Do you think you’re good enough?

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:48

In a previous devotional I wrote about my experiences in trying to lead others to Jesus Christ.  Perhaps 95% of them hoped they had been good enough to merit entry into heaven.  Somehow they visualized a great scale of justice mounted at the throne of God.  All their sins would be piled on one side and all their good deeds on the other side, and whichever one weighed more would determine their eternal destiny.

Let’s use the example of a really righteous person.  Assume they reach the age of accountability at 8 years old and live to be 78 years old.  That’s 70 years of being responsible for the good and bad in their lifetime.  As explained yesterday, there are sins of commission and omission.  Think about your very best behavior in a day’s time.  How many sins would you commit?  Be honest!  

Getting your kids ready for school is like a three-ring circus, and you say something critical to them or your spouse–count 1.  Morning traffic to work is a bear with crazy drivers and delays, and you let out an expletive when a guy cuts you off–count 2.  You arrive late to work and your boss makes a snide remark, causing you a little hate inside–count 3.  You go to lunch but take extra time when you should have been working because you’re still mad at your boss–count 4.  The server forgot to charge you for the coffee with your meal, and you consider it good luck and don’t pay for it–count 5.  You pass a homeless man begging for some change and you write him off as a lazy bum–count 6.  You get the picture.  

This list is short!  Think about your own thoughts and behavior.  Realistically, how many sins would you accumulate in a typical day?  

Just imagine that you are an absolute saint, so you only sin 3 times in a day.  I don’t know if it’s even possible for a person to sin so little, but let’s go with this figure.  Let’s also assume you are able to maintain this saintliness for the entire 70 years of your lifetime accountability.  Such an almost perfect life would be legendary and worthy of accolades.  Step aside, Mother Teresa!  

Here’s the bad news.  This almost perfect person would be guilty of about 77,000 sins!  By comparison, I could add a few more zeros to the figure for my own life.  

Heaven is perfect and without sin.  Do you think someone with 77,000 sins would be allowed in?  How many good works would it take to tip the justice scale favorably on their behalf?  

The bottom line is that none of us are good enough to go to heaven on our own merit.  Only one perfect man, Jesus Christ, has ever succeeded in accomplishing what we are so incapable of doing.  The sinless Son of God took our sin so that we may live forever with Him.  

Prayer:  Thank you, Jesus!  Amen

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