Heaven is a great place and it is where we all want to go when we die. The best part of heaven is that we get to be in the very presence of God for all of eternity. However, since God is perfect, there is absolutely no sin around him or about him or through him. There is no way he can tolerate any imperfections in his presence. If we want to be in heaven, we have to be absolutely perfect, without even any hint of sin in our lives.
The bad news: We can never be worthy enough on our own
The bad news is that no amount of good works, religious effort or duty will ever make us good enough to be in heaven. The harsh truth is that when we stand before God and say, God look at all the good things I have done. God looks at our pile of righteous deeds and he sees them as nothing but filthy rags. This is a problem because most people think that they can be worthy enough for heaven by simply working harder to be better, to be more righteous, or to be more holy. The Bible says that no matter how much good we do we will never be good enough to be in his presence.
Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.
The good news: Jesus offers us His perfect righteousness
Jesus offers us this great exchange. When he went to the cross, he took all of our sin upon himself and paid the price for our sin. In place of our sin, Jesus gives us his righteousness. Then we are declared righteous in God’s eyes. It is very important to understand that his righteousness is not a wage that we earn by working and trying to do good deeds.
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We receive His righteousness through faith
The way we receive the righteousness of God is through faith. We receive the gift of righteousness by putting our complete trust in Jesus Christ alone. If we think we can be worthy of heaven by our own righteous living we are grossly undervaluing either the depth of our own sin or the perfection of God’s holiness. The only way to be worthy of heaven is to receive God’s gift of righteousness through putting our faith in Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:9 …and being found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Do most people believe they’re unworthy or worthy of heaven? Defend your answer.
- What do you think the Bible means when it says that even our “good” deeds are tainted with sin?
- If you were to die tonight, do you think you’d go to heaven? Why or why not?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.