How Good Is Good Enough?
By Zachary Ludden
If you ask the average American if they think that they will go to heaven when they die, what do you think the average response would be? You might hear “I think so,” or “I probably will,” or “I’m not sure.” If you dig deeper and ask the reason for these answers, you will probably hear the response “Because I’m a pretty good person.”
When it comes to your eternal destination, you can’t just leave it up to an “I think so,” or “Probably,” or “Pretty good.” It’s just too important! When something is important to you, you make sure that it’s taken care of. Recently my van started making some odd noises so I didn’t let my wife drive it. I didn’t want to let her drive it thinking that it would be “okay” or that it would “probably” be fine. My wife is so important to me that I want to make sure that she is safe and that her safety is not left to a possibility. It turned out that the noise was coming from our tire that was close to falling off the vehicle. If I had just let her drive the van without making sure that it was safe, she could have been stranded or have gotten into an accident! She is too important for me to leave her safety to chance! In the same way, your eternal destination is too important to leave to an uncertainty.
The thought of an eternal destination after this life is sometimes one that we would like to mentally put off or not really think about because it can bring unpleasant emotions or introspection that we would prefer not to address. However unpleasant such thoughts may be, it is an extremely important topic to consider!
Let’s picture a scale ranging from Ultimate Good to Ultimate Evil…
Who is the most wholesome, sweet, and good person that you can think of? Perhaps it’s Mother Teresa? Billy Graham? The Pope?
We will put them closer to the good side. Now who is the most evil, twisted, or vile person you can think of?
Maybe Hitler? Stalin? Mao Zedong?
Let’s add them to the evil side.
Where on the scale would you put yourself? Probably closer to the middle, right?
Most of us would say that we’re not as good as Mother Teresa but definitely better than Hitler!
Here’s what the Bible says… “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23.
As much as we may want to strive to be “Good enough” to secure our own salvation, inevitably we’re going to mess up and fall short. We can’t rely on our own goodness to save us. Even Mother Teresa’s goodness isn’t enough to save her from falling short. Here’s the good news, God sent His only son who lived a blameless and sinless life to sacrifice Himself for our sins. He was the ultimate good that we could only hope to be.
So even if it may be an unpleasant topic to think about, sincerely ask yourself this question… If you were to die today, do you know for sure that you would be in heaven? If not, don’t wait to make sure! It’s not worth the risk.
Zachary Ludden is the youth pastor at the Church of Christ. He may be reached by calling 559-592-2909.
Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.