• Jack Selcher

Are You Good Enough for Heaven? (Part 3 of 4)


Is it not odd that 83 percent of Americans see as good the same heart Jeremiah 17:9, Isaiah 64:6 and Romans 3:10-23 describe as not good? Michael Green wrote, “The breakdown of marriage and family, the worldwide increase of torture and wanton killing, the mindless hedonism and greed, and the emptiness of belief and purpose that characterize so much of the Western world do little to support an optimistic view of human nature.”1

To see ourselves truly we must look at both our actions and motives. Often, we do “good” things for bad reasons. Jesus’ good works were motivated by a desire to please and bring glory to His Heavenly Father. We want the glory for ourselves. We want others to know about the good that we have done. Romans 3:27 and Ephesians 2:9 both assure us that no one will have anything to boast about before God.

Miss Messer taught English at my high school. Her punctuation tests brought her students to their knees. When she detected a single mistake in a sentence, she marked the whole sentence wrong. None of her sentences were easy to punctuate! Hardly any of her students broke the 0 percent barrier on her tests. Many think they will satisfy God if the paper of their life has more words spelled correctly than incorrectly. Not so! A holy, righteous God cannot tolerate even one undotted “i” or uncrossed “t.” Moral perfection is the standard. Only Jesus has it. According to James 2:10 (NIV), “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”

It is very sobering to know we do not meet God’s right-living, right-talking, right-thinking, perfect paper requirement. What are we going to do?

“Maybe if I try a little harder, I can do better,” we tell ourselves. Like a bee in a horizontal bottle with its base against the window, we fly, fly, and fly some more toward the light, but never get anywhere. If we could get to heaven by our performance, why did God at tremendous personal cost send his Son to earth to die on a cross? Would not that mean Jesus suffered and died for nothing?

Note

1. Green, Michael. Evangelism Through the Local Church. Oliver Nelson. 1992. p. 27.

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