“These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
John 5:39b-40, NIV
Through my years of ministry I have talked with many people about the Gospel. I find with amazement so much confusion concerning the Scriptures, even among those who profess to believe. When asked how one may go to heaven, many respond using the illustration of the scales. They imagine God standing in the great receiving hall of heaven with a giant scale. On one side is measured the “good things” done in life. Against this is measured the “bad things.” Most people believe, or at least hope, that their good outweighs the bad; that the scales will tip in their favor. Once evaluated, God welcomes them through the door of eternal life.
People describe “good things” in many ways. They claim the many good deeds or actions in life, involvement in civic activities, church membership, baptism, or even heritage. What they are describing is a kind of lifestyle that God expects of Christians after they are born again. This kind of behavior satisfies the demand of God only when it is produced by the Holy Spirit in a life which has already been regenerated by the power of the Son.
In a similar way, we adopt the same attitudes of the religionists of Jesus’ day, by applying these same distorted standards to understand and achieve God’s holiness. Some today want the holiness of God without knowing the Holy God! John wrote his Gospel to counteract these false notions. Jesus reminds us again and again, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24). Jesus offers Himself and asks us to reject everything we might have to offer and to accept what He has already offered…the Cross!
QUESTION: Will you place your faith in Christ today not only for eternal life but for the present power of living?