My buddy Jesse was at the park with his boys last week, pushing them on the swings. On the swings next to his boys, two 8 year olds were swinging. Here was their conversation:
Kid A: I’m nine.
Kid B: No you’re not, you’re eight.
Kid A: I know.
Kid B: God hates liars. Liars don’t go to heaven.
Kid A: I know, liars go to hell.
Kid B: We don’t say hell. We just say ‘don’t go to heaven.’
Kid A: (after a pause) I want to go to heaven.
Kid B: yeah, good luck with that one.
Pretty funny dialogue between Kid B, our fundamentalist in training, and Kid A, who needs a caring adult to build into his confidence level.
But it does bring up an interesting reality…on our own strength, it’s good luck getting into heaven. Due to the deceptiveness of our sinful nature, because of the habitation of dragons that our hearts are, we don’t stand a candle’s chance in a windstorm. There’s a Kid A in all of us, cocksure, rule making, judgmentalist, and morally superior creating the kind of proud, hard people that are incapable of seeing our arrogant position before God. There’s a Kid B in all of us, weak minded and weak willed, unsure of ourselves and doing and saying things just to fit in with the hard world around us, which means that moral compromise is a constant temptation. That’s why the good news of Jesus is such good news. He is the one who justifies, making it just as if I never sinned. He is the one who cleanses and forgives, who heals and makes whole. He softens our hardness and strengthens our weakness. He is the one who loves me, even in my unlovable places. He loves you in your unlovable places too. He loves both Kid A and Kid B, despite themselves.
The good news is that you don’t have to trust to good luck for heaven.
The good news is that you can trust Jesus.