Do you consider yourself to be a good person?
Most people do. However, most of us differ as to the definition of "good." The Bible says that God is good, and the Ten Commandments are His standard of goodness. So, we will look at God's Law . . . With a tender conscience, ask yourself if you have obeyed the following:
- You shall have no other gods before Me. (Have you always loved God above all else?)
- You shall not make yourself an idol. (Have you made a god in your mind that you're more comfortable with, a god to suit yourself?)
- You shall not take God's name in vain. (Have you ever used God's holy Name as a cuss word?)
- Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and mother.
- You shall not murder. (God considers hatred to be as murder).
- You shall not commit adultery. ("Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart," Matthew 5:27-28; this also includes sex before marriage).
- You shall not steal. (Have you ever stolen anything? The value of the item is irrelevant).
- You shall not lie. (Have you lied even once? Including answering these questions).
- You shall not covet. (Have you ever jealously desired what belongs to others?)
The Bible says that God will punish all murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, adulterers, etc. He will even judge our words and thoughts. On Judgment Day, will you be found to be guilty or innocent of breaking His commandments?
Perhaps you think that God is good, and will therefore overlook your sins. But it is His goodness that will make sure that murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, etc. receive justice. He would be a corrupt Judge if He turned a blind eye to injustice. Have you kept the Commandments?
The Bible says that the Law is perfect. It commands you to be perfect (Matthew 5:48). Are you perfect (in thought, word, and deed)?
Will you make it to Heaven? You may say that you are still good, but God says you're not (see Psalm 14:2-3). So one of you is lying, and the Scriptures tell us that it is impossible for God to lie. Remember that all liars will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8).
God's Law demands justice, and the penalty for sinning against Him is death and Hell. Listen carefully if you want to live.
God Himself made a way where His justice and His goodness could meet. We broke the Law, but He became a man to pay the fine. Jesus suffered and died on the cross to satisfy the Law. God can forgive us and grant us the gift of everlasting life!
But you may still think that you can (from now on) keep the Ten Commandments. But isn't it true that the best of us have lied, stolen, lusted, hated, failed to love God above all else, and failed to love our neighbor as ourselves?
How can we then, live a "good" life if we have already sinned against God? At best we are reformed liars and thieves . . . but still Lawbreakers.
Think of it this way - would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? Would you sell both for $50 million? I'm sure you wouldn't. Your eyes are priceless, yet they are merely the windows of your soul. What then must your life (soul) be worth?
With these thoughts in mind, what would be a fair price to pay for everlasting life? It is utterly without price. Yet, if we trust in our own goodness to enter Heaven, we are saying to God, "I should enter Heaven because I have done good - I have earned my way in."
Imagine if you wanted to give me a brand new (very expensive) car, but I said, "I can't take it! I feel embarrassed receiving such a gift . . . here's 10 cents for it." I'm sure you would be very insulted by such a pathetic offer of payment. Besides, if I pay for it, it is no longer a gift, it's a purchase . . . it's mine by right.
When we talk of entering Heaven by being good, by trying to keep the Ten Commandments etc., we are tossing God 10 cents of "self-righteousness," which is a terrible insult to Him, in the light of His sacrifice. The only thing we can do is humble ourselves, repent of our sins, and receive the gift by trusting Jesus Christ alone. Almighty God demonstrated how much He loves you when Jesus suffered for you on the cross. If you want to trust in your own goodness, then you are saying His agonizing death on the cross was in vain. The Bible says, "For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." You cannot earn a gift.
When Jesus said to "believe" on Him, He was saying we should have faith in Him, in the same way you would trust a parachute to save you when you jump from a plane. You don't merely believe in the parachute - you put it on. Please don't "jump" without Jesus. If you die in your sins there is no second chance. God will give you justice, and you will end up in Hell forever. Any troubles you have at present are dwarfed by the trouble you are in with your Creator. His wrath abides upon you (John 3:36). God doesn't want you to go to Hell. Neither do you want to go there, so confess your sins to God right now, put your trust in Jesus to save you, and you will pass from death to life. Then read the Bible daily and obey what you read. (See John 14:21). Your obedience to God is the proof of your love. Have faith in God, He will never fail you.
Pray something like this: "Dear God, today I turn away from all of my sins (name them). This day I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way for me to be saved. He is 'The way, the truth, and the life.'" Please forgive me, change my heart, and grant me Your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen