You've passed away, leaving behind your friends and family, finally rid of the pain and suffering of existence as a living, breathing human being. Your soul stands before the Gates to Heaven. Will it be open to you? And is having them open for you enough to truly call yourself a good Christian?
Today's sermon goes along with the one regarding morality and religion, and also goes along with a couple other things I've written in recent weeks (Dear Pastors/Preachers and Dear Pastor Clarified). This entire topic is very important to me. It regards the question "What is a good Christian?".
Many people I know believe that so long as they believe in God, and his son, will go to heaven. No other action required.
Many others believe that you must do this, but you must attend church every Sunday (or, at least on a fairly regular basis). No other action required.
This is like when I tell my fourteen year old to do the laundry. Most of the time, what I get from this request is either: a) the clothes get put into the washing machine, the washing machine runs, but this is as far as it goes, or b) the clothes also manage to get dried by then remain in the dryer or in the clothes basket unfolded. If you are given a task, it is required you complete this task from start to finish. We all know that. However, many of us will hide behind "you didn't specify what you wanted." I did not tell her specifically to wash the clothes, dry them, fold them, then put them away in the correct dresser drawers.
So does God only give us the minimum of instructions? Is there anything beyond those minimum instructions required for us to get into Heaven?
Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
These two verses seem to imply that all I have to do is believe. Yes! I am in! I can sit around and do nothing more.
James 2:24- You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.