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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Good Enough for Heaven

READ: Romans 10
KEY VERSE: Romans 10:3
DEVOTIONAL:
"I'm basically a good person. I don't think God is so picky that He (or it, really, the whole universe may be God for all I know) would reject a person for just doing what they sincerely believe."

Many times we have heard this, or some similar statement. It is one of the more dangerous lies, for its false solace can prevent someone from escaping Hell, of our time and Paul quickly refutes it. You will not get to God on your own terms - you have no right to. Verses 6 and 7 tell us that we shouldn't plan on fetching Christ from Heaven or raising Him from the dead for our own salvation. He has made the way for us already and we will never make our own. The way of salvation is already in our heart and so near our lips we need only request it. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Lord and believe in your heart that He lives - really, truly conquered death - then He will save you forever. Placing your trust in Him is sufficient and any other path is folly.

But, verse 14 asks, how do you reach this point? You can't call in a God you don't believe in; doing lip service is meaningless. You cannot believe in Jesus' death and resurrection if you haven't heard and you can only hear by being told. So we must then tell others. Not all who hear accept the Gospel, but the Holy Spirit allows them to understand it (v 20), while it is ultimately their choice. Paul and Jesus himself were rejected with their message. If God himself and the apostle chosen to bring the gospel to the Gentiles were both subject to failure, we ought to realize we will not always succeed. Indeed, although the Bible says the Lord doesn't will that any should perish, some will (II Peter 3:9). If the call of God Himself doesn't bring everyone, what hope do we have? I invite you to turn in your Bible to Philippians 3:7-11. Go get a sheet of paper and hand write these verses on it. Fold it up and carry it with you, praying for God to help you believe and relish in it. If only one is saved, our life has become worthwhile. Long had the Lord stretched out His hands to Israel, waiting on them to cast aside their faith in their own hands and pick up faith in Him. But it is that kind of religion which is likely picking up speed in your friends and family, even now.
Witness and pray. Don't give up hope. Salvation is open to everyone, if they can lay aside their pride and take it.

QUESTIONS:
(1) Someone told you the Gospel so you might be saved. Do you care enough to pass it on?
(2) Can you refute someone who claims they have their own way to Heaven with logic and the Scriptures? In the 21st century, having your defense memorized may be valuable.
(3) The Bible says that not all who hear will accept. Do you still get discouraged when rejected? Pray for God to give you the comfort of confidence in His plan.

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