My sister and I have been having a discussion about how good you have to be to get into heaven. Finally, we concluded that we'll probably not know the answer until we die—but then it'll be too late. Are we right? — J.S.W.
No, you aren't correct—and I hope you'll both be thankful that you aren't! God wants us to know for certain what our eternal destiny is, and He has provided the way for us to have that assurance.
The key is to understand what God has done to make our salvation possible. You see, by nature we are all sinners, and the problem is that even one sin would be enough to keep us out of heaven. The reason is because God is absolutely perfect and holy, and even one sin is an offense to Him. That's why we can never save ourselves by our own good deeds, for we can never be good enough. The Bible says, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law" (Galatians 3:10).
But God loves us, and He has done for us what we could never do for ourselves: He has provided another way for us to be saved. He did this by sending Jesus Christ into the world to become the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. We deserve to die for our sins—but Christ died in our place. When we trust Him for our salvation instead of ourselves, God forgives us and saves us.
By a simple act of faith confess your sins to God and commit your life to Christ today. Then thank God for saving you, and make it your goal to live for Him. God's promise is for you: "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life" (1 John 5:11-12).