I heard a radio pastor pose an interesting question. What if at the end of our life we were only judged by our own rules? What if the only test for eternal life was how well we kept to the things we said, “they ought to….”?
I wouldn’t pass. I cannot keep my own rules. We can’t keep God’s rules. We can’t even live by our own rules. Jesus talks about this in Matthew 23 when he talks about the Pharisees.
The chapter is long so I won’t post the whole thing but here is a highlight:”Matthew 23:27-39
Matthew 23:1-4 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. ”
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started! “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
We don’t get to heaven by keeping rules. We cannot keep rules. The same propensity for making rules we cannot keep is inside everyone of us.
We get to go to heaven because there was one perfect man, and he sacrificed his perfect life to pay for our imperfections. Then he rose to life to enable us to live forever with him. Our sins killed him and yet he loves us so much he wants us to live with him forever.
I don’t get it but I have in fact taken him up on his offer, trade my imperfections for his perfection and have all of my mistakes covered.
Have you? If not, will you? Today?