It would be a tragedy to spend 20, 40, even 60 years thinking you’re serving Jesus and going to heaven, only to learn on Judgment Day that you’ll spend eternity in torment.
Toward the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said it’s going to happen.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7:21-23).
First, Jesus implied that it’s not enough merely to believe in Him as Lord and Savior, because the people He depicted as being turned away from heaven believe those facts.
Second, Jesus implied that it’s possible to believe in Him as both Christ and the Son of God, yet not actually do the Father’s will. These believers will be refused entrance into heaven for failing to obey.
Third, Jesus implied that it’s not enough to sincerely strive to serve Him. These believers who’ll be turned away from heaven will have attempted to serve Christ in this life through activities like teaching and doing “many wonderful works.” Yet they’re lost.
Fourth, Jesus implied that these believers who’ve sincerely tried to serve Him were, in fact, never Christians—they were never saved: “I never knew you.”
Fifth, Jesus implied that those who never obey the Gospel—though they spend their lives in religious pursuits, thinking they’re serving Christ—are workers of “iniquity.”
This doesn’t sound like what preachers teach today about being saved and going to heaven. Then again, Jesus crossed the religious leaders of His own day with the truth.
So why will people think they’re saved and on their way to heaven when they’re not? Most likely because they’ve been taught error.
A lot of sincere people fail to ever become Christians because they’re told to “ask Jesus to come into their hearts,” or “pray the sinners’ prayer.” Doing these things won’t result in salvation, but they will result in people thinking they’re saved.
Don’t let this happen to you. Do what sinners who heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ did in the first century, as recorded in the book of Acts. Believe the Good News, repent of your sins, confess your belief in Christ, then be baptized in water so you can contact Christ’s saving blood. When you come up out of the water you’ll be a new creature, walking in new life, forgiven.