Did you happen to see the AOL survey last week? If not, here is something you may find interesting…
What is the key to getting into heaven?
- Living a good life. 65.5%
- Having connections to someone at the top. 26.7%
- Helping old ladies cross the street. 2.7%
- Slipping St. Peter $20.00. 1.9%
- Having a strong letter of reference. 0.5%
- Making a deal with the devil. 1.2%
- Telling a really good lie. 0.5%
Total votes 121,836
Are you going to heaven?
- Yes. 89.8%
- No. 10.2%
Total votes 143,309
Most of the answers are not really surprising, but did you notice how many more people responded to the second question (are you going to heaven?) 21,473 more folks opted to answer that simple question as opposed to the first one.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5)
There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them. (Acts 4:12)
Evidently, God’s survey would come out very different: one out of every one goes to hell without Christ!
Examine your life. What have you left undone? Or what have you done wrong? What if they were revealed to your neighbors, your family, the media? Would you fare any better than ____________? Truth be told, no one can withstand such scrutiny. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us,” 1 John 1:8 reads. Furthermore, we deceive ourselves if we think we do not sin in such a way that would bring such shame if exposed.
Apart from the gospel of grace, there is no hope. You will find no redemption in the faux tolerance of an unforgiving society. Yet if Jesus can forgive the very men like Paul who cheered his crucifixion, then he can forgive you, too, no matter what lurks in your past. Your good is not good enough. But his is. As Tim Keller often says, “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”
Special thanks to dare2share and Collin Hansen for their input in this post.