The Way to Heaven

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These words of faith and inspiration are offered by Dr. Bill Bright of the Campus Crusade for Christ.

Dear Friend,

Dr. Bill BrightYes, you can know God personally, as presumptuous as this may sound. God is so eager to establish a personal, loving relationship with you that He has already made all the arrangements. He is patiently and lovingly waiting for you to respond to His invitation. You can receive forgiveness of your sins and assurance of eternal life through faith in His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The major barrier that prevents us from knowing God personally is ignorance of who God is and what He has done for us. Read on and discover for yourself the joyful reality of knowing God personally.

Bill Bright
Campus Crusade for Christ


The following four principles will help you discover how to know God personally and experience the abundant life He promised.

  • God loves you and created you to know Him personally.
    (References contained here should be read in context from the Bible whenever possible.)
    • God's Love
      "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."   John 3:16
    • God's Plan
      "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."   John 17:3, NIV

What prevents us from knowing God personally?

  • Man is sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love.
    • Man is Sinful
      "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."   Romans 3:23

      Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
    • Man Is Separated
      "The wages of sin is death."   Romans 6:23
      (spiritual separation from God) Man separated from God

      This diagram illustrates that God is holy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and establish a personal relationship with Him through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion --- but he inevitably fails.

The third principle explains the only way to bridge this gulf...

  • Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin. Through Him alone we can know God personally and experience God's love.
    • He Died in Our Place
      "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."   Romans 5:8
    • He Rose From the Dead
      "Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred...."   I Corinthians 15:3-6
    • He Is the Only Way to God
      "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me'."   John 14:6 God's bridge to Man through the Cross

      This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

It is not enough just to know these truths...

  • We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally and experience His love.
    • We Must Receive Christ
      "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."   John 1:12
    • We Receive Christ Through Faith
      "By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast."   Ephesians 2:8,9
    • When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth (Read John 3:1-8)
    • We Receive Christ By Personal Invitation
      [Christ speaking] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him."   Revelation 3:20

      Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of our will.

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The Way to Heaven

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:

The Self Directed Life

Which circle best represents your life?

Which circle would you like to have represent your life?

Christ Directed Life

The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You Can Receive Christ Right Now By Faith Through Prayer
(Prayer is talking with God)
God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart?
If it does, pray this prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

How to Know that Christ is in Your Life?

Did you receive Christ into your life?
According to His promise in Revelation 3:20, where is Christ right now in relation to you? Christ said that He would come into your life and be your friend so you can know Him personally. Would He mislead you? On what authority do you know that God has answered your prayer?
(The trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word.)

The Bible Promises Eternal Life to All Who Receive Christ
"The witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life."   1 John 5:11-13

Thank God often that Christ is in your life and that He will never leave you.   Hebrews 13:5 You can know on the basis of His promise that Christ lives in you and that you have eternal life from the very moment you invite Him in. He will not deceive you.

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The Way to Heaven

An important reminder...

Do Not Depend on Feelings
The promise of God’s Word, the Bible—not our feelings—is our authority The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram illustrates the relationship among FACT (God and His Word), FAITH (our trust in God and His Word), and FEELING (the result of our faith and obedience).   John 14:21

The train diagram illustrates the relationship among FACT, FAITH, and FEELING

The train will run with or without the caboose. However, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, we as Christians do not depend on feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word.

Now That You Have Entered into a Personal Relationship With Christ

The moment you received Christ by faith, as an act of your will, many things happened, including the following:

  • Christ came into your life.   Revelation 3:20 and Colossians 1:27
  • Your sins were forgiven.   Colossians 1:14
  • You became a child of God.   John 1:12
  • You received eternal life.   John 5:24
  • You began the great adventure for which God created you.   John 10:10;2, Corinthians 5:17; and 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Can you think of anything more wonderful that could happen to you than entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Would you like to thank God in prayer right now for what He has done for you? By thanking God, you demonstrate your faith.

To enjoy your new relationship with God...

Suggestions for Christian G R O W T H
Spiritual growth results from trusting Jesus Christ. "The righteous man shall live by faith".   Galatians 3:11 A life of faith will enable you to trust God increasingly with every detail of your life, and to practice the following:

  • Go to God in prayer daily.   John 15:7
  • Read God's Word Daily   Acts 17:11 - begin with the Gospel of John.
  • Obey God moment by moment.   John 14:21
  • Witness for Christ by you life and words.   Matthew 4:19, John 15:8
  • Trust God for every detail of your life.   1 Peter 5:7
  • Holy Spirit - Allow Him to control and empower your daily life and witness.   Galatians 5:16,17, Acts 1:8

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The Way to Heaven

CONTINUING YOUR GROWTH IN GOD

If this information has been helpful to you and you would like to continue your growth in Christ, Campus Crusade for Christ offers several wonderful online and other resources. Links to those resources and brief descriptions are listed below. (These links will open a new window.)

Another wonderful resource for "new believers" is Dr. Charles F. Stanley's website: www.InTouch.org . There is a "New Believer's Kit" link on the page, in addition to numerous other resources for your spirit.

And last, but not least, drop us a line so that we may pray for you. Click on this link to have Sharon pray for you: Sharon, Pray for Me.


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All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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