Heaven’s Entrance Exam

Contrary to popular opinion, heaven isn’t reserved for the
morally upright, the good citizens, or those who are genuinely sincere.  Heaven isn’t guaranteed for “good” people any
more than it is barricaded to “bad” people.

In fact, getting into heaven takes a lot more than most
of expect.  Here are a few items on the
after-death entrance exam:

“Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your
holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who
speaks the truth from his heart …” (Psalm 15:1-2, NIV). 

I do speak the truth
from my heart, well, most of the time. 
As long as I’m comparing myself to other people, I might come up looking
reasonably righteous.  But if I’m
comparing myself to God’s perfect standard?

“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter
the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20). 

The Pharisees were a
group of especially-devout religious people, known for their strict adherence
to the laws of God. And Jesus is saying I’m going to have to do better than
that?  Better than the holiest of
monks?  Better than the most devoted of
saints?  Ouch.

This test is a little
harder than I thought. 
Glancing down
a few items, I notice the exam gets more specific. 

Do not commit adultery.*

O.K., I haven’t broken
that one. But what in the world is the “*” for? 
Some sort of loophole?  Oh, here
it is.
  “*Anyone who looks at a woman
lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mt. 5:28).

Oh my.  That’s another strike I suppose.  Rather than try for an A+, I think I’m going
to have to settle for a passing grade. 
As long as I do better on the rest of the test, I should be alright.

On down the line through commandments and attitudes, I begin
to see a startling truth.  I’m going to
fail.  It’s impossible to pass this

The exam’s final line is less of a question and more of a

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.* (Rom.

Not another “*”.  Do I
dare look?
  “*Whoever keeps the whole
law and yet offends at one point, he is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James

I wish I hadn’t have
looked.  I really do fall short.

God, what am I going
to do? I can’t possibly meet your standard! 
I’ve already blown it!  I need

“It’s available to those who ask.”

What? Really?

“God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for
our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:21,

Even after all the
wrongs I’ve done, God can make me “right?” 
Is that what it means when it says Jesus died for my sins?

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus
Christ to all who believe.” (Rom. 3:22)

So, I can’t pass the
exam on my own, but if I have faith in Jesus, I actually receive
righteousness?  I don’t have to earn it

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and
this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…” (Eph. 2:8).

I encounter many people who are trusting in their “efforts”
to get them to heaven, who believe their good deeds can outweigh their bad
ones, or who believe that God will let them in because of their religious
sincerity.  Unfortunately, those items
don’t count for anything on God’s exam. 
He’s looking for perfect righteousness.

And the only way to gain that is to ask for mercy through
Jesus - to believe in him and begin
following him.  If you’d like to learn
more, read John 3 in your Bible.

Jesus is the only one good enough to pass God’s test.  So why not let him take it for you?


mo said...

hey dan. what will happen to those that were born with a different religion than christianity?
i'm a buddhist and i don't want to convert to christianity. could god really be so cruel to favor those who had the luck to be born in a christian country?
what are your beliefs about this?

DanJ said...

Hey Mo, i don't think the primary issue in life is what cultural/national background we have - God wants every human being to be a part of His family.
The issue we have, ultimately, is that the "right path" to religious devotion and knowing God is determined by God, not by us. Sometimes people treat religion like a buffet - choose whatever you want. The problem with this "non-absolute-truth" way of looking at things is that there would be no "real" answer to any life question we have - if religion and the moral principles behind it are up to us, then what does it matter? Nothing would really be "true" and no action could really be "valuable."
But if the right path is up to God to determine - then we need to seek out His way rather than our own.
What will God do with honest seekers of truth who never had access to the Christian message? I'm not entirely sure. I have faith in God's justice in the end to sort that out.
I think that being born in a culturally "Christian" country can lead a person to think they are "automatically" a Christian - even if it really isn't in their heart. The Bible calls this hypocrisy, or "self-deception." That's what I observe a lot of in America, at least.
Here's a link to something I wrote for people coming from a Buddhist perspective. Let me know what you think... http://www.absolutetruth.net/2008/04/christian-tho-2.html

mo said...

well. what do you expect me to think? basically you argue that i am a non-believer.
i personally believe that the pope is the antichrist and that jesus' teachings got censored and misinterpreted.
if an open mind and heart looks at any religion, it will find the parallels among all teachings. if the antichrist looks at it, it will find diversity and wrongness.
so basically i think you're a follower of the antichrist :) ... but i know you have good intentions. and i know god won't punish you, because he's not a punisher. nor could he be. he just is. and he loves everything, even the antichrist.

mo said...

hey dan, please dont feel offended. i'm just a kid. what do i know?

DanJ said...

Don't worry, I'm not offended at all. I'm glad you felt the freedom to share what you think on the site.
There is a whole lot of division out there in the world because people aren't willing to speak honestly with one another. I'm glad that you have an open heart and a desire to seek truth.

mo said...

hehe dan, but where will it lead us? do you think anyone will listen to me when i talk about our society being under the reign of the antichrist? not even you are listening.
people werent listening when i told them about spiritual enlightenment. people wont be listening when i tell them about the antichrist.
my mother starts to think i'm crazy. so will society. ironically, i found complete sanity and just want to share with the world. they're not listening. i'm honest.

emmanuele said...

are you all retarded people?, I mean don`t you have anything else to do? die you all, and get a real life

dan FGD said...

Is this a Catholic site or christian site ?
Sadly Catholic teaches says
Council of Trent: Canons on Justification.
Canon 30: "If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema."
The Truth of the Bible says :
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Rom. 5:1).
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross," (Col. 2:13-14).

dan FGD said...

Hey MO
The fact you were born into a buddhist family really does not matter anymore.
You have been told the truth now.
That Jesus is God who came in the flesh and took on you punishment for sin.Like me and everyone else we have sinned before God.
Now MO God offers you the pardon from sin and the pardon from Hell. Ask Jesus to be you savior and ask him to forgive you. Seek after the Truth Jesus God.
MO you no longer have a excuse . I hope you choose Truth . Love you man !!

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