Can I do as I please without consequences? Obviously not. For if I rob a bank, I can expect to have the law after me, to be put on trial, and tossed into prison! Now, what if you invite me into your home, can I do absolutely whatever I want? What if I walk throughout your house with dirty shoes? What if I break your furniture? I’m sure you would have issues with that! Truth is, we are living on God Almighty’s planet! He is the Creator and we the created. God has set limitations for us, and I might add, they are set up for our benefit! God said we should not murder. Does this benefit or harm you? God said we should not steal. Is this of advantage to you? You see, it is a good thing when we are accountable to those over us. For, can you imagine if there was no one to call if your place was being robbed? Yes, to have God as authority is for our good! Yeah, some don’t like it or want it. Why? Because they want to be able to do the things that God has forbidden! Some folk don’t like the idea of being answerable for their actions! However, how good and just it is that the evil perpetrators of this world will all stand before the Judge of the universe and receive their due reward! Yet, what about you and I? What will that day hold when we stand before our Creator, the Judge of the living and the dead? Indeed, Judgement Day is ticking nearer!
Are You Ready?
Yes, life is brief; we are reminded of this all too often! What, I ask then, has your life been like? What will God say? Oh I know, most of us like to think of ourselves as pretty good individuals! However, how does God see it? For we read, “No creature is hidden from his sight…to whom we must give account.” He is even “Discerning of the thoughts and intentions of the heart”! (Hebrews 4:12-13) Yes, He knows your every thought! He knows all those things you’ve done in secret that you thought you got away with! Nothing is hidden from Him before whom we must all give an account! Indeed, God is holy, before whom we must give an accounting.
Yes, every time you breathe, you have one breath less before your life is complete, and then it will be over. What has been done is done! Then, when God opens the books on Judgement Day, what will be recorded under your name? What will the verdict be? Are you ready to give an account of your life before the God on whose Earth you have been dwelling?
Good Outweigh The Bad?
Some may envision a set of balances. On one side are placed the good we’ve done and on the other the bad. Then, in desperation, we hope that our good will be enough! Yet, is this the way it really works? Did it work like this for Adam and Eve? Was it not just a single sin that brought devastation to them? Indeed it was! As we read, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it”! (James 2:10) That…ought to send chills down our spines!
Does this then mean that we ought to try harder? Does this necessitate the making of rules to make certain that we don’t break God’s laws and reap the consequences? No, this definitely is not the solution! Truth be told, we need to come to the place where we give up! We need to conclude that we are helpless sinners and realize that God has never called us to work hard to get into Heaven, but that He saves us by His grace alone! Yes, Jesus is our answer! He paid the sinner’s penalty on the cross. He is our victory. He is our strength. He is the way. He is the life. He is our righteousness. He is our redeemer. He is our Savior!
No, our righteousness will never outweigh the bad we’ve done, seeing that, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (~Isaiah 64:6) And no, none of us will ever be good enough by our efforts to enter Heaven’s glory! Why? “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) That’s the bad news. The good news is that God has provided the way of escape through His uniquely born Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! He took the entire punishment for all of your sin some 2000 years ago! He didn’t leave you “on the hook” for any of it! No, He paid it in full, past and future! He was forsaken on the cross in order that you need never be forsaken by God again, but rather reconciled because Jesus paid sin’s due in your place! When we come to realize and believe that Jesus did everything necessary to save us, His righteousness is credited to us! It is because salvation is 100% the work of Jesus Christ that we can know that we are saved and that Heaven is our destination! Therefore, for those who place their confidence solely in Jesus Christ to save them, we read, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13)
“All have sinned.” Therefore, “The entire world is guilty before God.” (Romans 3:23/^Romans 3:19) Thus, we further read, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgement on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 14-15)
Yes, there is a court-case coming! We read, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life…And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire…as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 20:11-12, 15, 21:8)
Indeed, this does not sound good! Yet, it is perfectly just, for, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) With a certainty, these are only reaping what they have sown! However, we know that God is not only just but also loving. For we know the Lord does not desire that “Any should perish,” but “Desires all people to be saved.” (2 Peter 3:9/1 Timothy 2:4) Therefore, God has provided us with a way of escape! For we read, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) And further, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous.” (1 Peter 3:18) Yes, indeed! As it is written, “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace…All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – everyone – to his own way; and the LORD laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6) Yes, this is the good news for us! As we see here, “The gospel [good news]…that Christ died for our [my] sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
What will you do with what you have heard here today? The Word of God presses for a decision. We read, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only [uniquely born] Son of God.” (John 3:18) Therefore, I ask, will you place your confidence in the Savior to save you? For He paid the penalty of death for your sins – all of them, past and future some 2000 years ago! When you see and believe that what He has done is 100% sufficient to save you, you are saved for time and eternity! For it is written, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Yes, God has provided you with a way to escape the judgement that should rightly fall upon you. He has extended His grace to you! Yet, He won’t force you to place your faith in Him for salvation, for eternal life. The choice is yours. What will you do with the Crucified One? The time ticks on. Judgement Day looms nearer! Where will you be spending eternity?
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) For those who accept God’s free gift of eternal life, we read, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 10:13) So, why not call upon the name of the Lord to save you now, and know that you have eternal life? Here is God’s promise once more, “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Then the assurance He gives, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13)
Victor J. Reimer
Photo credit: “time bomb” by Dirk Knight
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
^ Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.
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