by Aleta Kay
Here’s the litany: I don’t do drugs. I don’t cheat on my taxes, tests, or spouse. I don’t lie. I don’t steal. I’ve never killed anyone. I’m a good person. I’m okay. I’m on my way to heaven because I’m a good person.
All of those things may be true but without Jesus you are still a sinner on your way to hell.
I’m a good person too, by the world’s standards. But if you are good who or what kept you from being a sinner like everyone else? How good do you have to be to get to heaven? Do you have to have the right religion? Do you have to say so many prayers or do so many good deeds? What exactly does it take to get to heaven? Does God have scales and he weighs your good deeds against the bad?
The answer to all of those is an emphatic NO. Isaiah 64:6 says, “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” A young man came to Jesus one day and asked what he must do to be saved. He said he had kept all the commandments from his youth up. Really? He NEVER put anything or anyone before God in his life (the first commandment)?
He had NEVER had an engraving, wooden carving, or piece of jewelry that depicted something in nature that he loved? (commandment no. 2: thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image)?
He had NEVER used God’s name as a byword or swear word? NEVER just said “GOD” as a part of everyday speech (commandment number 3: thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain)?
He ALWAYS kept the Sabbath day holy (prepared the day before to not do any work, and just use that day to worship God—commandment number 4)?
He ALWAYS honored his father and mother (commandment number 5)? In other words, he never disobeyed or had a bad attitude? He never complained or griped about how mean or bad his parents were?
He NEVER even thought about killing someone or been angry enough to kill (commandment number 6)? By the way, Proverbs 23:7 says, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If you have thought it, it’s as good as doing it
The young man NEVER committed adultery? Really? (commandment number 7) Matthew 5:28 says, and this is Jesus speaking, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery WITH HER already in his heart.”
He never even thought about stealing anything? He never even accidentally picked up something that wasn’t his, and then was afraid to return it? (commandment number 8)
He NEVER told a lie? He NEVER said something he thought was true, then found out it wasn’t and didn’t bother to go back and correct it? He NEVER exaggerated? He NEVER blamed something on someone else to keep himself out of trouble? (commandment number 9)
He NEVER wanted something someone else had? He was NEVER envious or jealous of someone else and wished he could be like them or have their kind of life? NEVER thought about how he might get what they had? (commandment number 10)
How many times do we have to break a commandment in order to be guilty? If I tell one lie, I’m a liar. If I put something ahead of God one time, I’m an idolater. If I think of committing adultery one time, I’m an adulterer. So who can keep all the commandments? The truth is none of us can keep even one of them all the time. The Ten Commandments were given to show us how much we need God. If there is any good inside of us it is because God put it there. Ephesians 2: 8,9 says, “For grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” We cannot save ourselves. Without the shedding of blood (the blood of Christ shed on the cross for our sins) there is no remission of sins. (Hebrews 9:22)