We are human. We have an over inflated idea of our own value. It is common to judge others by the standards that we create many times for others, but not ourselves. We have rules and criteria by which we evaluate others to see if they measure up for our particular organization or “click”. If we were given the power to judge who entered heaven, it is this writer’s humble opinion that we would get it totally wrong.
We may however be very surprised at the people we will find in heaven. You see – God has a soft spot for sinners. And unlike us, His standards are quite low. He will accept anyone.
I remember as a young man looking at all the rules you had to follow to become a church member. I remember thinking it’s easier to become a Christian than to become a church member. I was in a church where they would vote to accept you as a member. I now realize that I am glad that God placed His vote for me on Calvary, no ballot from anyone else required.
You see it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, a beggar or a president – Apart from the mercy of God, we’re all done for.
You have been saved, and you had nothing to do with it…Ephesians 2:7-8 tells us that saving is was all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It was His gift from start to finish! We didn’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we didn’t save ourselves. God does all the saving.
Philippians 3:8 – I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ.
What Paul is saying here is that everything he had ever accomplished was rubbish, or in his words properly translated—dog dung. All Paul had ever done was insignificant in light of the Lord’s ultimate goals and plans for Paul’s life. By accepting Christ and dumping his own plans, he embraced those of Christ. As he took on the mind of God in Christ Jesus, Paul’s potential for life changed, instantly. No matter how great we dream or how big our vision, it will always be insignificant compared to the plans God has in store for us.
Paul deemed all things outside of Christ to be but a loss compared to the knowledge gained in Christ and by assuming faith in His spirit and salvation. Paul’s words speak of the world and secular privileges which sought a place in his heart before knowing Christ. How could material things pretend to have had any merit? With Christ, Paul deserted and counted the past as a loss. For the knowledge of Christ alters and changes us completely—our judgments, thoughts, and beliefs. We are made into new creatures in Christ, with His thoughts and desires becoming the determining factor in our lives. In and of ourselves, we are undone without decency to appear before God, for we are guilty in our sin. There is a righteousness provided for us in Jesus Christ—and it is complete and perfect.
So don’t let the rules of man or religion attempt to fool you. God does not care about what is on the outside but what is on the inside. There are people who dress themselves in thousands of dollars of designer wear clothing but they are still ugly inside. Wearing Christian Dior doesn’t make you a Christian,only salvation covers ugly. Our own righteousness the Bible tells us is as filthy rags, but we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
God bases everything on His love. It was love for us that caused Christ to give His life for us on Calvary. There was no limitation to the love of God as He gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sin. There is no limit to love. Just because we as mere mortals, abuse and misuse love, we cannot redefine what love is because God has defined what true love is, played out for us on the cross.
So let me reiterate – We may be very surprised at the people we will find in heaven. You see – God has a soft spot for sinners. And unlike us, His standards are quite low. He will accept anyone.
- Jesus Christ is Everything (justificationbygrace.com)
- Christians Are Not Ashamed of His Words (godsbreath.wordpress.com)
- If Paul has not arrived… (christianitymatters.com)
- Christ Paid Sin’s Price (anotherchristianblog.org)