There are many misconceptions about Heaven. One of the greatest errors, is regarding the requirements for admission. Many rumors and myths have existed over the centuries, which have no factual basis. The greatest of these: people who lead lives that are mostly good, will be granted access to heaven. In truth, even the good on earth, are never good enough for heaven. What God requires and how He accomplished salvation for every person–is an important and worthy subject for further inquiry.
The Bible is unique amongst all documents of history in that it accurately portrays the true condition of the human heart. We are all aware of our own failures and inadequacies. Even those who call themselves “Christians,” are painfully aware that their new faith in Christ–does not preclude them from continuing moments of failure.
The method by which all human beings are made ready for heaven, is by the stunning process of judgement. Our sins merit a penalty. Instead of God punishing sinners, He has chosen to punish His Son–who offered Himself as our substitute at the place of judgement. From God’s vantage point, all those who come to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, receive that forgiveness–and are made ready for admission into heaven.
“…God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them-… –2 Corinthians 5:19
How do we know that Jesus is the only way?
For the past 2,000 years, many men have claimed to be the Messiah or the Christ. To the present day, certain churches and religions allege that only they have the right to bestow eternal life on their members.
The Bible teaches that eternal life and the forgiveness of sins, comes not through any church or any earthly institution, but through Jesus.
To give us assurance of who the true Messiah is, the Old Testament speaks of the Messiah as “Holy,” separate from sin, and the only man who will ever live a perfect life.
David wrote in Psalm 23:3-4, asking the question: “Who is qualified to ascend into the presence of the Lord?”
“He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.”
In other words, a perfect man who has never sinned…
The Old Testament prophecies predicted that the Messiah would be without sin. The testimony of those who were well acquainted with Jesus stated that He was without sin. There has never been another man to whom a sinless life could be attributed—other than Jesus. This is the singular quality that sets Jesus apart from all others.
He was born of a virgin:
According to Hebrew tradition, it is through the father that sin is transmitted to a baby, not through the mother. ￼If God were to implant the Seed of His own Son in the body of a human being, that Seed would be the Son of God. The Messiah would be both God and Man together in a single human body.
Prophecy 1 of the Bible not only promises a Savior; it predicts that He will be born of a Virgin, a woman who has not conceived by the seed of man but by the Seed of God. This would enable this Savior to bypass the inherited sin nature imparted to all human beings, as they are descended from Adam, and be born without sin.
The eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ birth, found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, describe Mary as a virgin who had known no man. The angel who announced Jesus birth, reports that Mary is pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. The child within her was fully human but was also fully God—the perfect candidate to take man’s place and die for his sin.
If God had not sent a Savior who was human, He could not die for us. Any candidate for Messiah, must be a sinless man, in order to meet the strict requirements set forth by God. This fact is established by many Old Testament prophecies:
If a candidate for the Messiah had any trace of sin, he could not be the Savior of all men. The account of Jesus’ birth and life describe Him as perfect and without sin. The testimony of Jesus’ sinless life proves that He has met all the qualifications for Messiah, the Savior of all men.
Many people deny that the Bible predicts a coming Messiah—born of a virgin—a conception that occurs without the aid of a human father. To reject a supernatural origin for the Messiah, is to ignore the first prophecy of the Bible. Genesis 3:15 speaks of a Savior who will be born through the Seed of a woman. Since a woman possesses the egg, not the seed, this language demands a Savior who is born without the aid of a man. The conception will be caused by God’s Spirit; therefore, He will be called The Holy Son of God.
Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 7:14, speaks of the virgin who will conceive and bear a son. See Prophecy 164.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
There is an implied meaning here in the Hebrew language, as the words “ha almah” are understood together. The Hebrew word “ha” (the) before the definite article “almah” (virgin) implies that this is not just any young woman or just any virgin, but “the virgin,” someone previously described. The Hebrew understanding of Isaiah’s text implies a virgin who has previously been predicted in the scriptures, going back to the beginning. The obvious intent here is the Seed, spoken of by God, in Genesis 3:15, who is described in this first prophecy of the Bible.
