Getting it Right
Getting to heaven is much more than doing good works. If good works could gain us entrance into heaven, then at what point would we know we have earned enough points, per se, to gain acceptance into heaven? Do you see the fallacy behind this thinking? Not only is it wrong, it does not take into account what the Bible says about the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. For us to truly understand and know God and love Him, we have to understand what God says about us and what He says about Himself.
The reason that no man could ever earn his way to heaven is simply because we are wicked sinners (Rom 3:23). The Bible clearly teaches us that man is sinful and corrupt at the deepest level (Gen 6: 5). If we traced history, we would see the wickedness that is in the heart of man. The reason this is the case is because of the action of our earthly parents, Adam and Eve. At the beginning of time, God made them perfect (Gen 1:31), but in this perfect environment, they chose to sin against God. Adam and Eve did not obey God’s simple command to not eat from the tree of good and evil, which caused the whole world to fall into sin (Gen 2:17). The Bible clearly teaches that we are all culpable before God for the sin that we have committed (Rom 3:23, 6:23, 1Cor 15:22). If we were to ask ourselves the question, “Am I really good enough to get to heaven?” the Bible would declare that you are not! Not only does your sin separate you from God, but the very nature of God excludes you from His presence (Gen 3: 24).
The Bible declares that God is a holy and righteous God that will not allow sin to go unpunished (Ex 34:7). God is so holy and perfect that He said about Himself, “for no man can see Me and live!” The reason that no one can see God and live is because of the greatness of God and the refulgent (shining brightly) holiness that makes up His being. The prophet Isaiah is one who saw the immensity of His Holiness in a vision. This vision revealed His Holiness and contrasted it with the sinfulness of the Prophet (Isa 6:1-5). It is only those who see the holiness of God and the sinfulness of their selves that really grasp their need for something more than good works to gain heaven. That’s why the Bible states man’s good activities are like filthy rags before a holy, mighty and perfect God. As we look to be faithful with the gospel, may this be the message that we preach. Next week, we will continue our look at his subject.