Saturday, February 17, 2007

Are You A Good Person - I Just Got Out of Prison

I was talking with two young men about what happens after we die. I asked the question, "Would you consider yourself to be a good person?" One of them immediately said, "No, I'm not."

It turned out he had been to prison three times and was going to court again later that week. He had no doubt he was heading back to prison because he had broken the law once again and been caught.

He knew he was not a good person. He understood that when you go to court, stand before a judge, that if you did the rime you've got to pay the time.

We've all done the crime. We've all broken God's laws (see Remember, God sees everything you do and think. Image we could put a computer chip in your brain and record your every thought and deed for a month. Then we invite all of your friends to a movie theater and take what was recorded on that chip and show it on the big screen. That's what God sees. We will all stand before God on judgment day and the verdict will be guilty.

But, what if you are standing before a judge in a courtroom... you've been pronounced guilty... and the fine is $100,000 or you are going to prison. You don't have that kind of money so you are heading for prison. But then a stranger comes into the courtroom... writes a check for $100,000... and gives it to the judge. Your fine is paid. What happens to you? You go free.

That is what will happen on judgement day. When you stand before God to be judged, if you have accepted Christ's gift of his having paid your penalty for you, Jesus will stand up and say, "I have paid his/her penalty. They can go free." And you'll enter heaven.

But if you have not accepted Jesus Christ's gift, then yo must pay the penalty (hell) yourself.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Are You A Good Person?

Would you consider yourself to be a good person? That's a question that's starting to show up everywhere. It's a question based on the Bible, but I even saw what appeared to be a Buddhist web site using it.

Why is this question being asked?

Because it is ultimately the most important question that can be asked. It is pretty much the question that separates those who are going to hell from those who are going to heaven. (Take the Good Person Test at

If someone thinks they are a good person, that's a fairly solid sign they are headed for hell. Does that surprise you? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell?

That's exactly true. Good people do go to heaven and bad people do go to hell. The thing is, there is no one who is good. (Romans 3:23). We all are wicked and we all deserve to go to hell.

That upsets some people. They say, "I'm a good person. I've never murdered anyone! I'm certainly a better person than that guy who lives next door."

Anyone who says they are a good person, is counting on their own "goodness" to get into heaven. But that doesn't work. Because compared with God's standard none of us are good. And that's the standard that applies. So if we are counting on our goodness to get us into heaven, we're not going to make it. Why, just check the Ten Commandments. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever taken anything that does not belong to you? Have you always honored your parents? Have you ever looked with lust at another person? Jesus said that looking with lust is adultery in the heart.

If you have broken just one of these laws you face God's punishment. Just like when you break a civil law, there isthen a penalty to be paid. Disobeying God is very serious, and thus the penalty is very serious... the penalty is death (hell).

I was talking with a friend about this and my sister was listening. Suddenly my sister blurted out, "Then no one deserves to go to heaven!" Yes! That's it! None of use deserve to go to heaven.

So how does anyone get to heaven? It takes someone else paying our penalty, that we owe for breaking God's laws, on our behalf. Jesus did that on the cross. Jesus paid the death penalty so that you don't have to. Jesus died in your place. He died so that you can live forever with God.

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