Often when I’m having a chat with someone and it seems right to talk to them about the good news of Jesus, I’ll ask them this question: “If you were to die today and stand before God and He were to say to you, ‘why should I let you into My Heaven?’ What would you say?”
It’s a question that the ‘Evangelism Explosion’ organisation wrote to help people get talking about God… and to help ‘diagnose’ where people find their confidence in eternal things.
Just recently I asked someone this question, and I heard again the normal answer: “Well, I’d tell him that I’ve been a pretty good person and that I haven’t done anything really bad…”
This answer naturally leads me to say, “well, you know, that answer doesn’t actually work for anyone, because with God, even one rebellious act against him is enough to make us deserve Hell.”
And from there, I tell them that there’s only ever been one person in history who lived a life that pleased our Father in Heaven, and that’s Jesus.
And because Jesus lived a perfect life, he is the only person who could offer to swap his perfect performance for our imperfect performance… and that’s exactly what happened when he died on the cross for us.
So, if we follow Jesus, having asked for his forgiveness, then he will bring us that certainty for eternity because of his great kindness to us.
Then, I’ll often talk about the story of the salvation of the thief on the cross… which is such a great moment in history that shows the power of grace, not works.
This then leads to a stark reality: since this is true, we can have complete confidence in our eternal life with Jesus in Heaven.
That’s spiritual confidence… because all our confidence is on the performance of Jesus, not us… and his grace to us is not because of anything we’ve done.
(Photo credit: Chris & Karen Highland via flickr.com)