Welcome to the narrow road underground! To be blunt and clear Jesus is the only way to heaven. To follow Jesus today you must live a counter-cultural life that crashes against the norms of society. So the way of the Kingdom of Heaven is a narrow way that only a few will find and follow. You will find this from Christ’s own words found in Matthew 7.
So first of all, you need to notice that the Bible never says you are going to heaven because you believe you are. It does not say you know you are going to heaven because you prayed a little prayer like, “Dear Jesus come into my heart.” Nor, does it say you are assured of heaven because your priest, pastor, or grandmother said you were. Instead, John provides seven clear cut evidences of salvation. He learned to look deeper, rather than accept a simple testimony from a person who claimed to be a Christian, because Christ taught him to verify salvation by a person’s fruit.
Please consider this, there are no do-overs. When we die we enter heaven or hell. Therefore if you want to spend eternity in heaven you must make sure you know and do what Jesus Christ reveals is the truth. Paul, the apostle, even warned the Christians at the city of Corinth to examine themselves to make sure they were really in the faith, unless they found themselves deceived. (Read 2 Corinthians 13:19)
And the apostle John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, …” 1 John 5:13
So first of all make sure you are a real believer, not on your terms, but on God’s. Go to our Next Step Podcast or Be Sure pages after you read this page to make sure you are a true follower of Jesus.
Next you must learn how God works inside you and matures you.
#1. We learn from Acts chapter two that church is not designed to make you happy, but to help mature you into an obedient disciple of Jesus. You must deny yourself and follow Him. So the first commitment a new Christian must make is to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness …” You are to become an all out, 100% follower, worker, and ambassador for God’s kingdom. You read, discuss, and learn what God commands you to know and understand so that you can obey Him completely and fulfill your destiny.
#2. Next, is to make a steadfast commitment to gathering with, working with, caring for, and supporting your new church family. You learn to be tighter than friends and as family members, expand God’s kingdom. Teamwork is the environment God wants the family to grow spiritually through. It is so hard to get Americans to commit to this. Most want to come see and hear the show and then go home. This is disobedient and stagnating to spiritual growth. The Bible says, “…exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 13:3) You must be committed and involved to grow together with other believers, this is true fellowship.
#3. Thirdly, we must always meet together in communion. First Corinthians 11:28 explains the importance of this event and also shows why it is a spiritual growth tool. Paul writes, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” We must constantly examine ourselves. Remember how a doctor examines a patient, he probes and pokes. He looks for hidden signs of problems. This same procedure is just as important for all to grow spiritually and root out sin.
#4. Finally, without a steadfast commitment to group prayer meetings you will not reach maturity. God promises “…where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” The Father is so concerned about group prayer He makes it clear He gives special blessing to those who obey. Jesus also said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” We all learn to depend on God as a family. The young watch the older ones and imitate their actions.
So… now I have to ask, do you really want to grow? Well, if you do not devote yourself to firmly follow these four commitments that the early church established for all Christ’s disciples, YOU WILL NOT MATURE! You will not find yourself transformed. It is time to stop making excuses. Come follow Jesus!
Finally after you place yourself into the right environment to help you grow up, begin the process of spiritual growth by working through the seven steps to spiritual maturity.
God bless, and with all diligence take every step and follow Jesus.