Do you believe in God? Do you think that is enough to get you to heaven when your life on earth ends? Are you sure? Can you be sure? What is good enough? How can you know?
Let’s be real. No more fooling ourselves. Let’s face the truth.
Lots of people believed in God when Jesus walked this earth. But what did Jesus say to these people who claimed to believe in God?
In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus said, “Not every who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them, I never knew you, depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” What was the problem? What were they lacking?
Really?! These were people who obviously believed in God, but Jesus rejected them. And they did marvelous things in his name. He told them that he never knew them. Why?
(James 2:19) ESV says, “You believe that God is one, you do well. Even the demons believe and--- shudder!”
Jesus met with a Pharisee, a very religious man of his day, one who definitely believed in God, a very good person. What did Jesus tell him?
(John 3:3) ESV You must be born again.
He was puzzled. How was he to be born again? Wasn’t he good enough? What does it take to be accepted?
James tells us that if a person keeps the whole law, but fails in one point is guilty of all the law. (James 2:10) ESV
That’s all it takes.
Can we know for sure, without a doubt that we are accepted by God? If belief is not enough, what is enough, right? Is no one good enough? Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.”ESV
That is blunt.
So let me ask you, are you sure your belief in God is enough?
(Luke 5:32) I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. ESV
(Luke 15:7) “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” ESV
So what is to be done? Is there no hope? If we can’t save ourselves, are we lost?
Who qualifies us to be acceptable? Colossians 1:12 God qualifies us.
Ok. On what basis?
“God so loved the world that he gave (completely and unconditionally) his only Son, that whoever believes in him (completely and unconditionally, entrusting his life into God’s hands) should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) ESV
He came unto his own, but his own received him not. But to them that receive him, He gave the right to be called the children of God. (John 1:12) ESV
So we can have the right to be called his child, but it is on his terms.Until then, all we do or claim to believe is worth nothing.
Yes, it is restrictive. It is limited. It is the one way. But, it is available and open to all who come with a heart to receive his life into their spirit, to repent of sins, and receive his forgiveness.
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) ESV He is the ultimate truth. He is the only way to become a child of God. And he will be their life, enabling them to live a life pleasing to God.