We went out to lunch for my mom's birthday today at Salsa's. While we were on our way out stopping to grab Karis some mints, we ran into (literally almost) a few ladies who were doing the same. While we walked out, I casually invited them to church and offered to pray with them. One of them said she had already prayed this morning and the others said they were good, too. I asked the million dollar question and they all answered with an affirmative exclamation. When I asked why they were so confident that they would go to heaven, one of them said because she was so strong in her faith. The other two didn't respond. After asking specifically whether they had asked Jesus to come into their lives and hearts, they assured me that they had.
I have often wondered why so many "Christians" don't immediately answer with "Jesus is my Savior" when asked why they know they would go to heaven. My hypothesis would be that there's a tremendous lack of biblical teaching in the body of Christ. People believe that Jesus saves them, but in order to stay saved, they must live up to a standard with their works. I would assume that the standard most people believe they must live up to is impossible to say the least. That is why we need a Savior!
I have met so many people who have told me they know they would go to heaven based on the fact that they haven't sinned a LOT. And after sharing the gospel with them and giving them the invitation to accept Christ, many have said, "Oh, I've already done that." You're kidding, right? If you've already done that, why didn't you mention Jesus Christ anywhere in our conversation? I know why. They don't understand that the death, burial and resurrection of Christ was enough. And I get it. Shouldn't there be MORE we have to do to earn such a luminous place in eternity? I mean, our entire society is performance-based. Do poorly on your job? Get fired! Do poorly in school? Repeat the 9th grade. Do poorly in your relationship? End up with a divorce. Herein lies the problem with modern Christianity. People, believers even, think that the kingdom of heaven operates like the world's system. God's system is unfair in its own right. He simply requires that one believe in the resurrection and accept His free gift of salvation in order to be saved. (Romans 10:9) It doesn't seem fair that a murderer could call out to Christ before being sentenced to death and get a spot in heaven with all of the others who called out to Christ, but ALSO went to church every Sunday, paid their tithes, ironed their clothes and gave to the poor. (See Matthew's story about the "five o'clock people" in chapter 20 for a great parable of the unfairness of God's kingdom.)
Now, I know this rant is a bit out of fashion for my usual shockwave challenge report of the day, but I've encountered too many believers who have been deceived. I understand that you're probably poking holes in my theology right about now, wondering if I think that Christians can do whatever they want (sin) and get into heaven. That's not the point of this post at all. The question is simply this, "Was Christ's sacrifice ENOUGH to cover my sin and pay the price for my spot in heaven...or was it not? Did Jesus pay it all or did he leave a balance due? Did he get most of it and want us to leave the tip or did he foot the entire bill?"
Next time you ask someone, "if you died tonight or 100 years from now, do you know for sure you'll go to heaven when you die," and they answer in the affirmative with any other reason than "Christ is my Savior," make sure you point them to the fact that Christ paid their ransom...ALL of it!