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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Can You Pass Heaven's Entrance Exam?

Why do you call Me good? No one is
good but One, that is, God.
- Matthew 19:17, Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19

There are many people who hope they’ll be good enough to get into heaven when they die. It should scare them to death (no pun intended) to have to go through life “hoping” they’ll go to heaven instead of “knowing,” considering what the alternative is. But, then again, many who “hope” to go to heaven don’t believe there is a hell, so it doesn’t really bother them. Well, seems to me that, if you “hope” to go to heaven, then you must believe you have an eternal soul that goes somewhere after you die. “Hoping” to go to heaven, then, must also mean there is an alternative place you’ll go if you don’t get into heaven. “But I’ve never missed church!” “I’ve put lots of money in the offering plate!” “I’ve done a lot of charity work!” “But, I’ve been a pretty good person. I mean, I’ve never killed anybody. I kept the 10 commandments!” All of these are reasons people have for thinking they’re going to heaven. Every one of them is wrong and can be refuted with scripture, but I won’t go into that here. That would make this post way too long. All of these things, however, are dependent upon what the person does or doesn’t do. The simple truth is, THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO TO EARN OUR WAY INTO HEAVEN! It’s a heart issue, as I wrote about a few months ago in my post Have You Had a Heart Transplant? In the words of Jesus above, He plainly pointed out that the only one that can be considered “good” is God. Anything less is less than good. How can we possibly think that anything we can do can stand up to God’s goodness?

But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses
are like filthy rags.
- Isaiah 64:6

Compared to God’s righteousness, all of our good deeds are like filthy rags. Is that what we want to bring Him to get into heaven? And it applies across the board; rich or poor, white or black, Protestant or Catholic, American or Chinese, drug addict or preacher. We are all in the same boat because none of us are “good enough.”

There is none righteous, no, not one.
- Romans 3:10

Did you know there is an entrance exam to get into heaven? Have you studied for it? No, you don’t need to know the bible inside out. You don’t need to be a master of every point of doctrine. You don’t even have to be able to quote scripture like a biblical scholar. The exam is only one question God is concerned with: did you trust my Son? It’s that simple, but so many people miss it because “people” make it complicated. God made it simple, and He did all the work for us. All He wants us to do is trust that Jesus has it all covered for us. He died on the cross as God’s perfect sacrifice to conquer death for us, to pay a debt for sin that He did not owe, because we could never pay the debt ourselves. That was the whole mission of the baby whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, as I wrote about in my post Born to Die.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
- John 3:16

This is perhaps the most widely quoted scripture of the entire bible. But look what it says. It says that God gave His Son. When you give something, it is a gift to simply be received. If you’ve been trusting in your own ability to get to heaven, won’t you take a moment to consider this and honestly ask yourself if you deserve to get into heaven, or if you’re just bringing Him filthy rags? Be completely honest with yourself, lay aside your pride, and make the decision to simply TRUST Jesus and not yourself to get to heaven. That’s all there is to it, and you too can pass heaven’s entrance exam with flying colors!

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through Me.
- John 14:6
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