Check it out for yourself
Again, this week, I heard someone tell me that they thought “Good people go to Heaven.” I’m going to stop writing this column. I would think that by now, those who read it would understand what the Bible says about that. In fact, if good people go to Heaven, then Jesus completely misled his audiences. The truth is, that Jesus taught that good people don’t go to Heaven. Furthermore, He taught that God was intent on not giving people what they deserved, but that God’s desire was to give them exactly what they did not deserve. See…because of our sin nature, we all deserve to go to hell. I doubt that anyone would disagree with me on that point.
He teaches in Matthew 5:20, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
When it came to keeping the law, the Pharisees were the best people around. So basically, Jesus pointed to the Pharisees and said, “As good as you are, you aren’t good enough.” While the Pharisees walked away mad, everybody else probably walked away depressed. After all, if the religious leaders weren’t good enough, then who could be?
So let me ask you a question. If, according to Jesus, the guys who made a living out of being good weren’t enough for heaven, what about you?
If Jesus was right, then I am definitely not good enough. I’ve broken almost all of the Ten Commandments and I’ve never once sacrificed an animal for any of my sins. How about you?
My point is this: If you are looking for a God who lets good people into heaven, then stay away from the New Testament. And by all means avoid the teachings of Jesus. His standards are even higher than those found in the Old Testament law. Besides, He seems to contradict Himself. One minute He assured bad people they had a place reserved in God’s kingdom. Then He turned right around and assured the best people they didn’t. If you think I’ve misrepresented the teachings of Jesus, check it out for yourself. But first allow me to fast forward to an incident that may bring clarity to much of what He said. Only…you’ll have to wait until next week. Once again, you have “something to think about.”
Remember…God loves you just like you are…but He loves you too much to leave you like that.”
Pastor Thad Gifford is lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church of Madison County, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at (740) 852-7800, e-mail him at email@example.com or at their website www.3c-church.org.