Question: I feel like I’m a pretty good person and, all-in-all, have done some good things in my life. l believe the good I’ve done with my life outweighs the bad. I’m not perfect, but I believe God will allow me into Heaven for who I am.
Are you totally comfortable that you will be able to enter Heaven because of the “good” you’ve done during your life? After all, your eternity hangs on the right answer.
And, before you hold your eternally to your opinion that you will make it into Heaven because you’re a good person, consider this: Why did Jesus have to die?
The Bible tells us, “Do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be [earned by doing good], Christ died for nothing! (Gal. 2:21).
More personally, that means if you were “good enough” to enter Heaven on you own merits, Jesus died for nothing.
Reflect on what Jesus’ prayed during the night preceding His crucifixion. “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me . . . My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (Matt. 26: 39-42). Jesus knew what He faced in the coming hours, and specifically asked the Heavenly Father to spare Him if there were any other possible way. So, if there were any other way for a man to be saved, it would’ve been revealed then.
Would God have allowed His Son to suffer and die needlessly? No.
Therefore, if any person, in their own ability, could live a life worthy of earning his way into heaven, Jesus wouldn’t have died on a cross at Calvary.
There is a deceptive spirit that tells us that we are good enough for God to accept us into Heaven, or that we really aren’t so bad that God wouldn’t keep Heaven from us. But the deception comes from gauging how “good” we are by comparing ourselves to others. In doing that, we can easily point out multitudes who are far worse than we are.
But our standard isn’t on others. Our standard is God, and God is Holy. In the holiness of God, perfection is the mark.
Anything outside of God’s purity and perfection is called sin. The word “sin” translate from Hebrew and Greek words which mean “to miss the mark,” or to “miss the center of the target,” such as in archery. In archery, an arrow could well hit the target, but if it hits anywhere outside the target’s centermost point, it an error of sin, regardless of how close.
In God’s standard of holiness, close isn’t good enough.
Yet, man is bent towards sin. “For all have sinned and fall sort of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Therefore, it is impossible for a man to meet God’s standard. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us …. If we claim we have not sinned, we make [God] out to be a liar, and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:8-10).
Furthermore, God tells us that our sin has a consequence. Sin has a wage – or a deserved retribution – of death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). “Sin . . . gives birth to death” (James 1:15). “Everyone will die for his own sin” (Jer. 31:30).
Our sin separates us for God. And, in ourselves, we are powerless to reestablish our relationship with God. Left alone, we will reap our earned wages of our sin – everlasting death.
God’s holiness demands He be just. So, God can’t overlook or ignore sin. Because God is just, sin’s deserved punishment for death must be satisfied.
To satisfy sin’s retribution, there must be the shedding of blood and death. For, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22).
Therefore, in His great love, Jesus took our sins upon himself and died in our place as a ransom to set us free from our deserved punishment for sins we’ve committed. The Lord did this because He is a compassionate, merciful, and loving God.
Jesus took upon himself what was our rightful judgment. He shed His blood and gave His live so that we might choose life. He could do that because there was no sin in Him. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).
“[Jesus] has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting on him” (Heb. 9: 26-28).
“Now a righteousness from God, apart from Law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Rom. 3:21-22). “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Rom. 4:25).
Yet, while this righteousness from God is available to all men, it must be accepted or rejected individually.
There is no middle ground. Anyone who refuses to accept Jesus, is in reality rejecting Him.
The Heavenly Father “so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). At the same time, God loves His Son so much that whoever rejects Jesus, carries upon themselves the justice of their deserved punishment for their sin.
If what the Bible says is true, then what you do with Jesus must be the most important decision of your life.
If you remain in your sin, you are dead in your spiritual relationship with God. Furthermore, you will ultimately face a physical death, and if your relationship with God isn’t restored, the Bible says you will be raised “to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2).
No, you’re not good enough to earn your way into Heaven. But, in Christ, you can be made righteous before God.
God is waiting to forgive your sins and confer His righteousness upon you if you confess your sins before Him, repent of your sin, and submit your life to Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.
“Yet to all who received [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:42).
Are you ready to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?
If the Holy Spirit is convicting you and drawing you to Jesus, you may be saved even now. If this is the sincere burden of your heart, you may pray a prayer like this:
Jesus. I am a sinner. I know I need your mercy, grace, and forgiveness. I know I am lost without you and there is no hope for me apart from you. I believe you are the Son of God and you alone are able to save me from my sins. I believe you died on the cross, taking my sins upon yourself. I believe that you rose from the grave, showing your death is acceptable to God as full payment for all my sins. Forgive me for my sins. I receive you as my Savior. I commit my life to you as Lord. Thank you for saving me. I love you, too. Amen.
If you have prayed similar words with sincerity from a repentant heart, on the authority of the Word of God, be assured you have eternal life.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).