By Weylan Deaver
Many think they are going to heaven, who are not headed that direction at all. Such is not God’s wish, but does state the sad reality (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4; Matthew 7:13-14). Many think they can live a “good” life and that they will be saved on that basis, without having to be involved with the Lord’s church, and without having to be too wrapped up in things religious. They attempt to live life largely on their own terms, just trying to be decent and moral, and without feeling like God is intruding on their schedules on a daily basis. But, man’s “goodness” (however it be defined) cannot get any man to heaven because it is not really good. Jesus said, “No one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18, ESV). We are marred by the sins we do, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Being sinners, we deserve death (Romans 6:23). No one is going to heaven without a whole lot of help from God, and the help will be on God’s terms—not mine—as revealed by Jesus Christ (John 14:6). It will require lifelong commitment and willingness to put God before everything else in your life (Matthew 6:33). Becoming a Christian and living faithfully will be the hardest and also the most rewarding thing you ever do. The only alternative is eternally catastrophic. Hell is as real as heaven, and to be avoided at all cost (Matthew 25:46). Trying to be “good” is not good enough. I have to be born again by God’s power, by water and Spirit (John 3:3-5), as I am immersed into the death of Christ (Romans 6:3-4), baptized into his spiritual body (Galatians 3:27), which is the church that Jesus will save (Ephesians 5:23). Visit us at the church of Christ, where we worship an infinitely good God, who still saves those who obey his gospel (Hebrews 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:8).