Most people believe they are going to Heaven. They haven’t killed anyone so of course they should go to Heaven, right? We all imagine Lady Justice(the Greek goddess Themis) holding the scales high into the air and we think that if we’ve done more on the good side than the bad, we get in. 51% good and 49% bad and God has to let us in.
Nope, not even close.
Lets say that you and 20 of your co-workers are in your office on the fifth floor and a horrible fire is raging on the lower floors. You cant get out of the building and you’re doomed. Suddenly you notice a fireman on a ladder truck moving up to the window in your office. All you have to do is go to the window and he will take all of you to safety. You have to go to the window, he wont come in and take you. Amazingly, in this hopeless situation, some of your co-workers decide to try to find their own way out, trying different rooms or going higher. Some even refuse to go the window knowing that’s the only hope of safety. Now tell me, who gets saved? Is it just the good people he will save or will the fireman rescue the bad people too? Sally is cheating on her husband, Frank watches porn on his office computer, and Jack is doing some shady bookkeeping. Will the fireman save them? Nancy is a sweetie and brings in a treat every Friday, Pete, a former altar boy, just ran a 5k for Breast cancer awareness, and Emma hasn’t missed church since she was a child. Time is running out, who gets saved? Only those who go to the window and receive the gift of safety from the one who is there to provide it. It costs nothing and you cant buy it. If Nancy, Pete and Emma, try to find a different way out, they have no chance. Sally, Jack, and Frank can be saved if they head to the savior.
Easter is the day Christians celebrate our fireman getting us out of a horrible impending future. We often forget that two criminals were crucified next to Jesus. Both were bad people by their own admission and deserved what they got. One of them cursed Jesus and the other” went to the window” and was saved. Today some people think that they’ve been too bad to be saved. Things in their past or present are just too awful to be forgiven. Jesus is a Savior and loves you. You haven’t done anything that hasn’t been done before and you haven’t done anything that hasn’t been forgiven before either. Go to the window friend. Trust Him.
If you think you’re good enough and will get into heaven because you have decided that you’re a good person, you’re lying to yourself and are a fool. You’re running around the burning building, trying to find your own way out, without going to Jesus. The Bible mentions that attitude in Luke 18:9-14 .
Jesus then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray;one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘ O God I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity-greedy, dishonest, adulterous- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay my tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed ‘ O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Those are Jesus’ words, the one who does the saving. You aren’t too good or too bad, we all need the Savior. I am so grateful there is someone to get me out of here. Death is all around us, but there is someplace better to go.
Today is a great day to thank the fireman!