Trying too hard?
I was furious. I had driven all that way, carefully sticking to the speed limit for three hours. Obeying the law, even when it seemed everyone else was overtaking me, especially on the fast roads. Tell me, who else sticks to 70mph on the motorway? And then bang, two minutes from my destination and flash, flash 3 points and a fine. Just one mistake, I had taken my eye off the ball for a moment, distracted by the excitement of arriving. All those good intentions and actions now counted for nothing, the clean slate I had was ruined by one mistake. Where is the justice in that? Surely all the good effort I had made should count in my favour, surely I should have been let off breaking this law once?
Do you recognise this sentiment? Don’t we often think that true justice takes account of all our good behavior when considering how we should be punished if we break the law?
You need to ask yourself a tough question. Are you relying on this same principal to get you into heaven? Do you believe that as long as you do enough good deeds then that will outweigh any bad you have done? After all God is a loving God and will surely take account of your efforts?
Friend, you need to understand what the bible clearly teaches. God is perfect and hates evil, which is the breaking of His law. God created man and therefore knows how our lives would be most fulfilled. His laws show us how we should live to achieve this maximum fulfillment. He also decreed that if we kept all of His laws we would be welcomed freely into heaven. God did not say that we just needed to do more good than bad. He said we must live a perfect life. One blot, one mistake would wipe out all that good, just like my speeding ticket.
So have you qualified for heaven? You know that you do bad things but did you realise that you could never do enough good to compensate? How then can you be accepted into heaven?
It was God’s choice that someone perfect must die in the place of the guilty, to allow guilty men to be declared innocent and enter heaven. No natural man could ever meet this criteria, so God in His love sent His son Jesus to live on earth. He lived a perfect life of obedience to the law and was sentenced to death, although recognised as innocent. Whilst Jesus’ death was punishment for all man’s evil it does not mean that all men are now acceptable to God.
It was God’s will that only those who recognised their own evil and disobedience against God and pleaded with Him for forgiveness would be declared innocent and accepted into heaven. This is the only method acceptable to the perfect, creator God.
If you are trying to mask your own wrongdoing behind good works then you will never be good enough. But there is great news! Rather than hiding your badness, or working tirelessly to do enough good, you can find full forgiveness for it and be released from its captivity. How much better is that! Stop kidding yourself, your efforts are in vain, you must cry out to God for forgiveness