Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Evangelize the Lost

How certain are you that when you die you'll be with God in heaven?

If you did die today and found yourself standing before God, and He said to you, "Why should I let you into heaven?" what would you say?

Most folks I deal with answer the first question in the mild affirmative. That is, they say, "I'm pretty sure that I'll go to heaven when I die." There's an element of confidence there, but there's also an element of doubt - doubt which, if the answer the the second question is Biblically accurate, should not be present.

And that brings us to the second question. Most folks I deal with are baffled by the second question. It's just something that is not often discussed, nor does it even enter the mind. When an answer other than, "I don't know," comes out, it generally falls under a "faith plus works" motif. Perhaps it's, "I've done the best I can," or "I've lived a life in which my good works outweigh my bad ones." Perhaps we might consider a couple of closer-to-true answers as, "I know I've done some bad things, but I believe in a merciful God who will forgive me," or better still, "I believe in God and Jesus!"

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades - certainly not in theological matters dealing with the God of the universe who never changes and cannot tolerate wrong. Thus the main thing wrong with the above answers to question # 2 is that they all begin with "I." What would you say to God? "Jesus died for me to bear the punishment price for my sins and remove Your wrath from me, and He was raised from the dead for my justification." That's the only reason anyone is going to be with God in heaven. And we can be sure of this! The apostle John, to whom Jesus was closest, gives us the reason for answering question # 1 affirmatively with assurance in 1 John 5:12-13, "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

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