Imagine this situation – you die tonight and find yourself standing at the Gate of Heaven. You hear the voice of God: ‘Why should I allow you to enter?’
What would you say?
Many would respond: ‘I have lived a respectable life!’ or ‘I have tried my best!’ or ‘The good things I have done must outweigh the bad things I have done!’
Will these responses satisfy God?
These answers, though common, are simply not accurate - and will never secure admission to Heaven.
Because God is characterised by infinite holiness, He cannot tolerate sin in His presence – and He cannot allow a sinner into His Heaven.
‘But I’m not really that bad!’
Maybe we can all look at others who are worse than us, but God’s standard is absolute perfection.
Judged by that standard, we all, without exception, fail. Even the best of us are simply not good enough for Heaven.
Is that it then? Is there no hope for me?
God, however, is not only characterised by holiness. He is also characterised by love. Incredible love!
He loved us so much that He sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus, from Heaven to earth. Christ came – and lived a significant life and then died a significant death.
What was significant about the life of Christ?
In His life, He proved Himself to be a perfect man. The sin that is so evident in our lives was completely absent in His life.
What was significant about the death of Christ?
He then deliberately went to Calvary and allowed men to crucify Him. When He was on the Cross, God judged Him, His perfect Son, for the sin of the world. The Lord Jesus bore that judgment – and then triumphed over death by rising again from the grave.
All this was so long ago! Is it still relevant today?
The centuries may have passed, but the life and death of Christ remain of vital importance.
In Christ, we see God’s remedy for man’s ruin.
In Christ, we see the Saviour for the sinner.
So are we all going to Heaven then?
No! The Lord Jesus has made it possible for us to go to Heaven, but to make that possibility a reality for us, He needs to become our personal Saviour.
‘A personal Saviour.’ What does that mean?
The Bible speaks about ‘believing on the Lord Jesus’.
Surely we all believe in Him!
There is all the difference in the world between ‘believing in’ and ‘believing on’. When we believe in something, we are merely acknowledging its existence. When we believe on something, we are confessing our personal reliance on it.
Can you give an example?
Here are two!
All of us believe in Communism. We believe that a political system called Communism exists. However, only Communists believe on Communism. Only they think it works and long to see it introduced in their land.
If I am sick, a doctor may tell me that I need an operation. It is one thing to believe what the doctor says, but that limited belief will never cure me.
For me to be cured, I need to believe on Him, I need to trust Him, I need to put my life in his hands – and if my trust in him is well-placed, then the operation will be a success.
So what do I need to do with the Lord Jesus?
- The Lord Jesus invites us to come to Him.
- The Lord Jesus wants us to trust in Him.
- The Lord Jesus is longing for us to believe on Him.
What I need to do is:
- accept that I am a sinner unable by my own efforts to save myself
- acknowledge that when the Lord Jesus died on the Cross, He took my place and dealt with my sins
- ask the Lord Jesus to save me.
If we do that, the Lord Jesus becomes our Saviour; God becomes our Father and Heaven becomes our future home.
Is it really as simple as that?
Yes! It is simple – but also quite difficult for many to do.
What do you mean?
We often find it hard to admit that we have been wrong. We also often find it hard to admit that we cannot resolve our problems and need to rely on somebody else for help.
But is there no other way?
Had there been any other way, had it been at all possible for us to get to Heaven by our own efforts, the Lord Jesus would never have come from Heaven and gone to the Cross.
So what should I do?
Life is quickly passing. Death is approaching – and may come for us far sooner than we expect.
Delay could be dangerous!
The only safe action – and the only sensible action – is to settle the issue of our sin as soon as possible by repenting of our sin and trusting the Lord Jesus as our Saviour.
If I do so and then die tonight and find myself standing at the Gate of Heaven, what will I say when I hear the question of God: ‘Why should I allow you to enter?’
I will be able to say that in life, I came to His Son as a poor, needy sinner and took Him as my Saviour.
‘My sins deserved eternal death, but Jesus died for me!’
That is the only answer that satisfies God!
That is the only answer that secures admission to Heaven!