How do I get to heaven?
Well, I should go to church and try my best to be a good person, right?
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
– Isaiah 64:6, KJV
Alright, so doing good deeds isn’t enough. I know! I need to believe in something! I don’t want to say that other people could be wrong about their beliefs, so as long as I believe in something in my heart, I’ll be good to go, right? I mean, there’s no way God would send someone like Gandhi to hell… would He?
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
– John 14:6, ESV
Alright, I think it’s time to lay out some truth. Imagine you’re standing before a Judge, guilty of a crime punishable by death. You say to the Judge, “Judge, I know I’m guilty, but I’ve tried my best to be a good person. I know that you’re a loving, kind judge – surely, you’ll let me off?” While it is true that the Judge does love you – something He doesn’t have to do, by the way – he also must be just. He must punish sin. You are guilty. If He “lets you off,” then He has to do the same for everyone. The murderer, the rapist, the gossiper, the complacent. We are all guilty.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
– Romans 3:23
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
– Ephesians 2:1-3
Did you catch that last part? We are all, by nature, children of wrath. We are born on the side that opposes God! During his life, Jesus said that anyone who wishes to follow him should count the cost of doing so, and uses this idea of a massive opposing army as an example. What we need to be saved from is not the burning fire of hell. We don’t need to be saved from Satan or even from ourselves. We need to be saved from the wrath of God.
I know wrath isn’t a popular subject. I have learned, however, that if we try to push these (MANY) passages aside and focus on the parts that are more comfortable for us, the only result will be our following a god that does not exist. You might as well put up some wooden idols and start burning spiritual incense because God without ALL of His characteristics is not truly God.
Here’s what it comes down to…
This is the root of everything I’m trying to say: without giving ourselves up to Christ, we are still responsible for paying the price for our sins. Remember that Judge analogy? Well, imagine that someone bursts into the courtroom and says, “I’ll pay your fine. You don’t know me, but I love you. I came here specifically for the purpose of setting you free from your sin. Now, we can be together forever. I promise you this – it is so worth it.” As a matter of fact, he’s the only thing that’s “worth it.” So, I’d like to introduce you to Jesus Christ. He paid the price for you, even while you were still guilty.
Buddha did not pay for your sins. Neither did Muhammed, Confucious, or any other human being. God sent His son to the earth in the form of a man who lived a blameless life, suffered, died, and conquered death in resurrection so that we could be reconciled to Him.
Want to know more about this God? He’s given you everything you need to know about Him in the form of His word – the Bible. With His help, there is so much we can know about Him. Even more than knowing about Him, we can know Him personally and intimately. That is truly incredible.
Let’s talk about this!
Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts! I love hearing from you guys.