Friday, October 10, 2008

False Security

I was reading a number of statistics from Barna Research online this week and I came across one that kind of surprised me. Only 2% of people in the United States believe that when they die they will go to hell. Beyond reaching that 2% with the Gospel, we probably need to warn the other 98% that they may not be as ready for eternity as they think especially since most people spend more time planning their next vacation than they do preparing for eternity.

I think one of the reasons many people feel they will make it to heaven is they think one makes it by being “good.” We then determine our “goodness” by comparing ourselves to other people. We look around and feel as though we are at least as “good” as everyone else, if not a little better. But comparisons can be dangerous.

The comparison game can lead to a false sense of security. Comparisons should not be made against others but against who God is and what He says in His Word. We should get uncomfortable when we compare ourselves against God and His Word. We just don’t measure up. That’s the power of daily Bible reading, prayer, attending a small group, and coming to church every week. It may be uncomfortable at times but it’s good to face the truth. We just aren’t “good” enough. But God is good and His grace and love outweigh our ugly sinfulness.

The Good News is simply that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, to take our eternal penalty of hell upon Himself. In return, we can be forgiven our sins and have a relationship with God for this life and all of eternity. Take time this week to get uncomfortable with your “goodness” and then mediate on these two verses.

You… must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him! Mark 13:35-37 (NLT)

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NLT)