If you’re like most people, you would look at your life and say, “I’m a basically good person. A lot of people I know do bad things that I don’t do, and most of the things I do are good and decent. I’ve been baptized and I go to church, so I’m a Christian. And I believe that God should let me into heaven, instead of sending me to hell to suffer forever.”
If God let people who were “more good than bad” into heaven, and sent only the most violent, wicked people to hell, then you might be right to think such things. But God’s standard is much different. And it’s what He thinks of you, not what you think of yourself, that will matter on judgment day.
You see, God isn’t just “basically good.” He is perfect. He is holy. The Bible says, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” He is completely without sin, so He requires of you absolute, perfect sinlessness. And God says you haven’t lived a good enough life to make it. No one has. “There is no one righteous,” says the Lord, “no, not one.” That’s how the perfect and just God evaluates us in His word. “All we like sheep have gone astray, turning, every one, to his own way,” according to the Bible. That means that none of us lives the way of righteousness and pleasing God. That’s bad news to hear. But better that you hear it now, while you can do something about it, than to wait until your life is over and it’s forever too late.
Finding the solution
God is holy, and must punish all of your sins. But even though you are unworthy as a sinner, God loves you. So He made a way to punish your sins and still let you escape hell. “The Lord has laid on Him (Jesus Christ) the iniquity of us all,” the Bible says. When Jesus was on the cross, He was dying for every sin you have ever done. Your sin was laid on Him, and He absorbed all of the punishment of hell in your place. Then He rose from the grave, showing that His sacrifice was enough to pay the price for all of your sins against God.
God cannot lie, and He keeps every promise He makes. And today He promises you that if you will trust not in yourself or your religion, but only in what Jesus did for you by dying in your place on the cross, you will be forgiven of all your sins. You can have that forgiveness of sins and receive eternal life in heaven as a free gift from God right now.
If you believe these things God has said, you can tell Him so now in prayer. Tell Him, “Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. But I believe You love me and died on the cross to be punished for my sins in my place. Thank You for sacrificing Yourself, so that I could live with You forever in heaven, instead of facing the punishment my life has earned. I’m trusting You now to cleanse me and forgive all my sins, because You promised You would if I asked You in faith. Thank You for making me a child of God and assuring me salvation forever. Help me now to live the rest of my life as an offering of thanks to You. Amen”