In preparation for a funeral, I am always mindful of the question people want the minister to assure them. Did they make it? Are they in heaven? To better understand this question, we must look closely at mankind in general and the Grace of God.
There is a secret side to all of us. No one is sinless. We are all born broken into a broken world, and for the entire length of our life, we will be battling the broken passions of our hearts. Paul said in Romans seven; there is a sinful seed battling us from our birth. It is the effect sin had on the whole world. Thanks be to God we have a Savior who understands this brokenness in us and sacrificed His sinless life for our sins so we might be set free from the bondage of sin and experience freedom because of the blood of Jesus.
Faith in Christ
Romans 1:16-17 “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ; it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…In it, the Righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. The just shall live by faith.”
It is not our perfectness that brings about our righteousness. It is our faith placed on Jesus Christ, who died for us. As we put our faith and obedience to Christ, God sets the Righteousness of God upon us. When God looks at a man or woman who has faith in Christ and a relationship in their hearts, God sees His righteousness over them.
It is not about being right or perfect; it’s about faith in Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6 ” I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The scriptures did not say you must be this percentage perfect for making heaven. No, you must have an active faith in Jesus Christ.
DO NOT JUDGE
We like to judge people. Especially when it makes us feel more righteous. In reality, every man and woman has secrets and battles. We are people following Christ who wrestle with sin. Everyone fails. But the Christian repents and places their faith in the Righteousness and Mercy of God. It will never be our goodness that makes us heaven worthy; it will be our faith in Christ.
The Good Servant had issues.
In the parable Jesus told in Mathew 25:14-29, there were three servants the master gave talents. One had five, another two, and another had one talent. The master left on a trip and, after a while, returned. The servant who had five doubled his talents, and so did the one with two. The one servant who had one talent hid his gift and just returned what he had originally received. God rebuked this servant as evil, and judgment was placed on him. The faithful servants pleased God. Listen carefully to what God said to the one who had the most increase for the master. (v23) You have been faithful over a few things…welcome into the joy of the Lord. I take this to mean the good servant had issues within his life. We are not told about them, but God saw the faith and the service to God, and He said “well done.” The evil servant buried what God gave him and was judged. As we look at people and try to judge them based on what we think, we can bring judgment on ourselves.
Let us rely on the Mercy of God, who rewards servants who are faithful over a few things. It is faith in Christ that brings the righteousness of God to us. Faith in Christ and repentance to Him are what make us heaven bound. In Christ alone.
From John the Baptist to the man on the cross next to Jesus, each man battles sin. But each of these men placed their faith in Christ. They were faithful over a few things. They are now in the joy of the Lord. Let’s not judge others to closely, but allow our lightnside to thank God for His grace and righteousness toward us and others who believe in Christ.