Tan profundo que no puedo pasar por debajo.”

Pero el Hijo de Dios usó su cruz como un ariete espiritual para hacer una brecha en el muro suficientemente grande para dejar pasar al más vil pecador. Ahora todos los que vienen por el sacrificio de Cristo pueden entrar a la comunión de Dios.

El Sacrificio Del Calvario Es Suficiente
Para Cualquiera; Para Todos

Ahora ninguno tiene excusa para perder el Cielo, puesto que todos pueden ser salvos para siempre por medio de la fe en Cristo. El hombre más vil, la mujer más mala, el joven más contaminado, todos pueden encontrar el perdón y la salvación en el Señor Jesucristo. La oferta permanente de Dios es, “…al que a mi viene, no le echo fuera.” (Juan 3:3 7), y “…todo aquel que invocan el nombre del Señor, será salvo” (Romanos 10:13)

Cualquiera puede ser salvo y ganar el Cielo si lo desea. Ciertamente te recordamos la declaración de Dios de que “ningún fornicario, ni idólatra, ni adúltero, ni ladrón, ni borracho, ni pecador alguno entrará al Cielo.” (1 Cor 6:9,10). Pero en el versículo siguiente declara:

“Y esto erais algunos; mas ya habéis sido lavados, ya habéis sido santificados, ya habéis sido justificados en el nombre del Señor Jesús, y por el Espíritu de nuestro Dios. (1 Cor. 6:11)

Sí, pecadores de todas descripciones — culpables de toda clase de pecados — pueden hallar perdón en el Señor Jesucristo. Yo no te conozco ni sé los pecados que has cometido, pero con la autoridad de la Palabra infalible de Dios te garantizo positivamente que puedes ser perdonado y salvado si confías en Cristo.

Bien dijo el poeta cuando exclamó:

“La sangre que compró nuestra libertad
Y nos limpió las manchas carmesí
Desafiamos a la tierra y al Infierno
Que nos muestren un pecado que ella no puede lavar.”

La Palabra de Dios lo expresa así: “La sangre de Jesucristo su Hijo nos limpia de todo pecado.” (1 Juan 1: 7)

John Newton, el hombre que escribió uno de los himnos más preciosos de todos los tiempos, “¡Gracia admirable! ¡Que salvó a un pecador como yo!” fue culpable de toda clase de pecado conocido, era un borracho, contrabandista de licores y traficante de esclavos en las islas del Pacífico. Pero su propio epitafio, colocado hace másde un siglo en la pared de la capilla Woolnoth, dice:

Una vez escéptico y disoluto
Siervo de esclavos en el África fue,
Por la abundante misericordia de
JESUCRISTO, preservado, restaurado,
perdonado, y llamado a predicar la
fe que afanosamente había tratado
por mucho tiempo de destruir.

Dios hará para ti lo mismo que hizo para John Newton y para miles de pecadores culpables que merecieron ir al Infierno. El pecado es obstáculo para el Cielo, pero la muerte propiciatoria de Cristo abre el camino al Cielo para todos aquellos que asi lo quieran.

Quizás te preguntas, ¿cómo puede ser mía esta salvación que Cristo ofrece? Entonces observa cuidadosamente lo que las Escrituras revelan.

III. LA FE, Llave Del Ciclo

He aquí una cosa extraña y difícil de entender para la mente natural: La salvación es solamente por la fe, completamente aparte de cualquier mérito humano. La idea común es que el Cielo se gana por medio de buenas obras, de acciones justas, ritos religiosos, moralidad extraordinaria u otras formas de méritos justos. Pero la Biblia dice claramente que no es así, ya que es absolutamente imposible ganar o merecer el Ciclo.

Efesios 2:8 y 9 nos dicen:

“Porque por gracia sois salvos por medio de la fe.- y esto no de vosotros, pues es don de Dios; no por obras, para que nadie se glorié.”

