How can we ever be perfect enough to get into heaven?
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|Why is it important to be sure where you will spend eternity? Is the faith that people have in God going to get them into Heaven? Matthew 7 says, “I’m sorry. I never knew you,’ here’s what His message is.” What are two ways that Jesus talked about misplaced faith.
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 4, Cat. No. YBS1
Keywords: Justification, Gift from God, ,
Ankerberg: Last week we were talking about justification by faith alone in Christ. Now, those are fancy words. Erwin, give us a little rehash here. What were we talking about? Why is that crucial? Make that come alive.
Lutzer: Well you know, as we learned last time, we have to be perfect to enter into Heaven. And that shocks people, because we all know that in experience we’re not perfect, of course. We’re all sinners. But the good news is that when we transfer our trust to Christ alone, He gets our sin and He gives us His righteousness, so that as far as God is concerned, we are perfect.
For example, let me just give you an illustration here. Let me take one of your books here. I remember in Chicago a man who died of AIDS. He had been a homosexual prostitute but he came to saving faith in Christ and was gloriously converted and had a marvelous testimony of God’s saving and forgiving grace. Now, let’s pretend that this book is The Life and Times of Roger. We look into it and all that we see is uncleanness and sin and deception and sexuality and disobedience. It’s an ugly book, actually.
But let’s suppose, John, we had another book here, if we can imagine it, that says, The Life and Times of Jesus Christ. We open the book. It’s a life of beauty and obedience and perfection. Let’s suppose then, Jesus were to take all of the contents, all of the pages of His book, and then let’s go back over here and pretend that this book that is Roger’s and Jesus, in effect, says to Roger, “I’m going to take out all of the contents of your book. I’m going to rip out the pages. Just give me the covers.” So Roger gives Jesus the covers. Jesus takes His pages and puts them into Roger’s book. Now what do we have? We have a book titled The Life and Times of Roger. We look in and what do we see? Nothing but beauty, perfection, obedience, holiness, the righteousness of God. In fact, the book is so beautiful that even God adores it. That is the Gospel – where Jesus Christ’s obedience and sacrifice on the cross is a substitute for us, and we’re saved on the basis of His merit. And that’s what justification by faith means. It means that we are declared righteous on the basis of what Jesus did. It is a declaration that God does outside of us in Heaven.