The obvious virgin whom this first prophecy in the Bible is speaking of is Mary, the mother of Jesus. She is vividly described in the New Testament as being with child, by the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:18-23 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
The angel who brought this announcement to Joseph and Mary told them that their Son would be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: The Virgin of Isaiah 7:14, who is The Seed of Genesis 3:15, is also the Holy Son of God who is in the womb of Mary—conceived by the Holy Spirit. The certainty that Isaiah was describing Jesus as the future Messiah, is confirmed by Matthew in his gospel.
Matthew 1:22-23 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet (Isaiah), saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
The common criticism that Almah could also be translated as “young woman” is unsupported by the original language. When we consider the entire Hebrew sentence structure of Isaiah 7:14, clearly, the intent of Isaiah was to convey to the reader—a child who will be “God with us.” Matthew confirms this by his statement in 1:23: they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.” The subject of Isaiah’s prophecy is God dwelling in the body of a man, born of a virgin, and sinless. See Prophecy 165.
Any Hebrew reader of Isaiah’s prophecy, understood that this prophet was not describing an ordinary young woman—but one who conceived without the conventional union of a human father and mother.
This fact is confirmed by the angel who spoke to Mary and Joseph and told them that their child was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: the virgin would conceive and bear a Son and He would be called Immanuel, God living with us. Mary asked how this could be possible, because she was a virgin. The angel told her that this would be possible by the power of the Holy Spirit, as the Messiah would originate from God—not man.
Luke 1:34-35 Mary asked the angel, But how can this happen? I am a virgin. 35 The angel replied, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. (NLT)
Jesus lived a sinless life
Hebrews 4:14-15 “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
John 8:46 (Jesus speaking) “Which of you convicts Me of sin?”
The Bible is very specific in regards to the type of sacrifice that could be offered for sins in the Old Testament. Only a perfect lamb–free of defects–was acceptable to God. The reason for this requirement is established later in the narrative of the New Testament.
1 Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
By the sacrifices of the Old Testament, God was prefiguring the arrival of His Son, who would be perfect and without sin. Exodus Chapter 12 describes a Lamb who was chosen to die, and His blood would cover those who had sinned, protecting them from judgement and death.
The Passover Lamb
Exodus 12:3,5 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: “On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
The Passover Lamb was an advanced look at the arrival of the Messiah who would become the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
The Lord’s instructions to Moses for how the Lamb was selected and the way in which Passover was to be conducted, were very detailed and distinct.
- The Old Testament animals had to be perfect in order to qualify for a sacrifice that would cover sin (Exodus 12:5).
- In the same way, the future New Testament sacrifice of the Messiah also had to be perfect, if He would qualify to cover all sins.
All men are incapable of meeting the requirements for salvation because they are sinners. How could someone who is himself imperfect, be able to help others who are also imperfect? By this example given to us here in the Book of Exodus, we understand that anyone who would be qualified as the Savior of all others would themselves need to be without sin. If a future candidate should arrive who would claim to be the Messiah, an evaluation could easily be made of his qualifications. If he is not without sin, a male and willing to die for the guilty, he cannot be the Messiah.
This is why it is illogical to think that any plan of man, a religious organization, or a personal attempt at approaching God—based on past good works, is possible.
The standard of God is perfection; anything less is not acceptable. Since all men are born imperfect and they demonstrate their continued imperfection throughout their entire life, no man is good enough to meet the standards to save himself or anyone else. When a church or an individual claims that they are the way to God, and they claim to have the power to grant eternal life by following their doctrine or methods, they are in error. We know this because of the 21st prophecy in which we see the standards required by the Passover Lamb of Exodus 12.
No man can save any other man unless he has been able to live a perfect and Holy life himself. Since all men are sinners, no man can be saved without a Savior who is perfect.
The testimony of those who had been with Him for three years, describes His life as perfect—without sin. This is why John the Baptist described Jesus as The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29 above).
Peter, who knew something of personal sin, said this of Jesus:
“…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
David asks the question: “who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?” Only Jesus, because He alone is perfect and without sin. There is no other that we should look to for our assurance of salvation.
NOTES:￼  1. Shaul Magid (2008). From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbala. Indiana University Press. p. 238. 2. Genesis 3, It was Adam’s sin that caused all men to be sinner. Confirmed by the New Testament book of Romans: Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned  1 Peter 1:18-19
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