Archive for March, 2009

Any Twitterers?

I’m trying out Twitter. I’m not sure if it’s something I can see getting into, but figure it deserves a shot. If you are a twitter user, follow me.

Bad People Go to Heaven and Good People Go to Hell

Have you ever heard the question “why do bad things happen to good people?” Have you ever wondered the opposite? Why do good things happen to bad people?

The problem is our point of view. Proverbs 20:6 says “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” We all think that we are good people. I have even seen interviews with hardened criminals serving life sentences for horrible crimes say, with a straight face, that they consider themselves to be a good person. Psalm 14:3, speaking of us all, says “There is no one who does good, not even one.

But, you ask, how can that be? People do good all the time. Motorists pull strangers from burning cars, philanthropists give up riches to help needy families, people give kidneys to save the lives of total strangers. Isn’t that good? In a sense, yes! It is good. However, is it enough to say that giving a kidney to a stranger would make a serial rapist a good person in the end? Certainly not, his good deed, being the right thing to do, does not wipe out his crimes. In the case of civil law, as well as God’s law, we are expected to do what is right, but doing right does not erase our evil deeds.

So let’s approach the question of good from God’s point of view. He has given us a simple measure that most people learn about before entering elementary school: the 10 Commandments (also known as “The Law”). Follow along with me to see how you will do on Judgment Day. The 9th commandment, do not lie. Have you ever lied? Even disregarding small, white lies, such as “that outfit looks great on you” when it doesn’t, who among us hasn’t told a whopper? The 8th commandment, do not steal. Have you ever stolen anything? Even something small? Before you say “no”, think about it for a minute. Have you ever downloaded music from the internet? Have you ever gotten paid for time you didn’t work? It is a rare person that can say “no.” How about the 7th commandment, do not commit adultery. This includes fornication. Actually, it’s much stricter than that. Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Ouch!! This one gets most people. Have you ever looked at someone with a lustful eye? I won’t ask about every commandment, but let’s end with the 3rd; do not take the name of the Lord in vain. Have you ever used the name of God in place of a four-letter word banned by the FCC? Have you ever said the name of Jesus Christ, not in reverence, but in anger or disgust? Do you realize what you’re doing? What would you say if someone used your mother’s name to express disgust? You are doing that with the God who gave you life, and blesses you with good food and a warm bed.

When I go through the 10 commandments, I fail on every one of them. Even the 6th (murder)? Yep, even the 6th! Jesus said in Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

So, like me, you will have to stand before God one day and give an account of your life. Like me, you won’t do so well. Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And Isaiah 64:6 says “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Actually, the original Hebrew doesn’t say “filthy garment”, it says “menstruation cloth”. And that’s speaking of your GOOD deeds! Imagine how God sees your sins!! Is it any wonder that Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death“? (Death referring to the spiritual – Hell!)

Well that sounds pretty doom-and-gloom!! Yeah, it does. But there is good news! Remember the title of this post “Bad People Go to Heaven…” While it was intended as an attention grabber, it is also the truth. If all bad people go to Hell, and we are all bad, then we would all go to Hell. So how do bad people go to Heaven? This is the good news of the Gospel. God so loved the world, that He gave his only son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Another way of saying this is that you committed the crime, but 2,000 years ago, Jesus stepped in and paid your fine when He died on the cross. It’s an amazing transaction! God must punish sin, but we cannot pay the price of even one sin, and most of us sin every day, no matter how good we try to be. He would not be a just judge if he simply forgave people for their sins and let them go. Imagine if someone raped and killed your mother, and the judge simple forgave him and let him go. You would rightly consider that judge a corrupt person with no sense of decency. But there is no reason the judge cannot pay the penalty on behalf of the accused. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.

So what must you do? You must do the obvious, Repent! Stop sinning. Forsake your sins! You must also place your trust in Jesus Christ, the way you would trust a parachute when jumping from an airplane. Recognize that it was his death that turns away God’s wrath against your sin.

I know most people who read this will blow it off, but thanks for reading it anyway. Please think about it though. I spent the time writing this because I care about everyone who would read it, and hope to see you all in Heaven with me some day!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Apologies for the Delay

While I never promise to have a podcast episode posted by a specific date unless it is in the can and ready to go, I do strive hard to get them posted by the first Saturday of the month. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts with my next guest have prevented me from getting this month’s podcast recorded in time to post today. I apologize for the delay. I’ll have it up as soon as possible, and will do whatever it takes to make sure I do get a March episode up (If I can help it in any way, I don’t want to miss an episode.) I may get a backup guest & topic if “Plan A” doesn’t work out.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the podcast by listening every month. Thank you also to those of you who have given me words of encouragement in regards to the podcast. It has been an immense joy to do!

For those of you who may get the show by checking the site periodically, you can sign up for email alerts of new episodes. Your email address is never shared with anyone, and never used for any purpose besides the email alerts you sign up for (and you can unsubscribe any time.) You can sign up at: http://www.justavapor.com/archives/2292.