Many people – perhaps even you – imagine that God will hold up a scale someday and balance their good works against their bad works. If the good works are more than the bad, God will let them into heaven. Let’s go a little further with this picture.
Most people will admit that there is bad stuff on their scale. The Bible calls that sin. That’s the bad news, but most people also feel their good stuff – righteousness –more than makes up for the bad. The trouble is that we aren’t the one’s holding the scales, God is. It won’t matter much what we think if it is not what God thinks.
So what does God think? Thankfully the Bible tells us. First of all, He verifies that we all have bad stuff. “All have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) We think we’ve got just a little bit of bad stuff to work off, but God says our sin is continually building up against us.
And what about our good stuff? “All our righteous deeds are like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) Even the best people who ever lived can’t even begin to cancel their debt to God.
In other words, the bad stuff is a huge pile, and the good stuff isn’t good enough. Our only hope is for Someone to come along and offer to pay off our debt. But for that to happen, this Person must 1) have no sin debt Himself, 2) have an unlimited supply of good stuff in His account, and 3) be willing and able to make the payment for us to God. Guess who that Person is? Jesus Christ.
Jesus is God the Son, which means that He has never sinned and is completely good and holy. He demonstrated His willingness and ability to pay our sin debt by leaving heaven, being born as a man, and going to the cross to take the punishment we deserve. “But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Then, three days later, Jesus rose from the dead – proving that He was really God, and that He has the power to forgive us and save us from eternal death.
So, how do you get into heaven? “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9,10) You can confess Jesus as your Lord by praying the following prayer:
“Dear Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner, and I deserve hell. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose again. I am sorry for my sins. Please forgive me. I invite You into my life to be my Lord and Master. I want to live my life for You, to obey You from now on, not because I think I can earn my way to heaven, but because I want You to know how thankful I am that You died for me and forgave my sins. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer, or would like to talk with someone about making that decision, please call us at (937) 376-8223. We will help you learn more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus.