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September 9, 2013

Are you passing God’s test for eternal life in heaven?

by Dave Malnes

There seems to exist a universal desire among all people to have peace, harmony, and goodness reign throughout the world. Glimpses of goodness can be seen when people reach out in times of need. Laws are maintained for the sole purpose of protecting people and maintaining peace. Social norms are observed to help give purpose and acceptance. But, it’s still not enough.

Our inner self cries out for purpose in an attempt to understand our existence. Religion helps serve this purpose. It is man’s conscious awareness of a higher being — something bigger outside of ourselves. To acknowledge an Almighty God coincides with a desire to be right with Him, to be on His good side, to please the Creator of the heavens and the earth with the hope that we will be blessed on earth and remembered in heaven.

We try to make sense of God’s love and concern for this world by determining how God ought to judge what is good, right, and fair. We tend to think of God in human terms as we understand fairness and justice. Good behavior ought to be rewarded. In comparison to others, we hope that God will judge us favorably. We attempt to build up our hope in believing that pretty good is good enough and God will reward us accordingly. That seems fair to what we perceive from a loving God.

Trouble ensues when a person attempts to understand God’s mercy and his measure of perfect justice.

Knowing man’s condition in a fallen world, God has put together a plan and a purpose. Perfect justice demands perfect obedience. Acknowledging that humans can never attain the standard of perfection, a plan was formulated from the beginning of time. The plan not only gave purpose to human life, but a solution.

When the knowledge of good and evil came into man’s being, there came with it a conflicting message of man’s purpose and how we can attain righteousness and approval from God. It all started when man fell for the lie presented in the Garden of Eden that somehow we can become like God.

To become like God means buying into the belief that somehow we can earn God’s favor by valiantly attempting to follow all his commandments. Our life on earth then becomes a test to prove our worthiness to receive all the blessings God has in store for us. The popular thought is that a man will not be judged by a perfect standard, but in how hard they tried to attain it.  The passing grade is not in the results, but in the effort.

woman thinking

I wonder what would happen if we applied that philosophy to taking a bar exam to be a lawyer, or a medical exam to be a doctor?

Like taking a bar exam or a medical examination, to pass God’s standard of righteousness requires knowledge. It just depends on which book you are going to study.

The Bible, God’s Word provides answers on man’s purpose in life. It not only provides a standard of righteousness, but a solution to receive a passing grade.

A loving God desires that His creation to be at peace. In that peace, comes joy, confidence and assurance of his approval. It’s a plan that defies human reason and required a great sacrifice. This plan not only identifies man’s purpose in this mortal life, but will insure that God will remember you on Judgment Day.

It’s a plan that involves taking God at His Word. It’s the only way to pass His test for eternal life in heaven.

When you read the gospels, you find out what Christ has already done for us on the cross. His death for our sins means that his perfection can become our perfection. Faith receives Christ’s righteousness and successfully meets God’s standard of perfection. It’s a simple solution that can only be contrived by a fair and loving God.

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