Perhaps you are thinking, “I just need to do more good things than bad things to get into heaven, right?” Many religious people today would probably say you are correct. Even some Christians In Name Only (CINO) may tell you about works-based salvation. So then, what does it take to get into heaven? An interesting question to say the least. Would you be surprised if I said Perfection is the only way into heaven?
What is Perfection?
When God created Adam and Eve, He created them perfectly and in His image. At the end of each day of creation, God said “it was good” (Hebrew ט֖וֹב). On the last day of creation, and after creating humankind, God said ט֖וֹב מְאֹ֑ד which translates to “it was very good”. God had created Adam and Eve perfectly.
God also gave them dominion over everything on the earth and told them to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it (Genesis 1:28, HCSB). But then sometime later, after God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, temptation in the form of the serpent, slithered into the garden with a promise of god-like knowledge. Satan told them all they needed, the only thing God had commanded them not to do, was to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17, 3:4-5).
After the fall, Adam and Eve were no longer perfect as their sin separated them from God. Their sin was great and they realized it. So much so, they tried to hide from God. Simply put, they were embarrassed by their sin. Believers, imagine trying to hide from God? The Garden of Eden was perfect however mankind chose to rebel against Holy God.
Ok, so why does something two people did 8000 years ago have an impact on me today? Let’s take a look at Romans 3:9-18.
What then? Are we any better? Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become useless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and wretchedness are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Romans 3:9-18
Paul was writing about how the whole world is guilty of rebellion against God.
So If Only Perfection Can Be in Heaven, Where Does That Leave Me?
From our beginning, God knew that we would need a Savior. Adam’s sin passed down to us as our sin nature, simply means we can never achieve perfection on our own. So how can we have hope?
But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Romans 5:8 (HSCB)
Let’s take a look at another passage from Romans 3.
But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed—attested by the Law and the Prophets—that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. God presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26
By God’s grace, through the completed work of Jesus on the cross, our sins are washed away. When God sees those who have placed their faith in Christ, the stain of our sin has been washed away. Instead of our sin, God sees His Son’s righteousness.
So though we can never obtain perfection on our own, God’s grace is free for those who choose to accept Him. Perfection is attainable but only by God’s grace and His undeniable love for His creation. Have you placed your faith in Christ?
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