Watch this short video to find out what the Bible says about how to have eternal life.
Basic Bible Truths
The Bible is God’s Word written, inspired, infallible, and inerrant in the original manuscripts, and is the unique, full, and final authority on all matters upon which it bears. (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:20, 21)
There is one true God, eternally existing in three persons –Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — each of whom possesses equally all of the attributes of God and elements of personality. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3, 4; II Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 1:4-6)
God the Father
God is the Father of all mankind as their Creator, and, in a specific way, He is the Father of the nation of Israel as its Creator. He is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ whom He sent to be the Savior of the world and whom He has decreed will one day reign as King over the earth and be the Judge of all mankind. He is also, in a special way the Father of all who believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life, as He draws them to believe in Christ, blesses them with every spiritual blessing, cares for them, provides for them, forgives them, answers their prayers, eternally rewards them, and disciplines them. (Exodus 4:22; Psalm 2:7-9; Matthew 6:1-34; 7:7-11; John 1:12; 3:16; 5:22; 6:44; Acts 17:29; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:3-6; Hebrews 12:9; James 1:17-18)
God the Son
The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, born of a virgin, and sinlessly perfect. By His death as a substitute for sinners He perfectly satisfied God’s justice and accomplished salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose bodily from the dead and ascended to His Father’s right hand where He now intercedes as our Great High Priest. He will come again to rapture His church and establish His kingdom on earth. (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1-14; Acts 1:10, 11; Romans 3:24, 25; 8:34; I Corinthians 15:1-4; II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:14-16; 9:23-28)
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son into the world to apply the benefits of the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners and convicts them of their need for a Savior. For every believer at the moment of faith in Christ for eternal life, the Holy Spirit regenerates them, permanently indwells them, baptizes them into the body of Christ, seals them for the day they go to be with Christ and gives each of them a spiritual gift, which is a special ability to serve others in the church. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the available source of power, comfort, and teaching for all believers. (John 3:5-8; 14:16-26; 16:5-15; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:11; Galatians 5:22, 23)
The first human, Adam, was created in the image of God. Through disobedience he sinned, choosing to go his own independent way, and thus was alienated from God, died spiritually, and suffered the corruption of his nature, leaving him unable to please God. This fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals born since suffer these same consequences, are fallen, sinful, and lost and are thus in need of the saving grace of God. (Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 3:10-20, 23; 8:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3)
God, out of love for the human race, sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for man’s sin when He died on the cross. Any person who believes in Jesus Christ alone as their only hope of eternal life, while not trusting in anything else, receives the gift of eternal life, which once granted can never be lost. (John 3:16-18; 5:24; 6:47; 10:27-30; Romans 3:21-25; 4:5; 8:38, 39; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:1-10; I Timothy 1:15; Titus 3:3-7; Revelation 22:17)
Being baptized in water is necessary in order to become a disciple, but it is not necessary in order to receive eternal life. It is God’s way to publicly identify oneself with the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is necessarily baptism of believers (not infants) by immersion (not sprinkling). (Matthew 3:16; 28:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 8:26-38; 10:47-48)
All believers in the present age are members of the body of Christ, the universal church, united to Christ and to one another by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Believers are to gather together in local churches to devote themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer. All of these things take place at the Lord’s Supper, which is biblically defined as the weekly meeting of the church, the only church meeting prescribed and described in the New Testament. The purpose of the church is to develop dedicated disciples. The church is to be led by elders who meet biblical qualifications and who desire to do the biblical work of elders. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:42a; I Corinthians 1:2; 11:17-34; 12:12-14; 14:34-38; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:11-16; 5:24-30; I Timothy 2:1-3:13; Hebrews 10:23-25)
At an imminent time, the Lord Jesus Christ shall descend from Heaven as all believers go up to meet Him in the air. This event, referred to as the Rapture, will be followed by a seven year Tribulation on the earth during which time many people, especially the Jews, will believe in Christ for eternal life. At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Christ will return to establish His kingdom on the earth, which will last for one thousand years. This period, referred to as the Millennium, will be followed by the eternal state in which there will be a new heaven and a new earth. (Isaiah 2:1-4; 11:1-16; Daniel 9:24-27; Zechariah 12:10; 14:1-21; Matthew 24:1-44; I Thessalonians 4:16-18; Revelation 6:1-19:21; 20:1-6; 21:1-22:5)
At physical death the believer enters immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and the unbeliever into eternal, conscious separation from Him. The bodies of all the dead shall be raised; those of believers to a resurrection of eternal glory; those of unbelievers to a resurrection of eternal condemnation. (Luke 16:19-31; Philippians 1:23; I Thessalonians 1:6-10; II Peter 3:8-13; Revelation 20:1-15; 21:1-22:21)
Basic Salvation Truths
The sole condition for receiving eternal salvation from hell is faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. God can make this offer because Christ died on the cross for man’s sin and rose from the dead. No act of obedience should be added to, or be considered a part of, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. This means that nothing done before or after saving faith has anything to do with the receiving of eternal life. A commitment to obey, sorrow for sin, turning from one’s sin, baptism, submission to the headship of Christ or any other act of obedience may and should follow saving faith. Yet none of these things should be added to, or be considered a part of, the sole condition for receiving eternal life which is faith alone in Christ alone. Eternal Salvation is a transaction between God and the one who believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life. It is simply the giving and receiving of a free gift. (John 3:16-18; John 4:10; John 6:47; Acts 16:31; Romans 4:5; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Revelation 22:17)
Assurance of eternal salvation is based only on the promise God makes in His Word that everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ alone possesses eternal life. Good works are not necessary to have assurance of eternal life. Good works can and should be a part of the Christian life but they are not a good measurement for one’s assurance. (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:10; I John 5:9-13; Titus 3:8)
(Growing in Christ) The ultimate goal of the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer’s life is to produce spiritual maturity reflected in consistent Christ-like behavior and attitudes. Therefore, obedience to the Word of God, while not necessary for obtaining eternal salvation from hell, is the essential responsibility of each Christian. However, the Bible does not teach that this obedient lifestyle will be manifested in all believers or to the same degree in all believers. If a believer does not yield to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in his experience, failure will result, evidenced by sinful acts or even prolonged disobedience. (Luke 14:25-33; Romans 6:12-23; I Corinthians 2:14-3:4; I Corinthians 10:1-13; Galatians 5:16-21; 5:22-25; Colossians 1:23-29; Hebrews 5:13, 14)
The believer is assured of salvation from hell, and is eternally secure, since that salvation is based solely upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the receiving or keeping of that salvation cannot be a motivation for godly living. The Scripture, however, does present several motivations for obedience in the Christian life.
A powerful motivation for living the Christian life is gratitude to God for saving us by His grace.
Believers should also be motivated by the knowledge that their heavenly Father both blesses obedience and disciplines disobedience in His children.
Finally, every Christian must stand before the judgment seat of Christ, not to determine his destiny in Heaven or Hell, but to be rewarded according to the quality of his Christian life on earth. Anticipating either reward or loss of reward at the judgment seat should motivate believers to be faithful to God’s revealed will. (Leviticus 26:1-45; John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:38, 39; 12:1, 2; I Corinthians 3:10-17; 9:24-27; II Corinthians 5:10, 14, 15; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 12:3-11; James 5:8- 9; I John 2:28; Revelation 22:12)