When people ask me why I’m not going on some roller coaster that goes upside down and around and around at something like 200 miles per hour, I don’t want to just tell them I’m chicken. So, I tell them I’m not tall enough. You know that picture they have of a little person? They have them at the entrance to rides that are a little more challenging. You’re supposed to stand next to it, and if you’re not as big as that person that they’ve drawn, you’re not allowed on that ride. I’ve got grandsons, on the other hand, who would love to get on some of those rides. They don’t have the wisdom of my years. They don’t have the well-developed survival instincts that I have, but for a long time they weren’t allowed on the ride. They just didn’t measure up.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “How Nice People Miss Heaven.”
If you don’t measure up, you can’t go – to heaven. It’s not that we don’t try to stand on tippy-toe next to God’s standard and do everything we can to measure up to it. Someone who’s listening today, you’re a really religious person, you’re a spiritual person, you’re a nice person. Your hope is that when Judgment Day comes – when, in a sense, you stand at the gates of heaven by the standard of the holiness of God – you’ll be spiritually tall enough to get in. You won’t be. Not if you’re depending on your own goodness.
That’s not my verdict. It’s the verdict of the One you will meet the day you die; the One who decides whether or not you enter heaven. But, surprisingly, it won’t be your goodness that He’ll be looking at. It will be whether or not you have Jesus in your heart. And He will only be in your heart if you’ve abandoned all hope of being good enough for a perfect God and you’ve pinned all your hopes on His Son who died for your sin. You would have had to die for it if He didn’t love you enough to do it.
The verdict of God on all of us rings down through the ages in our word for today from the Word of God in Romans 3:10 and then verse 23. God Himself says: “There is no one righteous, not even one.” That’s “righteous” by His standard of perfection. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So, we all fall short. I do. You do. Speaking of our best efforts to be good, God says in Romans 3:20, “No one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”
God’s standards are to show us how much we need Jesus. Think of the cumulative effect of all the times in your life that you’ve told less than the truth – you broke the commandment about bearing false witness; all the times you did less than honor your parents – you blew off the commandment to honor your father and mother. Think about all the times you’ve had lustful thoughts. Jesus said when we do, we mentally violate the commandment against “committing adultery.” Think of all the selfish things, the proud things that have been, in God’s eyes, violating His commandment to “have no other gods before Me.”
But here’s the good news. Romans 3:21 announces that God is ready to give you (now here’s the word) “a righteousness from God, apart from the law…through faith in Jesus Christ.” That’s because Jesus died to cancel from God’s records every sin of every day of your life; erased by the blood He shed for those sins. “Faith in Jesus Christ” means telling Jesus you’re pinning all your hopes on Him and Him alone. You’re going to drop your sin so you can grab Him with both hands as your personal rescuer from your personal sin. Then, at the gates of heaven, you’ll walk in because you belong to Jesus. He’s the only One who measures up and you are with Him.
I pray that today you’ll make the move from being religious to being rescued. You ready to get this settled? Then tell Jesus, “Lord, You’re my only hope. I’m Yours. You died for the sin I could never pay for with all my goodness.”
Listen, there’s a lot of information that’s helped people at this turning point at our website. I want to direct you to it as a great place to go to get this settled. It’s ANewStory.com.
If there was any way you could measure up to get into God’s heaven, believe me, Jesus would not have hung on that cross. There is no way except Him. Today the Savior can become your Savior.