WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 08, 2022
TOPIC: NOBODY IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR HEAVEN
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’” (Matthew 19:16 New King James Version).
Apart from those who call themselves atheists, nearly everybody believes there is life after death. There is an afterlife. Most people believe that when human beings die, they will go to heaven. The only disagreement is on how to get to heaven. Different religions have their routes to heaven.
Most religions teach that to get to heaven, one must strive to be good. One must get rid of all forms of immorality, clean up one’s life, do good works, and make oneself acceptable to God. They believe that once one does all this, one will have a free passage to heaven.
But the question is how much life-cleansing can one do that will be acceptable to God? At what point can the cleaning up of one’s life be satisfactory to God? Is it possible for someone to live without any fault? The only sincere answer is that nobody can by his efforts succeed in presenting himself acceptable to God to qualify for heaven.
The standards of God are too high for anyone to meet by his power to qualify for heaven. However, it does seem that some people don’t realize this yet and so continue in the self-delusion that their works or self-righteousness could earn them entrance to heaven. But God knows very well that no man’s self-efforts at perfection are good enough to take him to heaven.
In Matthew 19:16, a man came to Jesus and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (New King James Version). Obviously, the question was wrong because there is nothing good anyone can do to have eternal life. Nevertheless, Jesus answered the man. At the end of their conversation, the man who claimed to have kept the commandments from his youth, went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
This was because Jesus told him that if he wanted to be perfect, he should go and sell what he had and give it to the poor, and he would have treasure in heaven. Jesus said he should then come and follow Him. But the young man couldn’t do so. His possessions were more important to him than the eternal life he had said he wanted to have.
Nobody can earn his way to heaven. Some people think they are better than others because they don’t commit some sins as they do. But their good record is not good enough for heaven. Nobody’s good works will grant him access to heaven. The rules and regulations prescribed by different religions to get to heaven can never make anyone good enough for heaven. Even if it is possible to keep all the rules and regulations, man will still fall short of the standards of God, as it was with the young man who left Jesus sorrowful. No man will ever enter heaven by his own efforts.
No one is good enough for heaven. Man’s righteousness can never satisfy the justice of God. Psalm 143:2b says in God’s sight, no one living is righteous. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 3:20a that by the deeds of the law, no flesh will be justified in God’s sight. The Prophet Isaiah said we are all like an unclean thing and all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
Rules and regulations cannot make man good enough for heaven. Trying to please God by keeping the law in the Old Testament cannot make man perfect and pleasing to God. That’s why God sent His Son, Jesus, to prepare human beings for heaven by dying for our sins and imputing to us His righteousness instead of our righteousness, which cannot save us. God made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Salvation does not come through human efforts at being righteous. Titus 3:5 says that it is not by works of righteousness which we have done that God saved us, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
If you want to be qualified for heaven, it is not by human efforts to be perfect. You must believe in Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Salvation is by grace, not by works. By grace, we have been saved (Ephesians 2:5b). “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8 New King James Version).
It doesn’t mean that you should not do good deeds or live upright. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 that we should let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Also, Ephesians 2:10 says we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. According to Titus 2:14, Jesus gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Nevertheless, nothing good anyone does can qualify him for heaven. We are not saved by good works but we are saved to do good works. Nobody must promote his good works above the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross.
It is grace that qualifies us for heaven, not self-righteousness or our good works. 2 Timothy 1:9 says God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
Outside the work of redemption, every good thing we pride ourselves on becomes useless. Paul understood this very well. He said in Philippians 3:7-9, “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (New King James Version).
What do you pride yourself on concerning entering heaven? Is it the rules and regulations of your religion or the law in the Bible you are keeping? Is it your holiness or uprightness? Nobody is good enough for heaven. A man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ; by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Galatians 2:16).
How are you preparing for life after death? Are you following God’s way to heaven or your own way? “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (Matthew 7:13 New King James Version). Have you given your life to Jesus? Nobody can make it to heaven outside the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for the work of redemption of Your Son on the cross. I shall not promote my good works above the redemptive work of Jesus. Holy Spirit, help me to follow Jesus to the end of my life on earth. I pray that all those who have not given their lives to Jesus will do so and follow Him as the way, the truth, and the life. They will quit the broad way that leads to destruction, and enter by the narrow gate in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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