...By being a good person?
You see a man on top of a building, flapping his arms wildly. You shout up:
"What are you doing?!"
"I'm flying to the moon!"
"You don't stand a chance!"
"Just let me do it MY WAY!"
He continues flapping, truly doing the best he can, but soon runs out of breath.
This seems silly, but many people are trying to "flap themselves" into Heaven!
Consider yourself: When God judges you based on His standard of goodness—the Ten Commandments—will you make it?
♦ 9th Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness. Have you ever told a lie? Then you are a liar. It takes one murder to be a murderer, and one lie to be a liar.
♦ 8th Commandment: Thou shalt not steal. Have you ever taken anything that wasn't yours? Music, software, test answers, and slacking on company time all count.
♦ 7th Commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery. Have you had physical relations outside of marriage? Jesus went even deeper, and said if you even look at somebody with lust (sexual desire), then you have already committed adultery with that person—in your heart (Mat 5:28).
♦ 6th Commandment: Thou shalt not kill. It is written, Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer (1Jn 3:15; see Mat. 5:22). Have you had "wrong anger" or lost your temper? Murder begins in the heart (see Mat. 15:19).
God judges thoughts and intents (Rom. 2:16).
If you were honest, you've just admitted to being a lying, thieving adulterer, and a murderer at heart—and that's just four out of ten! Consider the rest: (1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me; what do you value more than God—money? (2) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image; do you believe in a false god—one who will ignore sins and let us all into Heaven? (3) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; your Creator's name is not a four-letter filth word; (4) Remember the sabbath day; do you spend time with God? (5) Honour thy father and thy mother; have you ever disobeyed authority? and (10) Thou shalt not covet; ever want what's not yours, or been greedy? Also, lust is covetous (Rom. 7:7).
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isa 64:6). For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not (Ecc. 7:20). Perhaps you think, "Well, God sees my good heart!" God says: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it (Jer. 17:9)? Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin (Pro. 20:9)? You must be pure to enter Heaven—even as God is pure (see Psa. 24:3-5).
It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27). James 2:10 says that whoever keeps the whole law, but just breaks one part, is guilty of all!
When God judges you by the Ten Commandments, won't you be guilty? Should God judge murderers? Adulterers? Thieves and liars? Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right (Gen. 18:25)? He must punish sin: 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 (Rev. 21:8). No adulterers, sodomites (homosexuals), thieves, coveters, or drunkards will see God (1Co. 6:9,10).
You are in trouble! You deserve Hell, but thank God there's good news—the Gospel! It is this: Christ died for our sins; He was buried; and He rose from the dead, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies (1Co. 15:3,4). (See Isa. 7:14; 9:6; 53; Mic. 5:2; Psa. 16:10; 22; and Gen. 22:8,13.)
The Bible says how this can help us: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2Co. 5:21).
Our sins put Jesus on the cross, and He died in our place—we deserved it. God can't let sin into Heaven, but He loved us so much that He came to earth as a man, virgin-born, to pay our debt: For Christ also hath suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit (1Pe. 3:18).
Jesus paid it all! He offers us this forgiveness for free: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23).
Eternal life, like any free gift, must be accepted, or it is lost. Are you ready to bow before God and accept His gift? If you love your sins, you will hate Heaven, but God commands that you repent and turn to Him. When you see your sinfulness as God sees it, you will want to be free from sin. But on your own, you are helpless to clean up your life. Christ offers you a beautiful promise:
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom. 10:13).
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31).
Once you turn to Jesus, the Bible says, As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us (Psa. 103:12).
The One who made you came down to die in your place. Many neglect to receive the gift Jesus has already paid for. God warns, How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation (Heb. 2:3)? Flee to Christ today.
Jesus has done all the work for your pardon, and to be saved, you must only trust Him and His goodness. Are you ready to receive Christ? All you can do is humble yourself before Him in prayer, as the publican who beat upon his chest and cried, God be merciful to me a sinner (Luke 18:13). Also consider the attitude in David's prayer of repentance, in which he confessed his sinfulness. Call out to God in prayer, receiving Christ as Lord and Saviour, and He will save you--you have God's word on it.
If you've trusted Christ, find a solid church (Heb. 10:25)--feel free to email me if there's anything I can do to help. A great place to start is the Way of Life Church Directory. Read the Bible (KJV) daily, and obey it: a love for God's word is crucial in fighting sin (Psa. 119:11). Be baptized in obedience (Acts 2:41); pray always (1Th. 5:17; Eph. 6), and tell others how they can flee from God's holy wrath (Jude 22,23).