The most deadly lie ever told
When I was young, I remember that if I did anything wrong, told a lie, or did something thought of as a sin, I was told, “You’ll never go to Heaven”. It was an off the cuff, jokey remark, but it calls to mind some really serious life questions…
I contribute to an Internet forum where there are often discussions on spiritual matters. Apart from the question of whether Christianity is the true faith, what often comes up is: “I hope that a loving God will look at what I have done and I hope that if I am good enough, I will go to Heaven”.
A loving God? Do they mean the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the very same God that had his only Son sacrificed for our sins? If so, they have missed the crucial point of Jesus’ very birth, death and resurrection.
If we really believe that there is a Heaven after life, then we really need to believe also that there is a Hell. Furthermore if we believe in both Heaven and Hell, we surely are believing that what the Bible says is true, more or less, according to our faith and knowledge of what and who God is.
If we do believe in an afterlife, we really do want to make sure that we know where we are going.
Would you like to rely on your own goodness to save you from judgement?
You would be wrong to do so. Let us look at a few short but very relevant biblical truths.
Jesus, who claimed to be, (and I believe to be) God made incarnate – sent to live amongst us, 2,000 years ago, said that there is no-one who is good except God:
Mark 10 verse 18: Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”
This is a very important principal, which shows that we cannot be good. We can try, of course, but we are wasting our time if we think it will get us to Heaven, because the Bible says in Isaiah 64 verse 6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags”
So where does our hope of everlasting life with God in Heaven come from?
It comes from the words of Jesus himself.
John 3 verse 16: “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.”
The only way that we can be good is to rely on Jesus Christ to forgive our sin. He can only do that, because He was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and therefore was a perfect person free from wrong doing, or SIN. Sin is what separates us from God. By some miracle, Jesus being perfect, took on the burden of all our sins, and died for them even though he was perfect and innocent. He died in our place, so that if we believe in Him, we can live forever in union with God the Father.
He promises that when we ask for forgiveness of our sins and trust in Him, that He will send His Holy Spirit to help us and guide us. At that time we will cease to be subject to the law, but subject to the Spirit. We will become acceptable to God, not because we are good, but because Jesus has forgiven and removed our sins.
So, why the idea that if we are good we go to Heaven? I will tell you why. It is a lie spread by that enemy of God, Satan himself, who wants to do all he can to stop anyone believing and trusting in the one True Rock of Salvation, Jesus Christ. Do not believe the lie.
Don’t be confused, being ‘good’ in our earthly life is still something that we can aspire to, but this aspiration becomes our daily life, living with Christ within, by His Holy Spirit battling against our fleshly sinful nature.
The apostle Paul said: in Philippians 4 vv 8-9: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Written by Prayersharers (JP) – 12th February 2010