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If what, you ask?
If you were to die today, are you 100% sure that you would go to heaven?
Regardless of whether you answer yes or no, Scripture instructs in 2 Corinthians that we should “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified?”
So, we need to test ourselves, but how do we do that?
1 John 3:4 tells us that “Everyone who sins breaks the law” (NIV). Romans 3:20 tells us that “through the law, we become conscious of our sin” (NIV).
For example, you may be driving down the highway, completely unaware that your 70mph speed is breaking the law until you see the 55mph speed limit sign. Then you are aware.
You may not be aware that you are on someone’s property illegally until you see the “No Trespassing” sign. Again, that is when you become aware.
God’s Law works the same way! The book of James tells us that it is like a mirror, revealing the truth about who we are and showing us where we have sinned.
It is by comparing ourselves to God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, that we become aware of our sin – and it doesn’t take long to see how sinful we are!
For example, the ninth commandment says, “You shall not give false testimony.” In other words, you shall not lie. How many lies have you told in your life?
The eight commandment says, “You shall not steal.” Have you ever stolen anything? Anything? No matter the value?
The seventh commandment says, “You shall not commit adultery.” Adultery is defined as the physical act of having sex with anyone outside of a biblically defined marriage, but Jesus made it a heart issue when He said, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28; emphasis mine).
If you have done any of these things, then regardless of how you see yourself, the mirror of God’s law reveals that you are a liar, a thief, and an adulterer at heart. James 2:10 tells us, “For whoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”
Revelation 21:8 tells us that, “… the …murderers, sexually immoral, …idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (emphasis mine).
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 warns, “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals…nor thieves…nor drunkards…will inherit the kingdom of God” (emphasis mine).
If you were hanging from a cliff by a chain with ten links, only one of the links has to break before you would fall – and it’s the same with God’s law. We only have to break one before we are a sinner in God’s sight.
Romans 6:23 reveals that the “wages of sin is death” … in other words, the penalty for our sin is death. Since we will all die physically, this penalty of death means not only our physical death, but an even worse fate: eternal separation from God in hell.
As you can see, that is bad news for all of us! As we said before, we have to test ourselves, and testing ourselves against the Ten Commandments is only the first part of the test.
If you broke civil law and were found guilty in court, the judge would give you a penalty for breaking the law. Let’s say that the penalty is much higher than what you can pay, so you will have to spend the rest of your life in a terrible prison. As you are being led away, someone you don’t know stands up and tells the judge that not only does he have the means to pay your fine, but that he is willing to do so. All you have to do is trust that he will pay your penalty.
That scenario brings us to the second part of the test, which is: You stand convicted before God. What or whom are you trusting in to pay your penalty so that you can be set free?
Sadly, many people are trusting in the wrong thing.
Some are trusting in their good works, hoping that the good things that they have done will somehow balance out the fact that they have broken God’s law. They hope that somehow God will consider them a “good person.” However, just as that won’t work in a civil court, it won’t work in God’s “court” either.
Others are trusting that since God is a good God, He will just forgive them – but once again, as in a civil court, if the judge is truly good, he can’t just forgive you without the penalty being paid.
What then, is the correct answer? What is the one and only thing that we must trust in to be made right with God?
First, we must realize that God loves us to the point that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
To pay the penalty that you and I owe, God became man in the form of Jesus. Jesus was fully God, yet fully man. He lived a perfect life, never sinning even once. He didn’t deserve the penalty of death, but He was crucified so that our penalty could be paid.
When we finally recognize that, due to our sin, we owe a penalty we cannot pay, we see that we need a Savior. The mirror of the Law reveals that we have fallen short of the Holy God’s perfect standard. The only correct response is that we humbly confess and repent (which means turn away from our sins), abandon our trust in ourselves and our own goodness, and put our trust in Jesus, believing that He paid the penalty for our sins and is our only hope to be made right with God.
This does not mean that we will never sin again, but our desire will be to live for God and do what pleases Him. This results in a dramatic outward change in our behavior and the direction of our life.
Once we have done this, we are given a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26) and we become children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:14). Because death could not conquer the power of Jesus, He rose again on the third day after His crucifixion (Mark 16:9). For the Christian, hell and death are defeated forever (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). Those who trust in Jesus are forgiven and will live eternally with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
In conclusion, let’s look back to the question we started with – “if?”
If you were to die today, are you 100% sure that you would go to Heaven?
If you have repented of your sins and trusted in Jesus, then you can be 100% sure that you will go to Heaven when you die!!
We would love to have you join us in church, but if not us, find a church that believes the entire Bible and teaches it!!