Don't Make This Mistake!
Imaginary subscriber to this blog, THE MAIN THING: "Will, I believe in God and I'm basically a good person. Of course I make mistakes, but who doesn't? My good deeds definitely outnumber my bad deeds. For this reason alone, I should certainly be on my way to heaven when I die. Sincerely, Boris Slagman, Eugene, Oregon"
My reply: Boris, you seem like a very nice person. Good job on the whole believing in God thing. That's pretty great, in my opinion. And I think it's super duper about your good deeds outnumbering your bad deeds. YEAH! Way to be, buddy. Please keep up the good work on the good works!
A gentle word of caution, though, on drawing the conclusion that you're automatically entered to win admission to heaven because of your good deeds. According to the Bible, this is NOT actually the way it works. Now please don't feel bad, Boris—it's a common misunderstanding.
So Boris, what's actually going on here in this life is you and I and everybody else find ourselves hurtling toward an unavoidable appointment with DEATH. Yikes! That's scary, right? But it's true. Graveyards worldwide are becoming more and more popular all the time—why, everybody is just dying to go to one eventually! (ha ha)
Okay well, my point is graveyards are full of dead people whose good deeds outnumbered their bad deeds. Really nice people! Now dead. Hmm. No, I think we need something way more powerful than good deeds to defeat death. Now what does the Bible teach about defeating death? Can you think of anyone in the Bible Who has actually defeated death? Hmm. Think harder. Did you think of Jesus? Me too! Nice thinking on our part, don't you think?
Now how did He do it? How did Jesus defeat death? Was it good deeds? He performed many good deeds, but no, that wasn't what empowered Him to overcome the grave. What did He have going for Him? Hmm. Did you think of POWER? Yeah, that's what it was! Jesus used God's resurrection power to defeat death. And that's what we must do also, Boris. Sincerely, Will Malpass
By His power God raised the Lord from the dead, and He will raise us also.