Y Tito 3:5-7 recuerda a los ya salvos la manera en que fueron salvados:

“Nos salvó. no por obras de justicia que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, sino por su misericordia, por el lavamiento de la regeneración y por la renovación en el Espíritu Santo, el cual derramó en nosotros abundantemente por Jesucristo nuestro Salvador, para que justificados por su gracia, viniésemos a ser herederos conforme a la esperanza de la vida eterna.”

Agustus M. Toplady tuvo razón cuando en su apreciado himno “Roca de la Eternidad” dijo:

“Aunque sea siempre fiel
Aunque llore sin cesar;
Del pecado no podré,
Justificación lograr,
Solo en ti teniendo fe;
Deuda tal podré pagar.”

El Camino Bíblico Es Camino De Fe

A través de toda la Palabra de Dios el único plan de salvación que se enseña es que el pecado se perdona y la vida eterna se recibe solamente por la fe. Vez tras vez Dios garantiza un lugar en el Cielo a todos los que creen en su Hijo, el Señor Jesucristo.

Considera unas declaraciones patentes:

“De éste dan testimonio todos los profetas, que todos los que en él creyeren, recibirán perdón de pecados por su nombre.”(Hechos 10:43)

“Sabiendo que el hombre no es justificado por las obras de la ley, sino por la fe de Jesucristo, nosotros también hemos creído en Jesucristo, para ser justificados por la fe de Cristo y no por las obras de la ley, por cuanto por las obras de la ley nadie será justificado.” (Gálatas 2:16)

“Y sacándolos, les dijo: Señores, ¿Qué debo hacer para ser-salvo? Ellos dijeron: Cree en el Señor Jesucristo, y serás salvo, tú y tu casa.”(Hechos 16:30,31)

“Ya que por las obras de la ley ningún ser humano será justificado delante de él: porque por medio de la ley es el conocimiento del pecado. La justicia de Dios por medio de la fe en Jesucristo, para todos los que creen en él. Porque no hay diferencia…. siendo justificados gratuitamente por su gracia, mediante la redención que es en Cristo Jesús, a quien Dios puso como propiciación por medio de la fe en su sangre, para manifestar su justicia, a causa de haber pasado por alto, en su paciencia, los pecados pasados, con la mira de manifestar en este tiempo su justicia, a fin de que él sea el justo, y el que justifica al que es de la fe de Jesús. Concluimos, pues, que el hombre es justificado por fe sin las obras de la ley.” (Romanos 3:20,22, 24-26,28)

“Y como Moisés levantó la serpiente en el desierto, así es necesario que el Hijo del Hombre sea lavantado, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna. Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna. Porque no envió Dios a su Hijo al mundo para condenar al mundo, sino para que el mundo sea salvo por él. El que en él cree, no es condenado; pero el que no cree, ya ha sido condenado, porque no ha creído en el nombre del unigénito hijo de Dios.” (Juan 3:14-18)

“El que cree en el Hijo tiene vida eterna; pero el que rehúsa creer en el Hijo no verá la vida, sino que la ira de Dios está sobre él.” (Juan 3:36)

“Sabed, pues, esto, varones hermanos: que por medio de él se os anuncia perdón de pecados, y que de todo aquello que por la ley de Moisés no pudisteis ser justificados, en él es justificado todo aquel que cree.” (Hechos 13:38,39)

¿No puedes ver, querido lector, que la salvación es únicamente un asunto de aceptar lo que Dios ha provisto por medio de la obra de su Hijo consumada en el Calvario? Un hogar en el Cielo tendrás cuando confíes en El para el perdón de tus pecados. ¿No puedes confiar en El? ¿No puedes creer que aquel Dios que no sabe mentir, (Tito 1:2), cumplirá todo lo que ha prometido a aquellos que reciben a Cristo de Salvador personal? No es más que una cuestión de creer la Palabra de Dios.

Al gran reformador Martín Lutero, en una ocasión se le preguntó si sentía que sus pecados habían sido perdonados. Este gran hombre de fe contestó: “No, no siento que son perdonados, pero sé que los son porque as lo dice Dios en su Palabra.” Así es, Dios ha prometido la salvación a todos los que reciben a su Hijo como su Salvador personal. Ahora, si tú recibes a Cristo, la salvación y el Cielo serán tuyos según la misma Palabra de Dios, pues El murió para hacer posible la salvación del hombre. ¿Permitirás que te salve a ti?

