In yesterday’s post, I asked people to respond to the following question. If you died today, and you stood before God, and He asked you, “Why should I let you into heaven?” What would you say?
There were only four responses. Two were correct, and two were wrong. When I ask this question to strangers on the street, the correct answer is extremely rare.
The Bible is clear that the only correct answer is, “I have been washed in the blood of Jesus.”
Relying on our own good works (which is what every religion, except Christianity, is built on) to get to heaven is like bribing the judge. God wants all of the glory for saving us. If we are honest with ourselves, we know that we’ve all broken God’s law, and deserve eternity in hell. We’ve all lied, stolen, and taken God’s name in vain. Jesus said that if you look at a woman with lust, you’ve committed adultery with her in your heart. We’re all going to stand before God as lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterers.
Let’s say we’re standing before a human judge, and we’re guilty of murder. If we tell the judge, “I hope you’ll let me go, because I mowed your lawn, and washed your car this morning. I also volunteered in a soup kitchen yesterday.” The judge would add bribery to our list of crimes, right before he sent us to jail for a very long time.
That conversation sounds eerily familiar to one that Jesus talks about in Matthew 7:21-23. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
There is only one way to get to heaven. That is by repenting, and putting our faith in Jesus. If we’re trusting in anything other than the blood of Jesus, we’re bribing the Judge of the universe, and we’re going to be cast into hell for eternity.
We’re commanded to do a lot of things such as baptism, taking communion, confessing our sins, and helping people, but we do those things out of gratitude for being saved. Not in order to be saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”