By Pete Rose - http://www.raptureready.com/soap/rose14.html
Good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell. Not so! Paul quotes from the Old Testament in Romans saying, "There is none good... All have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory." (Romans 3:12, 23) Not a one of us can get to heaven on our own merits. Jesus says, "I am the way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
If your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you go to heaven. A variation of the above. This is works religion, and it won't get you to heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourself" [God gives you the faith], "not of works, lest any man should boast."
You have to keep the law of Moses (or the Ten commandments, or some other set of rules) to get to heaven. Nope, that won't get you there either. Paul in the book of Romans and the book of Galatians thoroughly refutes that. "By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20). (emphasis added) The purpose of the law is to show us we are sinners, and to drive us to Christ. There is salvation only in Him. Paul even goes so far as to say, "Christ has become of no effect to you, whosoever among you would be justified by the law, you have fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:4).
You must be baptized to be saved. Uh-uh. That won't do it either. Baptism is for people who are already saved. It symbolizes for the believer death to the old man and rising in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is your testimony to the world that you are already saved. To baptize a sinner is a meaningless ritual, all you're doing is getting him wet. If baptism is required for salvation, how could Jesus say to the repentant thief being crucified beside Him, who had no chance of being baptized, "This day you will be with Me in paradise"? (Luke 23:43)
You have to measure up. I once had someone tell me I had to do that to be saved. Measure up to...what? Jesus said, "Except your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees you will in no wise enter in." If you want to "measure up" you have to measure up to the perfect righteousness of Jesus. James says, "If you keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, you are guilty of all." (James 2:10) Just one little slip up, one little white lie, and you blew it. The only righteousness God will accept is the perfect righteousness of Christ living in you, and the only way you can obtain that is to turn away from your sins and come to Jesus in faith and receive Him as your Lord and Savior.
You must speak in tongues to be saved. No, no, no! Speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and you must have the Holy Spirit living in you before you can exercise the true gift of tongues, or for that matter, any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And the only way you can get the Holy Spirit in you is to come to Jesus and let Him save you. That has to come first. Speaking in tongues is one of the benefits of salvation, not the way of salvation.
All roads lead to heaven. No they don't. The only Way to heaven is Jesus, by yielding yourself to Him and allowing Him into your life. All other roads lead to hell.
I'm religious. That won't help anything. Religion is man trying to reach God by his own efforts. The Pharisees in Jesus' day were as religious as they come, yet Jesus' strongest rebukes were reserved for these pretenders. Jesus has already done everything necessary for your salvation; it's already bought and paid for by His shed blood. All you have to do is receive it by inviting Jesus into your life, into your inner man. Religion is Satan's detour around Jesus.
I'm a member in good standing of (name your church). If that's all you've got to claim, you'll never make it to heaven. A church is like a bus station, it's a convenient place to catch a bus, but you'll never get anywhere just sitting in a bus station. You gotta find the bus going to your destination and get on it if you want to go anywhere. For the church (any church) only Jesus can get you to heaven.
I'm good enough that I don't need to be saved. This is a lie of the Devil to get you to detour around Jesus. Romans 3:10-12 tells us there is none righteous, none that seeks after God, none good, no not one. Isaiah 64:6 tells us all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the sight of God. Trying to present God with your righteousness for salvation is like paying your taxes with Monopoly money. I guarantee it won't work.
I'm so bad I can't be saved. Another lie of the devil. Hebrews 10:10 tells us Jesus' sacrifice of Himself on the cross was "once for all," done one time forever. Jesus' death on the cross has bought and paid for salvation for every person on earth, no matter how evil, if only he/she will receive it by trusting Jesus and receiving Him as Lord and Savior.
Now that I'm saved I can sin all day, do anything I want and get by with it. No, no, a thousand times NO! Jesus did not save us to live in sin. If this is your attitude I seriously doubt if you got saved in the first place. If you choose to live this way after you're saved, you will forfeit any reward you would have otherwise gotten, you will come under the chastisement of God (if you don't you're not His-Hebrews 12:5-8), you will likely lose the assurance of your salvation, live a miserable life and probably end up going to an early grave. Plus you bring disrepute on the name of Jesus.
If you sin after you are saved, you lose your salvation. No, we are saved eternally (John 10:27-30) but you can lose your reward at the judgment seat of Christ, you can lose the assurance of your salvation and if you insist on living in sin, bring on yourself all the things listed above. Jesus' death on the Cross paid for every sin you have ever committed or ever will commit, but God will not tolerate a Christian living in sin. He can make your life very miserable if you insist on making a practice of that. If you do sin, here is the way out. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." How much better to do this and turn away from your sin than live in sin and get constant spankings from god!
The true way of salvation:
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are we saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9] not of works, lest any man should boast.
John 3:16-18: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17] For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18] He who believeth is not condemned, but he who believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me; 28] And I give eternal life to them and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them from My hand. My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them from my Father's hand. (NASB)
Acts 4:10-12 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11] This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which has become the head of the corner. 12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Emphasis added.)
Romans 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. 12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. 13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
So we see from all this that salvation is only through Jesus Christ. Not by works, not by keeping the law, not by belonging to some church, religion or organization, nor any other way man devises. Only through and by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for us can you be saved. There is only one road, only one way that leads to God, and that is Jesus Christ. All other roads lead to hell. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait [constricted] gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat. 14] For strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life and few there be who find it." (Matthew 7:13-14).
In past articles I have been emphasizing the shortness of the time we have left until Jesus comes to take those who are His away from Earth to be with Him for eternity. If you are not saved when He comes, you will be left behind to go through a horrible time of trouble Jesus describes as being such has never been before, nor will ever be again. All the hurricanes, all the earthquakes, all the famines we have been seeing in recent years are only a warm-up for what is coming. The whole earth will be ruled by Satan himself in a body of flesh, and it will be a time of terrible persecution for both Christians and Jews. If you die without Jesus in your life, you will go straight to hell, to suffer the torments of the damned forever. If you get saved after the rapture, you will probably be executed for your faith, but better to get your head chopped off and go to heaven, than save your life for a few years, then die without Jesus and go to hell. You don't want to be here when all this happens. And you won't be if you trust Jesus for your salvation now, you will be safe with Jesus from hell and the lake of fire for eternity, no matter what happens after that. Don't put it off. "Behold, now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2b).