BY SHARON VAN ARNEMAN
It is not enough to be a good person who does good things. And that is not to say that being good does not matter – because it is very good to be good. It is good to give to the poor. It is good to feed the hungry. It is good to care for the sick. It is good to visit those in prison. It is good to help the disabled. It is good to rescue animals in distress. It is good to go to church every Sunday and to live the best life you could possibly live. But if we could do all the good we could for as long as we could, thinking somehow that when it comes time to die, God will let us into His Heaven because our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds; then we must know that doing good is not enough to secure us a place in Heaven.
If we could give all our money to feed the poor and get programs in place to eliminate world hunger; if we could eradicate bigotry, put a stop to senseless acts of violence, and cure every kind of social ill; if we could go so far as to give our lives for what we consider a worthy cause; we would still discover in the end that not even our heroism is enough to buy us salvation. The hard but simple truth is that the best of the best among us cannot enter Heaven on their own merits – for if we could earn salvation, then Jesus would have died for nothing.
But we all know that Jesus’ death was not in vain, because we have all done wrong – and that makes us all guilty. That is the problem with sin: It merits punishment. And all our good cannot atone for sinning against God. Sin’s punishment is eternal death. A sinless person had to have sacrificed his life to make a way for sinful persons to be reconciled to God. And since all of us missed the mark; Jesus – the perfect, sinless Son of God; and the only One found worthy – willingly offered to die in our place. He gave His life to purchase our salvation; to make it possible for us to have a relationship with God the Father; to give us eternal life. He alone is enough – and receiving Him is as easy as ABC.
A – We admit we are a sinner in need of salvation and acknowledge our inability to save ourselves. B – We believe Jesus became our sin substitute and paid the price for our sin by dying for us. C – We confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and we acknowledge in our heart that He alone is able to save us and give us a home in Heaven. We confess all our sin to Him; repent and forsake our old ways and receive Him by faith as our personal Lord and Saviour. When it comes to going to Heaven, no amount of good deeds will ever be enough, if we leave Jesus out of the equation.
To contact Sharon, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org