Sundays @ 10 am,11 am & 6 pm Wednesdays @ 7 pm 5520 S. Narragansett Ave. Chicago IL 60648

Garfield Ridge Baptist Church

The Church with a Heart for the City

How to Get to Heaven



The Gospel:
1. You must recognize that the God of the Bible is the true and living God, the Creator of all, and the One to Whom every person will one day give an account.

2. You must realize that all persons, including you, were born sinners (Ecc. 7:20, Rom. 3:23, Adam’s sin being passed down to all-Rom. 5:12), and that because of your sinful thoughts, actions and deeds, you are at odds with God. You are undeserving of eternal life with Him, and deserving of His righteous wrath and judgement. Your sin nature and your personal sin make you unfit to have a personal relationship with Him and unfit for Heaven. According to the Bible, the unsaved sinner is already condemned and has God’s wrath abiding on him (John 3:36, Rom. 6:23, Is. 53:6a Is. 59:2, John 3:18).

3. You must realize that no religious works or deeds can in any way erase, wash away, or take care of your sin problem (Is. 64:6, Tit. 2:5a, Rom. 5:8).

4. You must recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ paid for all of your sins in full, completely taking care of man’s sin problem. The sin of all mankind was placed on Christ as He was on Calvary. His blood was shed, fulfilling God’s requirement for sin. Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, and only He could die for the sin of man, being 100% God and 100% man. After dying this cruel death of crucifixion in your place, as the substitute for the guilty sinner, the Lord Jesus was buried and rose again, revealing that God the Father was satisfied by Christ, the final sin-offering which taketh away the sin of the world (John 3:16, Col. 1:14, Is. 53:6, 1 Cor.15:1-4). This is the Gospel message.

Your Part
5. Repent of your sin that has put you at odds with God, offended God, and separated you from Him. To repent means that you are willing to quit your sin, as well as change direction. Repentance is a change of mind about sin, self and salvation, and leads to a change of conduct, or, as the Webster’s 1828 puts it, an amendment of life. False repentance is simply a change of mind about Christ, with no turning from sin. Another aspect of false repentance is being sorry and remorseful over sin only because one got “caught” in sin. This is similar to a child who gets caught taking cookies from the cookie jar, and therefore is regretful, but his regret is due mainly to his being caught. Godly sorrow for sin leads to repentance (2 Cor. 7:9) because it stems from the proper motive of recognizing our offense to God and His holy character. Neither of the false forms of repentance leads to a true conversion. True repentance is when one sees themselves as personally offending God with their sinful thoughts and deeds, and they decide and commit to quit that sin and all sin, as much as lieth in them. Repentance is not a religious work, but a work of the heart (1 Thess. 1:9, 2 Cor. 5:17, Matt. 3:8). An example of Biblical repentance would be a fornicator who lives in sexual immorality with his girlfriend, and as the Holy Ghost deals with him over his sinful state, the individual determines to either marry the girl or leave the relationship. True repentance would result in one of these 2 actions. If there was no repentance involved, there was no conversion. Just the same, if the man never changes his conduct and continues in his lifestyle of fornication, regardless of any “profession” of repentance, there was no genuine repentance. Repentance can also be in regards to false religion. Because of the Biblical truth that salvation is by grace through faith alone, if one previously believed or was part of a belief system (Roman Catholic, Mormon, Muslim, etc), where works, sacraments, etc. were necessary for salvation, then they must repent of this false belief and system (1 Thess. 1:9). Biblical repentance is mandatory before or simultaneously with belief of the Gospel (Mark 1:15). Without Biblical repentance, a sorrow for sin leading to a commitment and decision to leave that sin, there is no genuine conversion (Prov. 28:13). To claim forgiveness or salvation without Biblical repentance is to dishonor God’s Holy Name (Amos 3:3). This movement today that supposedly converts with a repentant heart is wicked, not of God, and damning to the soul. Any professed conversion that leaves the sinner in a lifestyle of sin and for the most part unchanged and undesirous of a holy life, is false, and not a true conversion. True conversion does not result in the individual being absolutely sinless in this present life, but does result in deliverance from a sinful lifestyle (1 Cor. 6:9-11), and having new desires to please God and obey Him (2 Cor. 5:17, Acts 9:6). Jesus preached repentance (Luke 13:3), as did John the Baptist (Luke 3:3, Matt. 3:2), Peter (Acts 2:38), and Paul (Acts 20:20-21). You must be willing to quit and leave your sin. You must make a choice between sin and the Savior.

6. With a surrendered spirit you must obey the Gospel (1 Pet. 4:17), and come to Christ by faith, apart from any works or trust in religious deeds, sacrament, baptism, etc. (Rom. 4:5, 5:1, 11:6, Eph. 2:8-9). Any trust in these things nullifies the conversion, because it implies Christ’s work on Calvary was not enough. (Gal. 2:21b). Grace and works are in total opposition (Rom. 11:6). Good works are a result of conversion (Eph. 2:10, James 2), but have nothing to do with being converted. Christ took care of the sin problem on Calvary, dying for your sins that have offended God. He was your substitute, though you were guilty. Your job, upon having a repentant heart concerning your sin, is to believe and trust in Christ alone. You are putting your faith in the person and work of Christ, and the Word of God that pronounces that you are justified by trusting in Christ for salvation (John 3:16-18, Acts 16:31, John 5:24, 1 John 5:10-13). Praise God! Accompanying the receiving of Christ must be a surrendering to Christ as Lord, not just Savoir. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. The heart’s desire at the time of conversion will be to follow Christ (Acts 9:6, 1 Thess. 1:9, John 8″31). This is a result of genuine conversion and the Holy Ghost indwelling the new believer (Eph. 4:30, John 14:16-18).