- Religion and Philosophy
Why it is important to know you're going to Heaven
I'm on my own road.....to Heaven by believing in Christ
Why it is important to know you're going to Heaven
I was brought up Catholic for my first 33 years, and I love the Catholic faith, the icons, the beautiful artwork, the cathedrals, truly this is and was the true Church. (But) As all Churches can have flaws, one of the flaws I've seen and experienced in the Catholic Church, at least how I was brought up- and I attend(ed) the Latin Mass- the old school rules; is the goal to earn your way to heaven.
How did I understand it?
Well, I believed I COULD go to Hell, if I kept sinning and didn't go to confession or died without confession. What kind of reassurance is that? You try and try and yet may not make it? Well, I also believed that I was a BETTER person if I prayed more (more than other people) and if I did things like dress modestly I was superior, and that I could be a great saint- a better and bigger person than some others who were "poorly just making it." At least that's what I understood.
What is the new life I lead?
I have had a lot of difficulty in my life, especially the past 18 years with my illness which is bipolar. Anyways, I asked my sister on the phone one day, over a year ago in December of 2009, I said, "I want MORE. The faith I have is not enough." I wanted more strenth and I knew SHE had strength, I could see it in her; she was and is such a strong believer and it shows by her actions and kindness, etc.
I had prayed the sinner's prayer before...I had tried the born again thing a few times. But perhaps this time I was really ready. Because this time I FELT it...She and I did what we did before, she read me passages from the Bible, and this time, as I prayed the sinners prayer, I really CONCENTRATED on what I was saying and believing, and sure enough, after I felt a profound peace, and I felt so happy, I couldn't stop smiling and as I was walking outside and talking on the phone to her I said, "I feel like an alien on this earth, like I don't belong here." She said in reply, "Yes, we are meant to be in heaven with God, but we are here for a short time and God uses us like a vessel to perform works for him and help others, and spread the faith, etc." How wonderful! Days after that, I felt more motivated than I had in years, I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me and I made some major changes in my life.
I was stagnant for quite a while, It can take a long time to really embrace the faith of being a bible believer because it was different that being a Catholic. So I wasn't being FED by the bible church by not going, I was stagnant in the Catholic Church, which is a good church but the bible speaks right to you. Over time I realized this and I go now to a church which really preaches the bible though I would go to Catholic church with my Mom on occassion, but I really see the benefit of praying to God in my own words, and when I read the bible I FEEL God there speaking to me, and encouraging me.
I've been able to make major changes in my life of which are personal in nature but I see myself as coming forward in leaps and bounds. I cannot be any more grateful. I still pray the Hail Mary a few times with my Mom and that is fine, but my main thing is to pray and read the Bible. I also enjoy Christian music.
Knowing I will go to Heaven
The bible says By faith ye are saved not by works lest any man should boast! How great it is to be equal to everyone else. How peaceful that is. No one is better than anyone else, even those who aren't "saved" yet, have a great potential and may just not have received Jesus YET. We are not to judge people but LOVE them. The point about not earning your way to heaven is so simple: We compared to God are nothing. He created us. We are like little tiny ants who CANNOT get to heaven on our own and that is why Jesus because of His great love which is hard for us to fathom at times, died for our sins and Salvation is a gift. It takes humility to accept this gift. How can you at Christmas receive a gift from a relative and say "Okay Thankyou" without giving in return? But this is what Jesus wants- for us to ACCEPT HIm as our Savior and understand He saved us with his blood, to be sorry for our sins.
As a Catholic I always accepted Christ, of course I did! But I never understood that Salvation is free--Faith is a gift from God, By faith ye are saved, not by works lest any man should boast.
Now, I am free. I have Christ's Holy Spirit in me which is always there if I choose to pay attention to it. When I do, I am much happier than when I don't. Being close to God is actually a very happy thing. Many do not know or understand this, but as we know, we are weak and imperfect of course, just humans, so we just keep letting God pick us up every time we sin, we confess it to the Lord and try and try again.
But knowing I am going to Heaven, because I accepted Christ gives me more peace. And I'm not competing with anyone, I'm doing what I can on my own road -with my friends in Christ- to Christ. I learn more and more each day and accept my imperfections. I am a child of God and I am happy.