"6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed." - 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
"Do you think you are good enough to get into heaven when you die?" You would be surprised how many people answer "yes" to that question. The answer, of course, is "no." No one is "good enough." Don't believe me? Well, would you believe Jesus?
"18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." - Luke 18:18-19
There are many people in this world who believe they are good enough to get into heaven. Many of them sit in church on Sunday mornings. Or stand behind pulpits. None of us are good enough.
But what if we could used our supposed goodness as a means of defense. As a means of getting away with a crime. Would justice be served?
On October 11th, the son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was beaten to death byUSA Today article). The person doing the beating has now been charged with murder. What would happen if, during his upcoming trial, the defendant tried to explain his actions as a one-time mistake?
Peterson's his mother's boyfriend (
"Most of the time I am a model citizen. I have never committed a crime before. It was just this once. The kid was crying. I simply couldn't handled it so I hit him. It was wrong and I'm sorry."
[Sadly, that sounds like a viable defense . . . something we might actually see in a courtroom today]
And what would happen if the judge decided in the defendants favor saying, "I can see that. I know I've felt like hitting MY kids from time to time. Alright, I'll let you off. You can go free."
Oh my goodness! There would be such an uproar. Even by our liberal media! There would be cries of injustice all over the world. The judge would receive death threats. The defendant too! A two-year old kid! It's just not fair that this guy should be set free.
So why do we expect preferential treatment on the day we stand before God, our just judge, and expect to get into heaven.
"Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you used the name of the Lord your God in vane?"
Guilty, guilty, guilty. I have been guilty of ALL those things. So has everybody else on the planet, most likely. No one is good.
Our punishment for those crimes is deat. Read the Bible. "23 For the wages of sin is death" - Romans 6:23
The penalty is death!! We are all deserving of death for our sins against an incredibly holy and just judge. Guilty!
But what if, just before sentence was handed out, the doors to the courtroom burst open and in walked Jesus. And He came and stood next to us and told the judge that He had already paid the price for our crimes. Would the offer of forgiveness of sins be anymore real if the sentence against us were ready to be carried out?
"18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit," - 1 Peter 3:18
"10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God." - Romans 6:10
Standing there on Calvary, sinners watching the guards nailing Jesus to the cross . . . do you think they had any idea what He was doing? What he was accomplishing on their behalf? No one did. Not even the apostles I would imagine! Nobody fully figured it out until after Jesus rose from the dead and appeared before them. He appeared to individuals, to the twelve and to over 500 eye witnesses at one time. Twelve appearances in all to hundreds of eyes witnesses of the post-death Jesus. Jesus had risen from the dead. And yet . . . we still don't believe?
My friends, Jesus is our only hope of getting out of this world alive. He is the only means by which we are to be saved. Perhaps we should start living like we owe Him our lives because, in actuality, we really do. Jesus is the only hope for us sinners - through our repentance, through our belief in Him. He has promised to forgive our sins, despite our selfish nature and unworthiness, and justify us through His grace and by our faith. Please, turn to Him today . . . and be saved. He is a friend of sinners.
Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns
" . . . 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead - by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” - (Peter speaking to the rulers of the people and the elders at Jerusalem) - Acts 4:10-12