Some confess they have no idea. Some might say, “Well, I’m basically a good person, so I guess I’ll go to heaven.”
Let’s look at that for a moment.
Let’s go through the Ten Commandments and see how good you are. (Exodus 20) Have you ever told a lie? If the answer is yes, that means you are a liar. I know, I know…putting it so bluntly hurts. But we are trying to be honest here. How many lies do you think you have told during your entire life?
Have you ever wanted something that wasn’t yours? That’s called coveting…and it’s a sin. Have you ever been disrespectful to your parents? Have you ever thought about being with someone who wasn’t your spouse? Have you ever cursed using God’s name?
See, the problem is that if you have done any of these things, that means you’re a sinner. (And I haven’t even gone through half of the commandments.) Sin means to ‘fall short of the mark’. To make a mistake. And guess what? We’ve all done it! “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ~Romans 3:23
Compared to God’s holiness, His absolute perfection, we all have messed up. It’s easy to compare ourself to others and say “well, at least I’m not like so-and-so”. But comparing ourselves to another person really isn’t the best standard is it?
I’ll put it this way. My little dog is adorable with big black eyes and fluffy white fur. Inside of our house, she looks pristinely white. Perfect. But the last time it snowed, she ran outside and I was startled to watch her playing in the snow because she looked dirty. Dingy and yellow.
That’s how we are compared to God. Dirty, dingy…unclean.
Now, you may stop here and say, “Well, okay, I’m not perfect but I’ve done some good things in my life.” Consider what would happen if a murderer stood before a judge. He is waiting for sentencing after admitting that he has killed. Yet, he stands before the judge and says, ‘I admit I’ve murdered, but you’re not taking the balance into account. I’ve been nice to people in the past and I’ve given to charity.” What would the judge say?
A good judge would never let a criminal go just because he had done some good things in the past. He would judge according to the crime committed, because a good judge must uphold justice. And God is a good judge. “For the wages of sin is death…” ~Romans 6:23
So knowing that we all sin, where do we deserve to go? To heaven or hell?
There’s a big misconception out there about hell. People often wonder why God would have ever created such a dreadful place. But as my pastor often reminds us, why do we have garbage dumps? Filth has to go somewhere or it corrupts everything it touches.
I deserve to go there but God loved me so much…He loved YOU so much, that He provided a way to escape our punishment.
He sent His only Son Jesus to earth. Jesus compressed himself into the womb of a virgin, was born in Bethlehem and grew into a young man. He was God wrapped in human flesh. And being God, He showed His power by healing the sick, raising the dead and teaching us about God’s love.
Jesus never sinned. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” ~Hebrews 4:15
Jesus loved us and cared so deeply for us that He refused to leave us in the dark. At the age of 33, He allowed an angry mob that feared losing their political power to beat him, spit on him, be whipped with a cat-of-nine-tails and be crucified to a Roman cross. At that moment, He took all of our sin, our mistakes on Him and nailed them to His cross. Simply put, He took the whipping for every bad thing you and I have ever done and ever will do.
Now, if Jesus is dead, what good does it do? But praise God, He’s not dead! Three days after dying, He was raised from the dead and appeared to hundreds of witnesses. (Study the book of John to learn more or check out “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel.) When He rose from the dead, it means He conquered death and sin….forever.
Now, is it enough to believe that there is a God? No. James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and tremble.” If you want to be clean, to stand before God the judge blameless and perfect, you need to ask Jesus to forgive you and to save you from an eternal hell. “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
Since the moment that I asked God to forgive me and claimed Jesus as my King, my life has never been the same. He gives peace when everything is crashing around me. He loves me when I’m unlovable. And He is building a home for me in Heaven as we speak. He has transformed me from a person who was dead inside to a new creation in Him. I was blind, but now I see. I was dead but now I’m alive.
There is a 100% guarantee that you will die, just like every human before you. Your life is far too valuable to throw away. Don’t gamble it on what you think happens. You did not bring yourself into the world and you have no power or authority to make the rules fit your own wishes. Seek the One Who existed before the world began. Seek. Ask. Jesus is calling you to Him. His arms are open wide.
Do you have an answer for the BIG question?