Dios No Puede Salvar A Los Que
Rechazan A Cristo

Antes de concluir debo advertirte que la obra consumada en el Calvario es absolutamente sin valor y sin sentido para aquel que rehúsa recibir a Cristo. Dios nos recuerda en Hebreos 10:26,27:

“ Porque si pecáremos voluntariamente después de haber recibido el conocimiento de la verdad, ya no queda más sacrificio por los pecados, sino una horrenda expectación de juicio, y de hervor de fuego que ha de devorar a los adversarios.”

No hay otro camino de salvación para el que rechaza el sacrificio de Cristo, su sepultura y su resurrección.

Uno de los casos más extraño de la historia de los Estados Unidos de América es el de un joven llamado Jorge Wilson durante la administración del Presidente Andrés Jackson. Wilson era un empleado en los furgones de correo del ferrocarril de Pensylvania cuando fingió un robo, mató a su compañero de trabajo, robó el correo certificado, y luego de alguna manera se amarró a sí mismo. Cuando lo encontraron con su compañero muerto al llegar el tren a su destino, les contó la historia increíble del asalto por unos bandidos. Se hallaron discrepancias en su historia y finalmente confesó todo lo acontecido.

Habiendo sido sentenciado a morir ahorcado, lo mandaron a Leavenworth (una prisión temible) para esperar el día de su ejecución. Mientras tanto los amigos circularon peticiones a su favor y lograron despertar la opinión pública a tal grado que al fin el Presidente Jackson firmó un indulto.

Al ser llamado a la oficina del alcalde y al darle la noticia, Wilson sorprendió al mundo al rehusar el indulto e insistir que fuese ahorcado según el dictamen de la corte. El alcalde atónito solicitó el consejo de los licenciados de oficio y finalmente el asunto llegó ante la Corte Suprema.

En decisión unánime, aquel cuerpo judicial declaró que un indulto es completamente inefectivo hasta que sea aceptado por la persona afectada. Uno de los licenciados más eficientes de América y la tercera persona nombrada presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de los Estados Unidos de América, John Marshall, escribió en la decisión:

” Un indulto es un oficio, cuyo valor depende de su aceptación por la, persona afectada. Es difícil entender como uno bajo sentencia de muerte, rehusara aceptar un perdón, pero si lo rehusa, no es un indulto. Jorge Wilson tiene que ser ahorcado.”

Lo mismo es cierto en lo espiritual. Eres pecador bajo sentencia por el pecado, condenado al Infierno eterno. Es difícil creer que tú, en tu juicio cabal, rehusaras perdón que Dios en su amor te ofrece por su Hijo Jesucristo. Pero si lo rechazas la propiciación carece de valor para ti. ¡Tienes que pagar la pena del pecado en el Infierno para siempre!

No Rehúses El Perdón De Dios,
Confía En Cristo Ahora Mismo

Sí, ¡El Cielo puede ser tuyo! Pero debes decidir el asunto ahora mismo antes que sea demasiado tarde. Son múltiples las advertencias en la Palabra de Dios contra posponer (demorar) la salvación. Por ejemplo, El nos dice:

“ No te jactes del día de mañana; porque no sabes qué dará de sí el día.”(Prov. 27: 1)

El hombre que reprendido endurece la cerviz, de repente será quebrantado, y no habrá para él medicina.” (Prov. 29:1)

“ Por lo cual, como dice el Espíritu Santo: Si oyereis hoy, su voz, no endurezcáis vuestros corazones como en la provocación, en el día de la tentación en el desierto.” (Hebreos 3:7,8)

“ Porque dice: En tiempo aceptable te he oído y en día de salvación te he socorrido He aquí ahora el tiempo aceptable, he aquí ahora el día de salvación.” (II Cor. 6:2)


Si quieres estar seguro de ir al Ciclo, aceptando a Jesucristo corno tu Salvador personal, favor de indicarlo firmando la declaración siguiente. Luego, tan pronto corno sea posible, comparte con otros tu decisión.

