Baptists > Doctrines > Salvation
Assurance of the afterlife?
   Does anyone know how to get to Heaven?
      Can you be assured that you will live forever?
         Is there even an afterlife at all?
   The mortality of man has driven him to either find a way to consiously exist beyond this lifetime or conclude that there is only nothingness beyond death.  The concept of immortality is the driving force.  However, the assurance of it has not been so easy to obtain.
   Mankind's history has been one of attempting in every way to find God (or the gods) and to do whatever is necessary to obtain His/her/their approval to enter into whatever kind of afterlife was understood at the time.  This might include being guided down a river of death by a creature who is half man and half animal to strapping a bomb on one's chest so as to kill infidels and, thus, merit heaven for a thousand years.  From sacrificing humans on altars to conjuring up mystical gods and godesses, we human beings have come up with multitudes of religions that seem to provide hope but leave the soul filled with doubt and fear.
   Then, there is the Bible.
   It's teachings concerning the afterlife stand in stark contrast to any other teaching.
   Man's religions attempt to convince us that Heaven is to be obtained; the Bible states that there is nothing we can do to merit salvation--it is a free gift (Romans 6:23).
   Man's religions teach that we are pawns of the gods who use us for their own pleasure; the Word of God teaches that He loves us so much that He came to this Earth to sacrificially die for our sins (Romans 5:8).
   Man's religions teach that we are to work hard at perfecting ourselves so as to be worthy of acceptance into the afterlife; The Scriptures teach that we are sinners and can never be worthy of meriting eternal life on our own so we must turn to Jesus in faith and trust Him for our soul's salvation (Romans 6:22).
   In fact, the entire doctrine of salvation as taught by the Word of God contradicts every major religion.  Not only is this truth a major challenge to those who hold a universalist view (that all religions lead man to acceptance in the afterlife) but actually negates their validity.
   Why should we then place any confidence in the Biblical doctrine of salvation?
   By it's very uniqueness compared to all other manmade forms of religion, the Bible deserves a close look; especially in view of the fact that your soul hangs in the balance regarding whether or not the view you have of the afterlife is the correct one or not.
   Therefore, the following questions must be answered:
   1. Trust in the Scriptures: An acceptance of the Bible as God's revealed truth must preclude any belief in it's teaching concerning Heaven and the afterlife (II Timothy 3:16 & 17).
   2. Admitting One's Own Sin Nature: Until an individual comes to grips with their own total inability to merit salvation, any ability to accept it as a gift will not be possible (Romans 3:10 & 23).
   3. Faith in the Saviour: Trusting in Jesus as the Christ is essential to be assured of the afterlife in that He is the One who accomplished our salvation while making it clear that God's Heaven necessitates a spiritual rebirth (John 3).
   4. Accepting the Rebrith: The Bible teaches that salvation occurs when we seek God's forgiveness for our sins and place our faith in Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection (Romans 6:6-8).
   5. Assurance of Heaven: The Scriptures clearly state that those who have been truly born-again (regenerated by placing their faith in Christ) are assured of being received into Heaven at death (1st John 5:13).
   Salvation is a point of time experience where a sinner goes to God in prayer, asks forgiveness for sin, states his/her faith in the completed work of Christ on the cross, and places faith in the resurrected Saviour.  The result is God's gift of salvation being given freely; a gift that can neither be revoked, taken back, or forfeited.
   Many have tried to refute this view of the afterlife.  They have failed.
   In the meantime, born-again believers continue to be assured of their heavenly home and none moreso than the Baptists.
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Slippage Questions: The Doctrine of Salvation

   "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."  ~ Hebrews 2:1

Have you personally trusted Jesus as your Saviour?  If not, please view this page for further help in understanding how to find assurance of the afterlife:  How to Be Born Again
Does the church you attend teach that salvation is by faith in Christ?  If not, why?
Does the church you attend point out that God's salvation is a gift; one that comes with God's assurance?  If not, why?
Where in the Word of God does it clearly state that you can merit eternal life based on your good works? (Titus 3:5)
Is it acceptable to add or take away any facet of the Biblical teaching of salvation?
Do you have trouble believing that God is able to reveal to us exactly how we can be assured of the afterlife?  Could it be that you are not confident in the Scriptures as being God's Word?  Why?
Can you honestly conclude that all religions truthfully point mankind to Heaven after studying the Biblical doctrine of salvation?
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