The Good Person Test
Your Answer: I do my best to obey God and the ordinances
of the church, and with Jesus' help I'll get to heaven.
There is a problem with this answer.
It is not what the Bible says.
For example: Let's say it's a hot day and
you have a a very young son who wants an ice cream cone. You
tell him that he can get one, if he earns the $1.50 it costs.
So your small son works hard doing an odd job for the neighbor
and earns $1.00. Would not a good father, who loves his son,
take him to Baskin Robbins and pay the extra money he needs
to get an ice cream?
Of course he would.
This story is supposed to illustrates why
we need Jesus. What it is saying is that although we do our
best, we can not earn enough to get into heaven on our own.
We need the work Jesus did on the cross to help us get to
But there is a problem.
A BIG problem.
The Bible tells us that we can not do anything
Our BEST acts are like filthy, maggot infested rags to God.
"All of us have become like
one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts [the
best we can do] are like filthy rags."
- Isaiah 64:6 (NIV)
The phrase "filthy rags" in the
original Hebrew means disgusting, rotten blood soaked rags.
The point is, no matter how "good" we are, compared
with God's standard we are totally and disgustingly filthy.
There is nothing about us that deserves salvation.
But here is the good news!
"For by grace you have been saved
through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift
of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."
- Ephesians 2:8,9 (NASB)
The truth is that we are saved solely through
God's grace. Through His free gift of salvation, not through
anything we do ourselves. If we even did some small part to
contribute towards our salvation, we would have something
to boast about. But we have NOTHING to boast about... God
did it all.
If we use the story about the young boy
with the ice cream cone accurately, here is what happens when
the boy goes out to earn the money for the ice cream cone:
no matter what he does, it comes out wrong. At the end of
the day he owes the neighbor's $100,000 for all the damage
he's had done. Not only has he not earned the money, he has
gotten himself into an impossibly huge debt.
This shows us how good and loving God truly
is. In this story, the father steps in and not only buys his
son an ice cream cone, but he also pays all of the debt owed
by his son. That's what God has done for you! He has fully
paid the debt you owe for disobeying His laws. You owed the
death penalty, and Jesus paid that penalty on your behalf.
But what if the son says, "No thank
you. I'll go out tomorrow and earn the money for the ice cream
cone and to pay off the debt."
That's what we say to God when we do not
accept what God has done for us. God sacrificed His son on
the cross so that we don't have to die. If we say, "No
thank you." then God does not force us into heaven. He
gives us what we chose... we die and go to hell.
I don't want you to go to hell.
...and God does not want you to go to hell.