So, would you consider yourself to be a good person? Are you good enough to get into heaven?
Let's take a short test to see, based on the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17).
• How many lies do you think you've told in your life? What do you call someone who tells lies? A liar. This violates the 9th Commandment, and the Bible tells us that all liars will have their place in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8). This includes all lies, including fibs, half truths and little white lies.
• Have you ever stolen anything, no matter how small? A piece of candy as a kid, a pen from work? Anything? What do you call someone who steals things? A thief and if you've done that, it means that you've violated the 8th Commandment, and probably the 10th as well, because you would have coveted it before you actually stole it. There will be no thieves in heaven (1 Cor 6:9-10).
• Have you ever used God's Name in vain? Just cried it out as an expletive? That's called blasphemy. It's a transgression of the 3rd Commandment and a very serious offense.
Do you realize what you've done? You've used the Creator of the universe's holy Name as a curse word to express disgust instead of a four letter filth word. Hitler's name is not so despised to be used in such a way!
• The 7th Commandment says you shall not commit adultery.
Now, you might say, "I'm not even married" but did you realize this command includes fornication (pre-marital sex) as well?
In fact, Jesus says that if you merely look with lust, you've already committed adultery in your heart (Matt 5:28).
So, have you ever done that?
• You may say, "I've never murdered anyone." But if you've ever hated anyone, God sees it as murder in your heart and you're guilty of breaking the 6th Commandment. Yes, even your thoughts will be judged on Judgment Day (Matt 5:21-22).
• Have you always honored your parents as they should be honored? That's number 5.
• Have you kept the Sabbath? That's number 4. God gave you your very life, have you ever stopped to consider what He might require of you one day out of seven?
• Have you always put God first in your life? That's the 1st and most important Commandment.
• Or have you created a god for yourself in your mind, fashioned after your own image? A god that doesn't see pre-marital sex or a little white lie as wrong? One that won't hold you accountable and thus you’ve broken the 2nd Commandment as well.
How did you do? Are you "good enough" to make it to heaven? In light of God's standard, judged by these questions, would you be found innocent or guilty?
You know you'd be guilty, none of us have kept them all (Psalm 53:3, Rom 3:23, 1 John 1:8).
So, being found guilty, would you then be destined for heaven or for hell?
Many people say they'd still go to heaven. They claim that God is so good and so forgiving that He will simply overlook their sins and let them into heaven anyway. However, that is not what the Bible reveals (Eph 2:3, Col 3:6).
Check this out: If a person is found guilty in a human court of some heinous crime, say murder or rape, or both, and he says to the judge, "I know I'm guilty, but I'm really sorry. Would you just forgive me and let me go? I won't ever do it again." Would that judge be just in letting the man go? No! And God is incomprehensibly higher in authority, righteousness and goodness than any human judge (Psalm 7:11). He is so just, that every murderer, rapist, and thief will be punished, but He doesn't stop there. Every liar, adulterer and fornicator will also be punished for transgressing His Law.
Consider this: If you tell a lie to your children, you won't have much consequence. If you tell a lie to your wife, you may end up sleeping on the couch. If you lie to your boss, you could end up without a job. And if you lie to a police officer, you may find yourself in jail. Same offense, but committed against escalating authority levels and with escalating consequences.
There is no higher authority than God, and He takes offenses committed against Him very seriously. He is holy, righteous and just, and the Bible tells us that we will face Him to give account for our lives (Heb 9:27, Matt 12:36).
God doesn't want us to end up in hell (Eze 18:32), but all criminals must be punished, and the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23).
Does it concern you that you are destined for eternal hell, and according to the Bible, justice is satisfied by sending you there?
Where the worm never dies and the fire is never quenched. Hell is such a horrible place that Jesus said it would be better to pluck out your eye if it caused you to sin, than to go to hell with both eyes. And when you've been there for a thousand years, you're no closer to the end of your sentence than the day you first set foot in there. Hell is eternal because we've sinned against an eternal God.
But He is a loving God - do you know what God did for us so that we don't have to go to the hell that we deserve?
He actually paid the fine for us.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ came down - God in the flesh, He lived a perfect life, never sinning, and kept the entire Law. Then He suffered and died on a cross, taking on the punishment that you and I deserve. But death couldn't hold Him, and He rose again on the third day, defeating death forever.
So, how do you make this gift apply to you? It isn't some sort of automatic payment that saves everyone so that you can continue in your sins (Heb 10:26-27).
First, you must repent (Acts 17:30-31), which means turn away from your sins (2 Tim 2:19), forsake them, stop committing them. You should begin to hate those sins as much as God hates them (Heb 10:29).
Then you must trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation (Acts 4:12). It was He who paid your fine. No one else could do that. You couldn't pay for your own sins, because it is your own sin that condemns you to death. No one else could pay it for you because they all have their own sins to deal with.
Only God Himself could live a perfect, sinless life and thus be able to pay that fine for you. If Jesus Christ is not God, then we are still under condemnation and the wrath of God abides on us (Rom 2:5).
Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9) and He will not share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8).
He is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
Submit to Him as Lord, read the Bible every day and obey His commands.
Don't put it off until later, now is the time (2 Cor 6:2). God bless you.