* * * * * *


Dirección del correo-e :

Si tú quieres enviar esta decisión a la dirección que sigue, te escribiremos una carta de consejo y ayuda. Ahora que has recibido a Cristo en tu corazón debes bautizarte y unirte a una iglesia donde se predique la palabra de Dios.

© Derechos de propiedad literaria 1977
Todos los derechos reservados.

Blessed Assurance

I was reminded of this wonderful hymn as I wrote a note in the guest book of a friend who recently joined her husband in Heaven.  Look at the words that were written by a lady who was blinded at a tender age.  While Fannie Crosby may have been physically blind, she was wonderfully sighted spiritually. 

  1. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
    Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
    Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

    • Refrain:
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long;
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long.
  2. Perfect submission, perfect delight,
    Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
    Angels, descending, bring from above
    Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
  3. Perfect submission, all is at rest,
    I in my Savior am happy and blest,
    Watching and waiting, looking above,
    Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

I hope the link placed here will play on your computer.  If so, you can enjoy the beautiful sound that echoes the sentiment Fannie Crosby wanted you to have stir your soul and spirit. 

If not, click on this link where you will find the music: http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Blessed_Assurance/midi/

Learn about playing music formats…

Show Score view Scorch sheet music [.sib]

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 play midi [.mPlay Midiid]

What is the Gospel?



1 Corinthians 15:1-4

 1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

 2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

 3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures

What must I do to be Saved?

Dr. John R Rice
Dr. John R Rice

What must I do to

be saved?

By Dr. John R. Rice, Evangelist

Here in the simplest, shortest form is put the question to which every man must learn the answer, or spend eternity lost, away from God, suffering the torments of the damned! Thank God, this question is asked and answered in the Word of God so simply that every soul can understand it. There are other questions in God’s Word which affect the soul’s welfare, and many places in the Bible is the plan of salvation made plain, but only one place is this question given word for word, and there, too, we find the answer.Philippi and at midnight they sang and prayed until God broke down all the doors and broke the stocks which held their feet, with a mighty earthquake. The poor jailer, frightened and convicted of his sins, came to these two preachers and asked this question. Read it in Acts 16:29-31:


Paul and Silas were in jail in the city of Philippi and at midnight they sang and prayed until God broke down all the doors and broke the stocks which held their feet, with a mighty earthquake. The poor jailer, frightened and convicted of his sins, came to these two preachers and asked this question. Read it in Acts 16:29-31:

“Then he called for a light and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

“What must I do to be saved?” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”! There is God’s plan of salvation, the only plan He has for every man, woman and child who was ever born into the whole world.

Sinner, there is something you must do if you would be saved. There was hope for this jailer because he saw himself a lost sinner and came trembling to inquire, “What must I do?” Reader, you are a sinner. The Word of God from beginning to end emphasizes that fact. In Isaiah 53:6 we learn:


Oh, I beg you, see it today! You are a poor, lost sinner, a Hell-bound sinner! Your heart is black. You have hardened your heart, you have resisted the call of God, you have rejected Christ. However good you are in man’s sight, you are a terrible sinner, and unless you turn to Christ you must spend eternity in Hell. A SINNER! That is what you are. Admit it in your own heart, confess it to God. You are a sinner and you need saving worse than you need anything else in the world.


Here is God’s simple way to be saved. You are a sinner, your heart is wrong, you cannot save yourself, you are already condemned. The thing you are to do then, to be saved, is to simply trust the Lord Jesus with that matter. When you do trust Him, then you have God’s promise, “Thou shalt be saved.”2:19). You can believe that a certain physician is a good doctor without calling him to be your doctor when you are sick. You can believe that a certain man is a good lawyer without taking him as your lawyer to defend your case. You are not just to believe the truth about Jesus; you are to believe on Him, that is, depend upon Him, risk Him, trust Him; and when you do, you are saved.


Of course, you do not deserve salvation. There is nothing you can do that will make you worthy of it. You cannot be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, for the Scripture clearly shows that you have not kept them. Romans
3:20 says:9:226:23.


