Everyone wants to go to heaven. Everyone thinks they are going to heaven. However, when asked are you sure you are going to heaven, that is where many hesitate. So they are back to the beginning question.
Some will justify their answer by claiming they are not any worse than anyone else. Some will cite all the good things they do, or will boldly stick up for themselves for not being a thief or murderer. Compared to Hitler they fare well. But if the standard was someone like Gandi or Mother Teresa, where would they stand? Easy to justify our goodness when the model is easy to achieve. So we generally look at those worse than us to compare our measure of goodness.
However, neither Hitler, nor Mother Teresa are the standard to be compared. A holy righteous Almighty God of heaven compares you with Himself. So now how do you fare? Your mark is so far off, it is immeasurable the wickedness you commit, even if the simple falling point was as small as a weak swear word.
God’s whole revelation to man throughout history, first with the patriarchs, then with the Jews, was to define His ways and His expectations to show us that we are sinners, and then that sin separates us from Him. And the scriptures tell that we have easily committed rebellion against Him almost immediately from our youth. So therefore we have failed the criteria of righteousness. So now what?
But God did not leave us guessing whether we have done enough good to balance out our sin. He simply stated we cannot balance out our evil no matter how much good we did. One sin and we are guilty of judgment and failing the requirements for heaven. But many still want to try to achieve merit on their own, not realizing they have failed because of their fleshly nature.
The scriptures tell us what God expects. The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) recite the main points of the law. Did we violate ANY? Then we are guilty of them all scripture tells. The scriptures go on to tell us who will not even inherit the kingdom of God.
[1Co 6:9-11 KJV] 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Have you been guilty? The Father in heaven did not leave us helpless. He provided a way. First through His people, He set up a system to realize the extent of punishment our sin is worth. Worthy enough to shed blood of an innocent animal. But that atonement was only temporary. It foreshadowed a greater atonement, one of the blood of an innocent man to pay for sin. And that man had to be offered of God Himself. Therefore He offered His onw begotten Son, Jesus Christ, born of the flesh, to take our place for the punishment of sin. And that by us looking upon Him, we would accept His sacrifice and payment for what we deserve. Jesus was crucified on a cross for our sin. But He rose for our resurrection to new life. And all we do is receive Him, believing – that is trusting fully – in His sacrifice and resurrection. And thus He deposits His Spirit into us making us born from above to see the Kingdom of God.
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth shall not perish, but will have eternal life (John 3:16).
So what about trying to do good deeds to achieve eternal life? The scriptures tell that they are done in vain because we are not saved by our works, but by the grace of what Jesus provided.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).
With the works of the flesh, the Bible tells that we were guilty. But that Jesus Christ paid for that and restored us, washed our filthy robes of sin.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
So can we know we have eternal life, or is it just a hope? Yes, it is a hope, but it is based on truth.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:13).
So the key is believing in Jesus for your merit, and not trusting in your failing flesh for eternal life. And God the Father will see you through Jesus Christ and His perfection on your behalf. That is a great deal. And that is the gospel.
If you have made that decision to trust in Jesus, let me know.