Originally published Monday, 24 February 2014.
Many people believe that they are "good people." Failing to compare ourselves to God, we can always find someone worse than us. Like Pilate (See Matthew 27 :24-26), we wash our hands of Jesus blood when our pride says, "I have not sinned, I am a good person."
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
So if no one is truly good, then who will be in Heaven?
Jesus did not drink the cup of God's wrath for good people. Rather, when sin entered the world through Eve and Adam eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, good people ceased to exist. All people thereafter became fallen, sinful, lost people separated from their Creator by our sin nature. Christ drank the cup of God's wrath against sin so that fellowship between God and man could be restored for eternity.
Do you have a hard time thinking of children as sinful? Consider, we are sinful from birth because of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. One example of children's sin nature, we do not teach children to lie, but rather to be truthful even when consequences of punishment are at stake.
Christ's sacrifice is not a blanket forgiveness for all people. His blood sacrifice provides forgiveness of sins for those who repent, turn from their sin in confession and action, and believe on Christ Jesus for salvation.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. ~Romans 10:9-10
In Matthew 27:25, the priests and onlookers shouted out that Christ's blood be on them and on their children. However, His blood is on each of our hands as we have all sinned against God.
The only way to Heaven is through faith and forgiveness in and through the person of Jesus Christ. Following our conversion experience, the act of putting our trust in Christ to save us and repenting from our sin, our lives tell the story of our eternal change:
Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God. (1John 3:7-10)
Thank you dear friends for joining me on this final post in the six-part series on Heaven. I dearly look forward to His return and the beginning of eternity in the New Heaven and New Earth. Until then, we will live in our temporary home with an eye to the eternal.
God bless you and keep you,