Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Qualifying for Heaven

Throughout the world, there is a knowledge of morality which seems to be common to all. One of the conclusions people draw from this is that everyone is going to heaven because we all know the difference between right and wrong.

Knowing the difference between right and wrong does not mean people end up doing right. It really means they end up doing wrong.

Most religions have two parts: the religious side and its moral requirements. When people in any religion find out that they are not living a moral life, they put their emphasis on the religious side (fasting, pilgrimages, prayer wheels). They can do those things. Morality is considered part of making it, even though no one succeeds. These trappings can provide a good distraction from sin. The more dead you are inside, the more you need the bells and whistles of religious ceremony to provide the excitement you should normally get from worshiping God.

Biblical Christianity does not fit this model.
Religious: “You shall have no other gods before me.”

Moral: Morality is not a means to Heaven at all. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Rom. 5:20).
Only bad people qualify for Heaven. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6).

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