Choose any of the statements below that you think might admit you into Heaven.
- I’m a pretty good person…most of the time.
- I don’t drink, smoke, play around or hang out with people like that much.
- I helped my neighbor.
- I go to church regularly…at least on Christmas and Easter.
- I gave money to feed some needy children.
- Sure, I’ve had a few slip-ups here and there, but I’ve done more good than bad, haven’t I?”
When the Bible says that “all our righteousnesses (good deeds) are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), what do you think that means? When it says “as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one,” (Romans 3:10) or “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) that little word “all” has a big audience. It includes you, and me, your friends and your enemies, and… So the reason we all need God is because…
1. We are all sinners.
No matter where we come from, how good a life we try to live, or how many good deeds we do, the truth is, we all have a problem. We haven’t done everything right. Try this little quiz for starters.
- Have you ever told a lie? What do you call someone who lies? ________
- Have you ever stolen anything? What do you call someone who steals? ________
- Have you ever lusted after or coveted another person’s body or things? ______
- Have you ever cursed or taken God’s name “in vain?” _______
The fact is, most of us would qualify as liars, thieves, adulterers, and blasphemers. That is because we are all sinners. We all fall short of God’s standard of holiness. We have broken the commandments. A man by the name of F. J. Dake categorized 630 named sins in the Bible. Most of us don’t need to read the list. We know it by heart and by experience. We have committed sin willfully, blatantly and defiantly more often than we care to acknowledge. There’s no reason to make excuses. We know the truth. Because we are sinners, we have a problem — a big problem. Rev. 21:8 says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Sin has consequences, just as sure as breaking the laws of the land. “Be sure your sin will find you out!” (Numbers 32:23) My father often said, “Watch out! When you’re done with your sin, your sin is not done with you!” The sad consequences for sinning are bondage and eternal separation from the God who created you. Whether you like it or not doesn’t change the fact. You may not understand the law of gravity, but if you jump out of a third floor window, you will experience it, validate it and become a believer in Isaac Newton’s discovery of the universal law. However there’s good news!
2. There is a Savior!
Jesus Christ died on the cross for you and me. The Bible tells us that “God commendeth (showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) This is the Good News, that “God so loved the world…” (John 3:16) that He sent His only Son to die in our place, to pay the penalty for our sin and save us when we trust Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). We don’t deserve His love and grace, but we certainly ought to be thankful. What better way to express your gratitude than to turn from your sin and trust the One who alone paid your consequences so you could enjoy His Heaven. But you may have a question like the Philippian jailor (Acts 16:25-34) who was on the verge of suicide. “What must I do to be saved?”
3. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ now.
Becoming a Christian does not involve reciting a creed, following a set of rules or going to church every Sunday. Actually, no amount of works, money, tradition or merit can ever gain you entrance into God’s Heaven. Jesus, the sinless Son of God did it all…for you. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19) Jesus said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father (God) but by me.” (John 14:6) Either Christ’s claim is true or He is a liar. So what will you do?
If you believe…
…in your heart, and would like to begin a relationship with the living Christ today, pray to the Lord, acknowledge your sin, and confess your need. Here’s a simple prayer that may help you.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and that nothing I can do will get me into Heaven. I believe You died for my sins, that You were buried and rose again three days later. Please forgive me. Here’s my heart and life. Right now, I turn from my sins. I confess you as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
We would love to hear about your decision!
If you just prayed honestly to the Lord, Jesus Christ has promised to save you. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Your sins are forgiven. You are freed by His blood sacrifice. Don’t be surprised to find fulfillment and joy in your new life with Jesus. Though you may wonder or even doubt what is happening in your life, the Scripture says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)
A true story
While my father was in hospice care, I slipped out to a nearby grocery store to pick up a couple items. I went to check out at a register with a light on. No one was there. Soon a man came bounding over and said “Sorry, I was busy stocking some sale items.” I replied, “No problem, but I do appreciate your smile. The hospice nurse just told me moments ago that this might be the last day I will ever see my earthly father. Your smile is encouraging.” The man immediately blurted out, “Now I’ve been all over the world and I know quite a few languages, but I’ve found that a smile communicates in any language. Say, I’m sorry to hear about your Dad.”
I replied, “Thanks, but it’s okay. He knows Jesus Christ as His Savior and he’s ready to go when the Lord calls him home. How about you? Are you ready?”
The man fidgeted as I reached for my wallet. By the register I noticed this sign (pictured below) and quickly snapped a picture on my cell phone. I said, “What’s this all about?” The clerk said brightly, “Oh, you can now hop online and check out your shopping list before you ever come to the store to see
if we have the item you need. Then you will “know before you go.”
Seizing the opportunity, I quickly shared with him that according to the Bible, if you trust Jesus as your personal Savior, you can “know before you go” that you have eternal life. (By the way, did you notice the other end of this ad? My translation: if the public will come, He will save them too!)
We rejoice with you and would love to hear about your new life in Christ today. Send us a note so we can encourage you in your walk with the Lord.
Randy Merrill and the MET