Noel writes,“I can be sure that I am saved (go to heaven) when I accept Jesus. Does this mean we should be concerned about going to heaven, or should we be concerned about doing what Jesus commanded us to do, which is to love one another as He loved us?”
Here, Noel alludes to the truth that salvation is not just about going to Heaven. Heaven is a perk of salvation but not the point. The point of salvation is being made right in our relationship with the God of the universe, even Jesus Christ.
The Bible teaches that no one is acceptable to God and that no man by his own actions can make himself accepted by God.
“As the Scriptures say, ‘No one is righteous— not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.’ ” Ro. 3:10-12 NLT
Isaiah 64 tells us that all of our attempts at righteousness are but filthy rags.
While this is a central truth of God’s word, standing alongside it is the truth in tension, that while we cannot save ourselves, the God who created us can and will save those who trust Him!
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” John 3:16-21
To answer Noel’s first question I don’t think we should truly be concerned with going to Heaven or doing what Jesus commanded; Both things are impossible for us to attain without first coming to Jesus and trusting Him for saving grace. When we “come to the light”, put ourselves in the hands of Jesus, then getting to Heaven and obeying Jesus both become possible.
What do you think?