Does not the Bible say that we must repent? Yes, the Bible plainly says that “God … commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30), and again, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). This was the preaching of John the Baptist, of Jesus, of Peter and of Paul, that men should repent. And certainly repentance is God’s plan of salvation. The trouble here, however, is that men misunderstand what repentance means, and there has grown up an idea that repentance means a period of weeping and mourning over sin, or sorrow for sins. This idea comes from the Douay Version of the Bible which instead of “repent” says “do penance.” So the place of inquiry, where people should be taught the plan of salvation from the Bible, in revival meetings, became “the mourner’s bench” and thousands of people have been taught that God would not hear their prayer nor forgive their sins until they went through a process of sorrow and mourning over their sins!7:10)–the right kind of sorrow leads to immediate repentance, but mourning is not itself repentance.


The jailer did not go through a period of mourning. He was told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; he did just that and was saved, and his whole family was saved the same way, immediately, the same hour of the night. Everywhere you look through the New Testament you find that people were saved all at once without any process, without any period of mourning.
In the Bible there are many cases of sinners who prayed like the thief on the cross or the publican in the temple. In fact, Romans 10:13 says:10:13, 14.


This simple way of being saved by faith seems so easy, and it is. Some sinner may say, “But I thought one must have a change of heart.” So you must, dear sinner, but that is God’s part. Jesus was talking to Nicodemus when He said, “Ye must be born again,” and in the same chapter He tells Nicodemus how to get the new birth.


“ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned EVERY ONE to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us ALL.”

We have all gone astray! The Lord is not content for sinners to be left believing themselves good. In Romans the third chapter, how positive, how certain is the Word of God that every man, woman and child is a sinner!

“What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are ALL under sin; As it is written, There is NONE righteous, NO, NOT ONE: There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God. They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, NO, NOT ONE”!–Rom. 3:9-12.

In verses 22 and 23 it is stated again that “there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That is the reason Jesus said to Nicodemus in the third chapter of John, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.” And a little later in the same chapter, verse 18, He said that the man who has not believed in Jesus is already condemned.

Certainly these Scriptures must make it clear to every man who believes the Word of God that he is a sinner, and until he has believed in Christ and has been saved, he is a lost sinner and needs saving. The heart is wrong, and only God can make that right. Then if you want to be saved, you must admit in your own heart, “I am a sinner. I am lost and need to be saved.” No one ever was saved without coming for salvation as a sinner.

If you have settled in your heart that matter, then you are ready to learn God’s answer to your question, “What must I do to be saved?”

I do not mean that you are simply to believe that there is a God or that there is a Saviour. Devils believe that and tremble (James

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his own sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

The same thing is told in Galatians 3:11 which says:

“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”

Many, many Scriptures repeat again and again that there is no salvation through human goodness.

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”–Titus 3:5.


We had as well admit, then, that no man deserves saving and no man can save himself. Salvation must be free or the sinner could never get it. In fact, it takes blood to pay for sin, for the Scripture says:

“Without Shedding of Blood Is No Remission”–Hebrews

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”–Rom. 5:6.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”–Isa. 53:6.

Peter tells us that all of us are bought by the blood of Christ:

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”–1 Peter 1:18, 19.

Every lamb, bullock, heifer, goat, turtle dove and pigeon offered in the Old Testament times on the altar pictured this: that man, a guilty sinner, must have some innocent one to shed his blood to pay for one man’s sins. Jesus died for our sins, and, thank God, salvation is bought for every man in the world, if he will have it, as the free gift of God.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”–Rom.

Dear sinner, remember that church membership will not save you. If you have been baptized that cannot save you. Baptism does not save, does not keep anybody saved. It is only an act of duty for those who have already found Christ as their Saviour. A moral life or lodge membership or good citizenship–these must all fail to bring salvation, for it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5). Don’t depend, then, on what you do, but on what Jesus did and promises to do for you.

