Saturday, August 17, 2013
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV).
Behold, God’s standard of righteousness, of which we all fall short!
I once posed this simple, straightforward inquiry to a priest: “Where would your soul go if you died right now?” He answered, “Heaven, after I am cleansed in purgatory.” I explained to him God’s Word declared we could be “made the righteousness of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21) by simply trusting in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins. When I thus questioned him regarding the purpose of purgatorial cleansing, he (blasphemously) replied, “Yeah, but now we are not talking about what Jesus did. We are talking about what I am going to do!”
Beloved, billions have allowed religion to burden them which such a weight that they, sinful people, will have to please a holy God before they can get into heaven. They are basing the salvation of their eternal soul on the presumption that they can do what Jesus Christ—God manifest in human flesh—could not do! Exactly what can we weak, mortal men do to measure up to Almighty God? How can we even think about proposing a more perfect sacrifice than what Jesus Christ offered on Calvary’s cross nearly 20 centuries ago? What utter foolishness!
God the Father said to Jesus Christ, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). Jesus declared, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). Can God say that about us sinners? Is He really “well pleased” with us all the time? Can you honestly say with Jesus, “I do always those things that please [God the Father]?” Nay! That is what sin is!
We would do well to swallow our pride and confess that we will never measure up to God’s standard of holiness “doing the best we can.” Our character, our sinful nature, produces sinful behavior, only bringing shame to our Creator, Jesus Christ, and gendering nothing but His wrath….