Summary: Recently my sister was asked an interesting question. The question was "When I am in heaven with God, will I have to mix with murderers and rapists and child molesters just because they asked God to forgive them?"
Matthew 9:13 - ARE YOU KIDDING! DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF PERSON HE IS?
Recently my sister was asked an interesting question. The question was "When I am in heaven with God, will I have to mix with murderers and rapists and child molesters just because they asked God to forgive them?"
"Will murderers, rapists and child molesters who have accepted what Christ did for them on the Cross be in heaven?" I mean John 3:16 (NLT) says "For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM will not perish but have eternal life. How does that apply to people who have done atrocious acts in their lifetime.
I guess the answer to that question is found in looking at men such as ...
THE APOSTLE PAUL who wrote a lot of the new Testament, once persecuted Christians and was responsible for the deaths of innocent people like Steven in the Bible.
DAVID in the Old Testament, who wrote the Psalms was the MURDERER OF URIAH THE HITTITE and committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:14-15).
MOSES gave Israel God's 10 commandments, one of which said "You must not murder". Yet Moses murdered an Egyptian and hid the body in the sand (Exodus 2:12). Will he be in heaven?
IN GOD'S EYES SIN IS SIN, and it's all bad. It's just me who likes to categorise it into shades of grey. When Jesus ate a meal with Matthew's friends who were DISREPUTABLE SINNERS, the Pharisees asked why He would "eat with such SCUM?" (Matthew 9:11). Jesus doesn't defend these sinners. He just says, "HEALTHY PEOPLE DON'T NEED A DOCTOR-SICK PEOPLE DO."
JESUS ISN'T INTO DENIAL. He knows they are sick with their sinful behaviour. He goes on to say "For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners." (Matthew 9:13). That's really the crunch isn't it? When I come to Jesus I have to ADMIT THAT I AM A SINNER. In Jesus eyes there were NO DEGREES OF SINFULNESS. All have sinned!
The Bible says that there will be many who arrive at judgment day thinking that they were so deserving of heaven and they will be REJECTED. Jesus will say "I NEVER KNEW YOU" (Matthew 7:21-23).
The Pharisees like many people today think that a good person can EARN POINTS WITH GOD. Can people EARN FAVOUR WITH GOD BY BEING GOOD? The Bible makes it clear that none of us can EARN points with God. Romans 3:23 (NLT) says "For EVERYONE HAS SINNED; WE ALL FALL SHORT of God's glorious standard." Isaiah 64:6 (NLT) says "We are ALL INFECTED AND IMPURE WITH SIN. When we display our righteous deeds, THEY ARE NOTHING BUT FILTHY RAGS..." No-one is WORTHY of receiving anything from God, let alone eternal life.
In 1 Timothy 1:15-16 (NLT) Paul says something which is quite amazing. He says "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-and I AM THE WORST OF THEM ALL. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience with EVEN THE WORST SINNERS. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life."
THE APOSTLE PAUL finally saw himself as God saw him. He considered himself to be the WORST OF SINNERS. The wonderful thing is that he went from being the SCUM OF THE EARTH TO BEING SOMEONE OF GREAT VALUE AND WORTH TO GOD. Totally restored and forgiven. Jesus came to heal, restore, show mercy and forgive.
Romans 5:8 (NLT) says "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS."
Listen to Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) "God saved you by His grace WHEN YOU BELIEVED. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."
I AM SURE THAT I WILL SEE MOSES, DAVID AND PAUL IN HEAVEN. I will see those who were the worst of sinners in heaven. I will be one of them. I don't have to be a murderer, rapist or child molesterer to be a sinner.
God bless you Church as you see yourself through the filter of the Bible rather than the rose coloured glasses of our own making. We were all sinners in need of a Saviour.