If God were to ask you, “Why should I let you into heaven?” What would your answer be?
The thought of standing before God brings different responses to different people. Some find the idea terrifying, or at least a bit scary. Others have no fear of appearing before God because they believe that eternal bliss awaits them. Still, others could care less because they believe God or judgment from Him does not exist.
Let us examine the most likely answers to God’s question, “Why should I let you into heaven?”
“I have been a good person all my life.”
Nearly everyone will agree that they are not perfect, but overall they are decent human beings. In other words, the good in my life has outweighed the bad.
This train of thought is suitable for most of us, but is that answer good enough for God?
If our standard of goodness differs from God’s, the “good outweighs the bad” argument does not hold water. Here is an example of how our standards are not in tune with God’s standards. The vast majority of people I know, I would consider honest. I would have no reason to think they were lying if they told me something. Yet the Bible says, “All men are liars” (Psalms 116:11). Just as we would consider that robbing one bank makes someone a bank robber, God thinks telling one lie makes someone a liar.
Another response to God’s question about your entrance into heaven could be, “Well, I am not a murderer, or a rapist, or a child molester.” This person knows they are not perfect, and if that is not good enough, they point out they are not a monster. They think of a line they have not crossed and lay that before God.
The problem with this answer is that God does not draw a line in the sand between horrible crimes and not-all-that- bad things on the other, then only condemns those on the horrendous side of the line. God’s condemnation comes from guilt, not guilt in only certain sins. Here are only a few of the Bible verses to back that up.
Psalm 53:3, “Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
Isaiah 64:6, “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.”
Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
The last verse listed is enough to condemn us all; after all, none of us is perfect.
Others may explain to God how religious they are. They have baptism, tithing, helping the poor, church membership, and other religious rituals on their resume. Yet, this answer will not impress God.
Peter explains that baptism gives us a good conscience before God but does not take away the filth of the flesh (1 Peter 3:21).
God explained to Israel that their religious rituals, even their “solemn meeting” (what we would call church), made Him sick because faith was not part of their practice (Isaiah 1:11-13; Hebrews 11:6).
The problem with the above answers is that none address the sin problem. We have already established that we are all sinners. Being a good person, not doing something horrendous, and doing religious rituals do not erase the sin in our lives. Taking the cookie from the cookie jar when we were seven years old may seem small in the grand scheme of things now, but it made us a thief, even if we never steal another thing again. How many banks do you have to rob to be a bank robber?
God does not overlook sin, regardless of how innocent we may think it is.
Ask yourself another question. If we could enter heaven by being good, not doing horrible stuff, or being religious, then why did Jesus die on the cross?
The Son of God came to earth to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21; John 3:17; 1 Timothy 1:15).
Sin cannot be removed without blood (Hebrews 9:22). But the blood needs to be sinless. The sinless blood of Christ is the only thing that can wash our sins away. Jesus Christ is the sinless Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. We are saved “…with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19).
Justification of our sins comes through faith. Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
“Because of the blood of your Son” is the only correct answer to God’s entry question. However, God will not ask you that question. He already knows your heart. God knows where you place your faith – in religion, in yourself, or in His Son.
Ask yourself – why should God let me into heaven? Whatever your first thought is, it is probably what you are trusting.
Are you trusting in the blood of Christ? If not, it is time to place your faith elsewhere.
Preacher Tim Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. His weekly column “Preacher’s Point” may be found at: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com