Will You Go To Heaven?

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(Do You Just Compare Yourself Against Others And Think You Are Good?)

If you ask the average person on the street if they are a good person the typical answer is a confident “Yes!” Most people like to grade themselves on the curve (i.e. comparing themselves to others). Scripture tells us that when their righteousness is compared with the perfect law of God, their mouth is shut (i.e. they are prevented from talking about their own goodness and justifying themselves.)

Romans 3:19-20: “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God; 20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

Maybe you are one who considers yourself a good person. If you are not a Christian you will be judged by your deeds…and the standard will be the perfect law of God, The Ten Commandments. (Revelation 20:11-15, Jude 1:14-15, Romans 2:5-16). Do you think you have kept the Ten Commandments? Let’s look at some of the Commandments:

1. “Thou shalt not bear false witness…” Have you ever lied before? What do you call someone who tells lies? What does that make you?

[Answer: a liar – Exodus 20:16]

2. “Thou shalt not steal.” Have you ever taken anything that did not belong to you? (Remember it does not matter if it was of a small value, or it was a long time ago.) What do you call someone who has stolen? So, what does that make you?

[Answer: a thief – Exodus 20:15]

3. “Thou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Have you ever used God’s name in vain through swearing or saying “oh my G_d!” Have you used Jesus’ name as a curse word? If so, what does that make you?

[Answer: a blasphemer – Exodus 20:7]

4. “Thou shall not commit adultery.” Maybe you think that you have not committed the act of adultery, but have you ever looked at another person with lust? Jesus says the one who looks at another with lust has already committed adultery in their heart – Matt. 5:28. So, what does that make you?

[Answer: At best an adulterer at heart – Exodus 20:14]

5. “Thou shalt not kill.” Maybe you claim to have not murdered anyone, but have you every hated anyone? The Bible says that if you hate someone you are a murderer! 1 John 3:15 “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”] (Jesus said if you call someone a fool you are guilty of hell – Matt. 5:22). So, what does that make you?

[Answer: At best a murderer at heart – Exodus 20:13]

These questions involve only five of the Ten Commandments. There are five more for you to answer. Do you still think you are a truly “good person”?

If you died in the next five minutes would you be judged as innocent or guilty based on the Ten Commandments? Do you think you would go to heaven or hell? Let us look carefully at what the Bible states is the punishment for those who have simply told a lie: Revelation 21:8: “… and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Your answer of whether you are good enough to get into heaven, if honest, should greatly concern you. The answer is clear, by God’s standard you are not even close to being good enough to get into heaven! Remember that eternity is not just another lifetime,…it is forever and ever. Will you spend it in heaven with a loving God or will you spend it in fiery hell[1] because God judged you honestly for what you are? [2]

When one judges themselves by God’s standard, that person quickly understands that he is not the person he would like to think he is. The response to Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness is either acceptance or rejection. In Hebrews 2:3 it states “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?…” Many will neglect or even reject such salvation, even though there is no escape for them. For example, say you were convicted of a crime and rightfully sat on death row for that crime. According to the law, only one person has the authority to pardon you of that sentence. How would you respond if that person actually granted you a pardon? Would you just ignore it, or grab onto it, like your life depended on it (because it does!)? Let’s look at a real Supreme Court case that involved those issues.

In 1833, during the January term of the United State Supreme Court, the case of United States v. George Wilson was decided.[3] One of the pertinent facts of the case was that Wilson had a Federal conviction that resulted in a death sentence.[4] Although doomed by the death sentence, he was saved when he was issued a pardon from the only person who could grant it, the President of the United States (Andrew Jackson).[5] One must realize that the pardon gets sent directly to Wilson himself and not to the sentencing court. The Supreme Court specifically held that a pardon is a private communication by the President to the defendant, and not to the court.

A bizarre turn of events occurred when Wilson refused to formally make the Court aware of his pardon! Technically, the Court was aware that the pardon was floating around out there, but Wilson did not actually produce it so that the Court could stop his execution. With that factual background, you can see that the issue before the Supreme Court was whether the Court can force a pardon upon someone. In answering that question, the Court first explained what a pardon is:

“A pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power intrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed.” [6]

The Court went on to explain that the pardon has no effect unless it is accepted by the criminal:

“A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which, delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it be rejected, we have discovered no power in a court to force it on him.” [7]

You are like George Wilson. You know you are guilty of violating God’s law and that eternal judgment is coming soon. The only person in all creation who can pay for your sins, The Son of God, has died on the Cross to pay your death penalty. He offers you a complete pardon because of His love for you. Will you, with great joy and appreciation, embrace that pardon and tell others? Or maybe you are like Wilson and say “Yes, I may have done something wrong, but I am a tough guy, and I will take what’s coming.” Wilson’s response shows that he is nothing but completely ignorant of the wrath of God. He doesn’t have a clue of the judgment in the fiery hell that awaits him for all eternity!

Will you come to Christ and joyfully, receive the pardon Jesus promises? Jesus said:

John 6:37-40: “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

Those in Christ are no longer under the judgment of the Law because Jesus was the fulfillment of the law:

Romans 8:1-4: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

It is my hope that you pray to God right now, confessing and repenting of your sin and asking Him to grant you forgiveness. God promises that he will forgive you!

1 John 1:8-9: If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If you have done that, start learning the truth about the God that saved you by reading His Word, The Bible. Start in the New Testament book of John.

May God richly bless you as you grow in your Christian life.

[1] In Revelation 20:15 it says, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” It must be understood that the judgment is neither temporary, nor does it end in annihilation so that you don’t have to feel anything. The torment goes on and on forever and ever. Examine and carefully consider the description of Hell from God’s Word.

DESCRIPTION OF HELL: Flames and Torment – Lk. 16:19-31; Lake of fire which burns with brimstone – Rev. 19:20; Lake of fire=Fire & brimstone and are tormented day and night forever and ever – Rev. 20:10; Eternal fire…the blackness of darkness forever – Jude v.7, 13; Everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord – 2 Thes. 1:9; Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched – Mk. 9:43-48; Weeping & gnashing of teeth – Matt. 24:51; Everlasting punishment – Matt. 25:46; Indignation, wrath, tribulation & anguish – Rm. 2:8,9; Shame & everlasting contempt – Dan. 12:2; Unquenchable fire – Lk. 3:17.

[2] For excellent instruction on evangelism using the Ten Commandments see R. Comfort & K. Cameron, The School of Biblical Evangelism (Bridge-Logos Publishers, 2004)

[3] UNITED STATES v. GEORGE WILSON 32 U.S. 150, 7 Pet. 150, 8 L.Ed. 640


[4] Id. 32 U.S. at 151

[5] President Andrew Jackson granted Wilson a pardon on June 14, 1830. Id at 153.

[6] Id. at 160

[7] Id at 161


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