Do not misunderstand me. God is anxious for you to have a penitent, broken heart over your sins. You have gone away from God. You have trampled under foot the blood of Jesus Christ, wasted years of your life which you can never live over again. You have served your father, the Devil. There is plenty for you to weep over, and I am not surprised if you feel deep shame and sorrow in your heart that you have so mistreated the God who made you and the Saviour who died for you. I am not surprised if you cannot keep back the tears! But what I want you to know is that tears or no tears, however much sorrow you may have in your heart, or not have, those things do not save you.

You ought to be sorry for your sins and ashamed of them. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance” (2 Corinthians

“Could my tears forever flow, Could my zeal no respite know, These for sin cold not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.”

To repent literally means to have a change of mind or spirit toward God and toward sin. It means to turn from your sins, earnestly, with all your heart, and trust in Jesus Christ to save you. You can see, then, how the man who believes in Christ repents and the man who repents believes in Christ. The jailer repented when he turned form sin to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Zacchaeus, up a tree, trusted Jesus and made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully (Luke 19:6-9). Jesus said,

“This day is salvation come to this house.” When Peter told Cornelius and his assembled household that they could be saved

by believing, immediately “while Peter yet spake these words,” the Scripture says, the Holy Spirit came on them and they were happily saved (Acts 10:44-48). The thief on the cross, wicked sinner that he was, who a few minutes before had been railing at Jesus, was saved immediately when he inquired of Jesus (Luke 23:42, 43). In the first chapter of John, verses 35 to 49, we see where Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip and Nathanael were all converted, one by one, immediately by faith in Christ. There is no record of any person in Bible times who was ever told to wait, or mourn, or weep over his sins before trusting Jesus and being saved! One who believes in Christ has repented. Repentance and faith are the same thing put in different words, and neither requires a long period of time, nor a process of mourning and sorrow.

Salvation is instantaneous. All that keeps you today from being saved is the wickedness of your heart that holds on to sin and will not run to Jesus to trust in Him for salvation. I beg you, turn in shame and sorrow from your sins this minute, and trust in Christ and be saved!


“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Many people believe that a sinner cannot be saved without a period of prayer, without consciously calling on God. However, the Bible does not say that a sinner must pray in order to be saved. In fact, immediately following the verse in Romans 10:13 is an explanation which shows that calling on God is an evidence of faith in the heart and that it is really faith which settles the matter. Read it again.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?”–Rom.

The Lord encourages the sinner to pray, and the Lord hears and answers the sinner’s prayer, if that sinner trusts in Jesus Christ for salvation when he prays. He heard the prayer of the thief on the cross, of the publican in the temple, of blind Bartimaeus. But the Scripture says, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?” Certainly every one who is to be saved must believe. Prayer is evidence of faith. No matter how long one prays, if he does not trust in Christ, he can never be saved. If he trusts in Christ without conscious prayer, then he is saved already. There is just one plan of salvation and just one step a sinner must take to secure it. That step is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!

Same way we preachers have left the impression on this poor world of sinners that God is hardhearted and that it takes many tears and loud cries and long periods of sorrow before He will hear and save the sinner. We have left the impression that God does not care whether sinners are saved or not, and that sinners must some way touch the heart of God and get Him ready to forgive. What a slander on a good and holy God who “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Man’s sins are already paid for, God’s wrath is already turned away from any sinner who wants to be saved. Both the Father and the Son are a million times more anxious to save every sinner than the sinner can be to get saved! Thank God, I do not have to beg God to forgive my sins. He will do it the minute I am willing to trust it with Him.

“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.

The change in your heart, sinner, is God’s part and you may be sure He will attend to that. Your part is to simply believe in Him. Whatever else is necessary in your eternal salvation, the Lord attends to when you trust in Him, or believe in Him.

Some do not want to claim Christ as Saviour until they have the mysterious feeling that they want. Do not let the Devil deceive you here. I believe in heartfelt religion, and thank God for the joy which He gives to me day by day.
Some people have an idea that the change of heart is a matter of feeling. But the Bible nowhere tells how one must feel before he is saved, nor does it anywhere say how you feel after you are saved. In fact, people do not feel the same. Feeling varies with the person saved.


