Question: “I don’t really believe there is a God; But let’s just say there is, and you live your whole life for him and nothing was up to his standard’s and just not good enough to get you into heaven? What if you do all that work for him, for nothing? Most ”christians” to me are fake anyways! I was once a member of the church of christ, and everyone was just so rude and unfriendly and have cliques, that they only allow certain people to be, if you don’t met their standards, you’re not welcomed. It’s such a turn off! So… How perfect does one have to be, to live up to god’s high expectations?! If we can never live up to them, then no one is going to heaven, right? Anyways…. There are too many contradictions in the bible for me to believe there’s a god almighty.”
Response: Of course, I do not have all of the answers. I believe my Father does, but since you do not believe in Him, we have to go at your second question from an angle that’s very labor intensive. That’s okay, of course. But let’s look at your first observation/question first. I’m glad you said, in that one, that we can assume there is a God. When we do that, we get to look at His Word for answers. You further posited that it’s possible to serve Him to the best of one’s ability for all of a lifetime and then, at the end, to find that, in spite of it all, “good” just isn’t good enough. So, I think you are asking for my thought about that scenario.
Well, first, it matters not even minutely what I think about that. All that matters, since we are assuming there’s a God—an all-powerful final authority over my life and yours—is what He says. And His Word is in absolute agreement with your theory that we cannot be good enough. Not one of us can be good enough…that’s just a fact. All of us have sinned (Rom. 3:23) and even one transgression is enough to damn our souls.Romans 5:12 tells us that we are all subject to death (hell) because we have all sinned. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) so, since we have all sinned, the payday for every one of us is eternal death.
So you’re right. No matter how we try, we cannot be good enough to escape hell and enter heaven. But Christ, who died FOR me (taking my punishment for sin) was good enough. He is sinless, so God accepts his death in the place of my death. While nothing I can do is good enough to deserve heaven, nothing but nothing can negate the sacrifice He made so I can have it. A “propitiation” is a payment or offering done by someone in place of or in the stead of it being done by the one who owed it (Rom. 3:25; I John 2:2; I John 4:10). That’s what Jesus did for me and you. He died so I would not have to. Calvary occurred (was planned and executed by God) so that I will not arrive at the judgment scene and come up “short”. It is not my goodness that insures that, but God will look at me and see that I am inside of the one who IS perfect and paid the price for my sins. So I have to be sure I am in Him (Rom. 6:3,4 and Galatians 3:26, 27 tell me how I can know I am in Him) and strive to walk in His ways. If I am trying to be faithful, He just keeps on making me clean and I have nothing to fear regarding the final judgment. I John 1:7 is very clear about that. John said he wrote the book so that we could be confident in our salvation. I John 2 (the whole chapter) is a great confidence builder for His children. He says he wrote the letter so we can know we are right with Him and have confidence for the judgment day.
You are so right…living without confidence that, in the end, I will have heaven, would be tormenting. I’m glad I already know the outcome of that dilemma. No one is good enough. But Jesus is. He gets to have heaven. That means I automatically get to enter because I am inside of Him. I got into him when I was baptized. I stay in Him by keeping the heart of wanting and striving to be like Him. So as long as I stay faithful to him…not good enough, not perfect, not worthy of heaven…just faithful to Him, I am sure I am heaven-bound. Just as I know how to stay faithful to my husband, I know how to stay faithful to my spiritual husband. I love Him and want to please Him. I can do this through Him (Phil. 4:13)!
…And about those “Christian hypocrites”…let’s revisit them soon in another edition of Bless Your Heart. Unfortunately, they will still and always be around.