Do You Believe In Heaven? (ESV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 2.75 inches x 6.5 inches
- Pages: 8
- Version: ESV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the ESV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
Do you believe in Heaven? If so, who do you think goes to Heaven? Are you good enough to go to Heaven? What about bad people; where do they go? What determines if someone is good or bad? “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart” (Proverbs 21:2). We are all good in our own eyes because we compare ourselves to other people. When God compars us to his own goodness using his Law, we all fall short. The Ten Commandments is God’s law and a tool that can be used for examining ourselves.
“Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God” (Romans 3:19).
So let’s take a look at God’s law and see how you look compared to God’s standard instead of your own.
1. You shall have no other gods before me.
That means God must always be the first priority in your life. Not football, TV, gossip, having a good time, family, or your financial situation.
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol.
Don’t make a god to suit yourself either with your hands or your mind. You might say, “my god would never do that.” That’s true because your god does not exist, you made him up. The God of the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament. In Acts chapter 5 God killed Ananias and his wife Sapphira for lying.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Don’t use God’s name in a meaningless way. That means saying: oh my God, oh Jesus, GD, and many others. Unless you are talking to—or about—God or Jesus, using the G or J word is worse than using the f word.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Do you set aside one day every week for God-centered rest? A day that you step back from the busyness of life, and focus on your personal connection with Holy God.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). If you turn to Jesus and repent, you will find a true peace that only he can give.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
Have you always honored your parents or guardians in a way that would please God?
6. You shall not murder.
The New Testament makes it clear that if you hate someone you are a murderer in God’s sight: “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15).
Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire” (Matthew 5:21-22).
7. You shall not commit adultery.
Jesus said if you even look with lust you’re guilty: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
8. You shall not steal.
Have you ever stolen something, regardless of value? Maybe charged an extra hour at work, cheated on a test, stole a pen, or received extra money back from the store. That’s stealing and in God’s sight you’re a thief.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Have you ever lied? There is no such thing as a small lie (white lie, lie of a lesser degree). If you have ever told a lie, God sees you as a liar.
10. You shall not covet.
Have you ever seen something someone else had and wished you had it also? A nicer house, car, bike, boat, wife/husband, kids, dog, even talent, good looks, and fame. That’s coveting.
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). That means Hell.
The bad news is you’re guilty of sin and you will be judged by a Holy God. Because God is just and holy, he must punish sin.
Ok, let’s imagine you were drinking and driving and ran over a boy playing in the street. Scared of being incarcerated, you fled the scene of the accident, hurried home, packed your bags and moved far away. Feeling horrible for your crime, you decided to make up for it. “I will become a youth Minister,” you thought. “The best youth minister ever.” Five years go by and the law eventually catches up with you. You are arrested and brought before a Judge. The evidence is stacked against you, so you plead with the Judge: “I’m a good person,” you say to him. “I have been a great youth minister.” Then you proceed to tell him about all your good deeds.
Now, if the judge let you go because of your good deeds there would be an outrage in the community and people would protest the corrupt judge for justice to be served.
But, after pleading with the judge, he turns to you and says that your good deeds do not change the fact you killed a child. Justice demands that you pay for this crime.
God is a good Judge and must hold you responsible for your crimes. On judgment day you will be found guilty, and the punishment will be eternal separation from God. Jesus said there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
If you examine yourself and acknowledge you’re guilty and deserve hell, there’s hope for you.
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). So humble yourself before Holy God today. Admit you deserve Hell.
Ok, finally we have come to the Good News. Jesus is the Good News, and he did something you could never do. He, being God, put his glory on hold, robed himself in flesh and lived as a human. He was still fully God but also fully human. He lived a perfect and sinless life. Then he laid his life down as a sacrifice in order that the world might be saved through him. He was humiliated, stripped naked, and almost beat to death. Then he carried a cross out of the city, and was crucified. Crucifixion was the most shameful way to die in that time. So God not only put his glory on hold but allowed himself to be humiliated and tortured so you and I would have a chance to be set free from our deserved punishment. Thank you Jesus...
So the only question is how do you accept this offer?
Step one we covered: you must humble yourself. You should have a broken spirit and broken and contrite heart because of what you have done. If you don’t feel remorse ask God to help you feel his pain for the sins you committed against him.
Step two: Jesus told Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
So how can you be born again? Before you can be born again you must die. Yes, die. But don’t go jump off a bridge; that won’t save you. You have to do something much harder than that. You must die to your wants and desires for this world and live for Jesus and his good news. Romans 6:3-6 says: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”
The first words of Jesus’ public ministry were “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Repentance is not asking God for forgiveness it is turning from your sins and turning to God. Your life should look radically different from what it did before you were born again. God should be the reason for the change: not age, marriage, or kids. Your life should also look much different than the world around you.
1 John 2:15-17 says: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
I’m not saying you won’t sin: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).
I am saying you will not make a practice of sinning: “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:6-9).
Ok, now let’s talk about faith and works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Ok, new question: what is faith?
Faith is different than believing in something. You can believe a parachute will save you if you jump out of a plane. But it takes faith in the parachute to actually jump at 14,000 feet. You have faith when you believe and take action based on that belief.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).
If you have faith in Jesus you will obey him.
James 2:14-24 says: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
Thank you for reading this Gospel Tract. I hope you turn to God today. Did you know that over 150,000 people die every day? I bet most of them think today is no different than any other. After death it’s too late. There is no such thing as purgatory, and no chance to repent after death. Please repent when there is still time.
Reading the bible every day is a good practice and the only way to know what God wants you to do. I recommend starting in the New Testament. Matthew chapters 5, 6, & 7 contain Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. After that you could start in the Gospel of John and read all the way through Revelation. My favorite primary Bible translation is the English Standard Version (ESV) and a good secondary is the New International Version (NIV).
Suggested authors and preachers are:
John Piper, David Platt, Francis Chan, Ray Comfort, Johnny Hunt, Kyle Idleman