Every person who is saved ought to publicly confess Christ. Matthew 10:32 and Romans 10:9 plainly teach that God will claim as His child any of us who will claim Christ as our Saviour, but we simply confess with the mouth what we have already trusted in our hearts. Concerning that very matter Romans 10:10 says:1:12 to as many as receive Jesus. But you could not come to Christ without trusting Him, and John 1:12 shows that receiving Jesus is the same as believing on His name.10:43.13:39.16:30, 31.5:31). He is the Great Physician and will heal your soul instantly if you will trust Him. As you would trust a doctor, submit to his treatment, depend on him for results, so trust Jesus today about your soul. To be sure, human doctors fail many times. Their results at best are gradual, and so no doctor is a perfect picture of Jesus. The doctor can work no miracles, but Jesus can, and the change that is needed in that poor, wicked heart, He will make immediately, instantly, without any further effort on your part, when you trust Him!


If you had committed a crime and were thrown in jail, probably the first thing you would do would be to send for some lawyer in whom you had confidence and trust him with the entire matter of your defense. In God’s sight you are a criminal, condemned already and with the wrath of God upon you day by day. But God has provided somebody to take the part of us poor sinners, criminals before the bar of God’s justice, and Jesus is that lawyer, for the Scripture says:

A young man and young woman stand together, side by side, before the preacher. The preacher says, “You will join right hands.” Then to the young man he says, “Do you take this young woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love her and cherish her until death do you part?” He answers, “I do.” To the young woman the preacher says: “Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband until death do you part?” She answers, “I do.” Then the preacher says: “I pronounce you man and wife,” and they are married in the sight of God and man.


The way is plain and you can be saved this moment if you will.10:10).

Some cry when they are saved, some laugh, and a few shout aloud the praises of God. One is no more saved than the other.

What you want, dear sinner, is salvation, and you should be satisfied to feel any way that will please the Lord, just so He forgives your sins.

Be sure you notice another fact, too, and that is that you cannot feel right until you get right. Rejoicing does not come before you trust the Lord. One does not feel the result of medicine before he takes it. The Children of Israel in the wilderness, bitten by fiery serpents and at the point of death, were not healed and did not feel healed until they looked to the brass serpent on the pole (Num. 21:6-9). People are not saved by feeling; they are saved by trusting in Christ. The prodigal son, away from home in the hog pen, decided to arise and go to his father, but he did not feel good. He was without shoes, clothed in rags, without the ring of sonship, without any evidence of his father’s forgiveness, perishing with hunger! Yet he arose and came to his father, not by feeling, but by faith in his father. Thank God, his father received him, like God receives every sinner who will come. And when the prodigal boy sat down at his father’s table, with shoes of the gospel of peace, clothed in the garments of righteousness of Christ, with the ring of sonship on his finger, eating the fatted calf at the right hand of the father, happy in his love, then he has plenty of feeling. Feeling comes after salvation. Leave the feeling with the Lord and come to the Saviour by faith today.

After you are saved, you will get peace and joy out of following the Lord in baptism, reading His Word, winning souls and otherwise pleasing Him. You need to go to the Lord again and again day by day for the joy of a Christian life. But thank God that salvation is settled once and for all when you simply depend upon Christ as your Saviour.

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

To claim Christ as your Saviour simply proves that you trust Him in the heart. Likewise with all other promises in the Bible about how to be saved. “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” says John 6:37; and salvation is promised in John

Dear sinner, do not make this a difficult matter. There is one simple step between you and Jesus. When you trust Him, everything else is settled, and you have repented, you have come to Christ, you have received Him, you have done everything necessary to be saved. Take the answer in Acts 16:31 at face value: “BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED”! In dozens of Scriptures all through the Bible salvation is promised to those that believe. Read carefully the following Scriptures and see that again and again, many, many times, God has promised all any poor sinner would ever need when he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that BELIEVE on his name.”–John 1:12.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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 3:14-16.

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that BELIEVETH not is condemned already, because he hath not BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”–John 3:18.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that BELIEVETH not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”–John 3:36.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and BELIEVETH on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”–John 5:24.

