I did not grow up as a Christian. I think I knew God in my own way and I even talked to him at times, but I didn't follow Jesus.
Sin was something that was easy for me to understand. If we did something wrong it was sin. At least that is what I thought. So if I steered clear of all of the 'naughty' things, then I was a good person. For me life would be good and I would not have to worry about God, because all good people go to Heaven, right? That is how I lived, and I believe most people still do live each day.
I was saved by Jesus when I was 16 and was healed of ongoing illness at the same time. But that is a story for another day. Fast forward a few years later and I was married with kids. I was a good person. I looked after my family. I earned my living. I gave to those who needed it. I was keen to help out. In the eyes of those around me, I must have looked alright. I must admit I was quite content to live my life in this way for a great many years, until my heart started to question some things.
You see I wasn't always good. In fact at times I was downright rude and disrespectful. I thought things about people that I knew I shouldn't. I said and did things that I knew were not right. I had given my life to Jesus years before and then taken it back again, essentially proclaiming that I could do it better. The way I was living spoke spades, ‘Thanks for the salvation, but I can take it from here!’ Somewhere along the line I had stopped believing that I needed Jesus, or perhaps that I knew enough of Him, and if I got any closer I would become one of those freaky religious people. So it got me to thinking if God would allow me into Heaven being the basically 'good' person that I am, why would he send others to hell? Does he have a scale of one to ten that he uses to measure us on? "Hmmm she only stole some paper from the school supplies when she was 9 and called her Father a Son of a Bi#*h, thirteen times. She can still come in. But that fella over there he crashed into and killed a family of 5, send him into the darkness."
No way, that is not how God works and that is not how sin keeps us out of Heaven and separated from God, even now.
'The world's sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.' (John 16:9-11)
What keeps us separated from God and bound for a very unpleasant place for eternity is not something we have already done, but what we have not done!
Jesus spoke the words above just before he was killed on the cross. He was saying that if we will believe in Him, we would be forgiven by God. Righteousness simply means we can stand blameless, untainted, and clean in front of God. So not only do we get the unbelievable opportunity of a repaired relationship with God, but we also get to avoid his wrath. You see there has to be punishment for sin, because otherwise Heaven would not be Heaven. There would be no peace, no happiness, complete health and well-being in a place that contains sin.
I didn't get it for so many years. I thought you had to do everything just right to be a Christian. Because Christians are holier than thou, and live perfect lives, free of mistakes and live a life that is challenge free. I could not have been more wrong. And I am so glad I was wrong.
I don't know if you have thought about sin this way before, but it was really on my heart to share. If Jesus didn't die, then I would have. There would have been no way open to me to have a better life. Our life here is so short, and we are all given a choice in that time.
I am a good Mum. I love my husband. I like to help others. I think I am a good friend. I like to listen to and encourage people. Yet none of it saved me. Jesus did. Because one day I came to realise that there was more to life than what I saw with my eyes, and that I couldn’t live (in every sense of the word) without Him. I am so glad that I realised that when I did.