How good is good enough?
A preacher friend of mine wrote a book “How good is good enough?” and in it he asks some pretty interesting questions. I thought I’d paraphrase those thoughts and questions this week to give you something to think about.
One thing I don’t worry about is waking up to a smoke-filled bedroom with little or no time to escape. Why? Because we live in a house with smoke detectors. We also have fire extinguishers. We are safe. Unless, of course, our builder forgot to install batteries in the smoke detectors. If that’s the case, we might have a couple of Frisbees attached to our ceilings. By the way, when is the last time you tested your smoke detectors? I’ve never tested mine, I stare at them, but I don’t know if they actually work. As far as I know, they might be filled with shaving creme. Yet, in spite of my lack of investigation, I go to bed every night with the assumption that my family and I are safe from fire.
I talk to people all the time that have shared with me their belief that “good people go to Heaven.” Besides, Christ died for the sins of all mankind, didn’t he? I know why many people believe that. Most of us are just too busy to sit around trying to unravel the mysteries of the universe. It just makes good sense that good people go to Heaven.
But here’s my question. How good is good enough? Does God grade on a curve? Is our goodness based upon the amount of good work we do here? Is it based upon how religious we are? Or on the fact that we go to church? Or that we tithe? Or that we have the preacher over for Sunday dinner? What is God’s measure as to how good is good enough? If Jesus died for the sins of all mankind, does that mean that Hitler and Mussolini and Stalin and murderers and adulterers and rapists…does that mean that everyone goes to Heaven no matter what you do or what you believe because Jesus died for the sins of all mankind?
Listen…if Heaven were full of “bad” people, it wouldn’t be Heaven. And God wouldn’t be God. Because His Word clearly tells us that unless we are “born again” we will not spend our eternity in Heaven. Jesus did die for the sins of all mankind. But eternal life is a gift that must be received. Believe it if you will. Dismiss it if you want. But one of these days, you will find out the truth. It might be too late though. Which reminds me, I’ve got to check those batteries in my smoke alarms. More on this topic next week. Now…you’ve got something to think about.
Pastor Thad Gifford is lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church of Madison County, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at (740) 852-7800, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at their website www.3c-church.org.