“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and BELIEVETH on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”–John 6:40.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that BELIEVETH on me hath everlasting life.”–John 6:47.

“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever BELIEVETH in him shall receive remission of sins.”–Acts

“And by him all that BELIEVE are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”–Acts

Read again the Scripture we started with:

“What must I do to be saved?”

“BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”–Acts

Trust Jesus, the Great Physician

If you were sick and about to die, and there was some good doctor whom you could trust, would you not risk him to take your case, give you the necessary treatment, and with God’s help get you well? Then just like that, trust in Christ, depend on Him for your salvation, and turn it over to Him today. With the same kind of faith that will call in a doctor and risk him for your body, you can call in the Lord Jesus Christ and risk Him to forgive your sins and save your poor lost soul! He said, “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Luke

“If any man sin, we have an advocate [or lawyer] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”–1 John 2:1, 2.

Jesus will not only be your lawyer to defend your case; He has already paid the penalty and you may safely trust Him to have you immediately pardoned and justified! Why not simply risk Jesus as you would risk a good lawyer? Jesus is better than any lawyer, of course, and you do not have to pay Him a fee, and He never fails.


What a simple picture of salvation! Jesus is the bridegroom and we who trust Him are to be His bride. Already Jesus has loved you and has long urged you to accept His love. Jesus invites you to accept His love. Jesus invites you to believe in Him right now and be saved and so become a part of His bride. Will you not right now with the same simple faith of that young woman who takes a husband, accept Jesus as your Saviour and say to Him, “I do.”?

Surely it has become plain, dear lost sinner, that it is your own fault if you are lost! Do you hate Jesus Christ? Will you hold on to your sin and go to Hell for your stubbornness? Nothing in the world could show your wickedness like postponing this matter. You can be saved right now, this minute. I beg you, do it now. Turn your whole heart from sin to trust in Christ. Choose for Heaven against Hell, choose for Christ against Satan. Do not let Satan deceive you any longer. If you delay, it may result in a hardened heart, a wasted life and a tortured soul in Hell! And if you are not saved, when God has made the way so plain and paid the price for your sins, then you have no one to blame but yourself. Will you trust Jesus Christ today and be saved?

“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”–Proverb 27:1.

“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”–2 Corinthians 6:2.

“Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts.”–Heb. 3:7, 8.

God has given you this heartbeat, this breath, this moment in order to trust Christ, but there is no promise of another. I beg you do it right now, and then claim Him as your Saviour.

One who trusts Jesus Christ as personal Saviour should publicly claim Him before men. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans

After trusting Jesus Christ you should join a church and be baptized. I hope you will find a good Bible-believing church and attend faithfully.

This message by Dr. John R. Rice has circled the globe in multi-millions of copies and in many languages. I had the honor of working with Dr. Rice the last eight years of his life. When he asked me to join him in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, he suggested, among the duties I would undertake, that I write promotional articles for his tract, “What Must I Do to be Saved?” When I asked if there were testimonies available that I might read from those who had been saved through this powerful message, his faithful assistant, Miss Viola Walden, showed me several file cabinets stacked side-by-side filled with thousands of such testimonies. More arrived each day that I was there—some ten years. –Ron English

Should We Love Our Enemies?

Read Matthew 5:43-48 By Michael Guido, The Sower

Matthew 5:43-48
43-Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44-But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45-That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46-For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47-And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48-Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

A reporter asked a man, “How old are you?”

“Ninety,” the man replied, “and I don’t have an enemy in the world.”

“Beautiful,” said the reporter. “What’s your secret?”

“I outlived them all,” he explained.

But it’s not a matter of outliving your enemies; it’s outloving them. The Bible says, “Love your enemies.”

No matter what a person may do to you, don’t allow yourself to desire anything but his highest good. Is he cruel to you? Be kind to him. Does he hate you? Love him.

This love isn’t something of the head but of the heart. When you become a Christian,  the Lord fills your heart with His love.

Give in to the Lord, won’t you?

Prayer: Father, constrain us to love Thee and others as Thou dost love us – willingly and wholeheartedly: in Thy name. Amen.