Matthew 19:25-26 (MSG)
25 The disciples were staggered. “Then who has any chance at all [to get into Heaven]?”
26 Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”
James 4:8-10 (ESV)
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
John 11:25-26 (MSG)
25-26 “You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?”
Well, you ain’t gettin’ in unless blah, blah, blah. What a bummer – the last thing we want to hear. But, but, but, but I’m a good person! ARGH! WTH? Our sin is like our birthmark, and the reality is that getting into heaven is not a birthright. Not everyone is getting into His presence – would you want Hitler in heaven? Mao? Amin? Stalin? I’m better than the people on Jersey Shore, I’m good enough…. Who would you keep out of heaven? I’m guessing we’d all have a different list and that I’d be on a few. Our lists don’t count though, only God’s does.
Be wretched, moun, weep. Gee, that sounds fun. No thanks. Um, wait, just know who you are in God’s eyes and then marvel at Christ – whoa, He did that for me? Unfortunately, in our natural state we just aren’t good enough. I know, I know, quit beating that drum! I’M GOOD ENOUGH!!!!!!!!! But we’re not. We have our birthmark and it’s an ugly bummer. The only way to really have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control is to have it from God. Everything else is tainted and subject to getting messy when the poop hits the fan.
We do have hope, we don’t have to wait until it’s all over to see if we really were good enough. We can have it now, and it’s a rough, rocky road to get there – it’s not easy and involves a whole lot of humility, backtracking, changing, mourning, humility, introspection, faith, humbleness, humility.
Getting into heaven is not a birthright because we’re kept out by our birthmark, yet there is The Way in. Take it and see what happens. His blessings to you today!