“Lord, I miss my sweet wife so very much. It just wont’ be the same without her. I don’t know why you’d have me stay here or how long you’d have me to stay. I only hope that I’ve done enough good to one day be with her again.”
My heart broke at the old man’s prayer. Not because I understood his pain or because he was a friend or family member. Nah, he was only a character in a movie. And as heartless as it may sound, I wasn’t heartbroken over his grieving for his departed wife. I was upset by the man’s hope that he had done enough good to make it to Heaven to be with his wife again because I know that there isn’t anyone on this earth that has done enough good to gain entrance into Heaven.
I cannot imagine living my life, wondering from day to day if I’ve been good enough to make it into Heaven. After all, what is good enough? How many sins does it take to make one unworthy of Heaven? According to the Bible, just one. So, with that said, how can anyone hope to make it to Heaven on their good works alone?
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that salvation is by grace through faith. If one wishes to spend eternity in Heaven, he or she must go through the blood of Christ by receiving His gift of salvation. There is no other way. There is no other work that is good enough. There are not enough good deeds to purchase a ticket to Eternal Paradise. Romans 3:10 tells us, As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one, and Jesus Himself said, And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. (Matthew 19:17a) None good. None righteous. None able to enter into Heaven except by salvation through Jesus Christ.
Yet there are so many today who are clinging to the hope that they have done enough good in this life to make it to Heaven. So many are deceived. So many are trusting in their own morality. Yet Jesus left no room for doubt in this matter. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
I imagine there can be no peace or joy in living a life in which one is constantly worried about whether or not his works have been good enough to gain him passage to Heaven. On the contrary, it sounds like a life of strife and fear—a life where one can never find rest. I praise the Lord that I don’t have to live such a life, for I have accepted His gift of salvation. I am no longer depending on what I can do to get me to Heaven, for I now understand that I could never do enough. But I can rest and be at peace because the weight no longer rests on my shoulders. Jesus bore that weight in the form of an old, rugged cross, and by accepting His sacrifice for my sins, I am now free! Free to live. Free to rest. Free to be a peace. And free of the fear that I’ll never be good enough to get to Heaven.
What about you? Have you experienced that freedom, or are you living in doubt? Have you trusted in Christ for salvation, or are you clinging to your own good works, hoping that they will be enough? Peace and assurance can be yours today if you’ll only believe.
There is a good illustration regarding the life we could only offer to God using the standard of good works.
If you were to have friends over for breakfast and as you began to make preparations, you noticed that an egg that you were needing to use in the recipe was bad. Do you slip it into the mix and hope that no one notices the off taste that it may reveal? Is it worthy to serve such a dish to others?
Our lives are like that. We have good works but also wicked works as well. Do you want to serve your life up to God and hope He doesn’t notice the detestable taste?
Good works can not cancel out the bad things we do. God says that His eyes are too pure than to look upon sin so we can not enter His kingdom if we have committed any sin whatsoever. We can not do enough good things to wipe our slate (heart) clean.
That is why we need a holy, righteous Savour who can pay our sin debt and remove our guilt. Only the blood of Christ can do this. The bible says that life is found In the blood so it would take a spotless life to pay this debt before a holy God to satisfy His acceptance for us to have a place in Heaven. What a Redeemer we have in the person of Christ Jesus as He gave His blood to cleanse us from all unrighteousness!
This makes it possible for our heart to receive the free gift of eternal life. Halluejah!
Well said Dana & Cora! We should serve God and obey His laws out of a genuine love for Him, not because doing so will get us into heaven. But often times we get carried away thinking that keeping scores of the good we do or the laws we keep, will get us a foot in Heaven’s door. Daily we need the reminder that we are saved through faith and God’s grace alone.
Dana, well presented. I like that you included the invitation to throw off the “clutter” of doubt and walk unhindered and free. Hopefully God sends just the right readers to grab hold of what you have offered.