People have different opinions about how to ascend to Heaven: being kind in life, going to church, helping others, and so on. Still, the Bible teaches that the only way to enter the Kingdom of God is to accept Jesus as the Savior and convert to Christianity. First, familiarize yourself with Christ's message. Then learn to pray and dedicate your life to the cause.
Method 1 of 2: Understanding the Basics of Salvation
Step 1. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God
Every person has sinned or done something wrong that turned them away from God. In the Old Testament of the Bible, it was necessary to make animal sacrifices to be absolved of sins. However, the New Testament asserts that God sent His son Jesus to earth - to be mankind's last sacrifice. The Bible also says that Jesus rose from the dead three days after he was killed, which proved his divine nature.
- John 3:16 describes God's gift to mankind: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
- Romans 5:8 describes the sacrifice Jesus made for sinners: "But God proves his love for us, that Christ died for us, while we were still sinners."
Step 2. Accept that no one goes to Heaven without being saved by Christ
John 14:6 reads as follows: "Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, except through me." This means that, before a person becomes a follower of Jesus, he has to abandon the idea that there are other ways to ascend to Heaven. Worship is the only way to understand the importance of Christ's sacrifice.
The Bible also makes it clear that there are people who are not good enough to enter Heaven alone or through their actions in life. Ephesians 2:8-9 reads: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. It is not of works, lest any man should boast."
Step 3. Ask Jesus to intercede for your life through prayer
It is not enough to understand that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our sins to go to Heaven. You have to make a conscious decision to become His follower and to pray to the Lord for forgiveness. This is called "being born again" in Christ, as life changes from that moment on.
John 3:3 states, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, that he that is not born again cannot see the kingdom of God."
Step 4. Go through baptism as a sign of dedication to Christ
Going through baptism is not a must for anyone who wants to go to Heaven. Yet, God commands all his followers to be baptized as a sign of devotion and immersion in a weighty spiritual experience. The diving and rising of the water indicate that Jesus is washing away your past sins.
- Acts 2:38 describes the following: "And Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
- The fact that baptism is not an obligatory step to salvation is made clear in Luke 23:41, when Jesus was being crucified. A thief who was executed at the same time asked Christ, "Jesus, remember me when you enter into your kingdom." He did not have time to be baptized, to which Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise."
Method 2 of 2: Praying for Salvation
Step 1. Say the prayer of salvation when you are ready to dedicate your life to Christ
There is no specific prayer, as it is not the words that guarantee salvation - but the intention to start following Jesus. Therefore, only pray if you are ready to dedicate your life to Christianity.
You can (and will) sin after becoming a born-again Christian, but always try to live a pure life in Jesus
Step 2. Begin prayer by admitting that you have sinned
Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Even if you've always tried to be a good person, chances are you've already told a lie, disrespected your parents, was jealous of someone's success or something. The first step in achieving forgiveness is admitting that sin happened.
- For example, start the prayer with something like "Lord God, I know I've sinned and I'm not perfect."
- Even a sin, big or small, already separates a person's heart from God. James 2:10 reads: "For whoever keeps all the law, and stumbles at one point, is guilty of all."
- Romans 6:23 specifies the penalty of sin and Jesus' gift to sinners: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."
Step 3. repent of your sins and ask for God's forgiveness.
You won't be "perfect" just because you start following Jesus. The temptation to sin will persist and sometimes overwhelm your heart. It's human nature - and that's why Jesus' sacrifice was so powerful. He not only "invalidates" your past sins, but future sins as well, as long as you are sincere and try to improve yourself as a person.
- For example, you might say, "God, forgive me for my sins. I'm sorry I'm not what You expected of me."
- Repentance goes far beyond asking for forgiveness. You have to be truly disgusted by your sins.
- 1 John 1:9 says that God forgives those who confess their sins and ask for mercy: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Step 4. Commit to following Jesus for the rest of your life
After asking for forgiveness of sins, tell God that you want to trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior. He must be the only leader in your life. Also, show that you accept that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for the sins of mankind, and that he was brought back and now lives in Heaven. Pray like this to give your whole heart to the Father's teachings.
- For example, conclude the prayer by saying, "I know Jesus is the Son of God and I believe He died on the cross for my sins. Jesus, please come into my heart and help me to be like You. Amen."
- The Bible has several passages that make it clear that salvation comes through prayer, such as Romans 10:9: "To know, If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved".
- Acts 4:12 also states that this is the only way to achieve salvation: "And in no other is there salvation, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."