"I am the Lord your God. Richard Deem, give me an account of your life."
"Lord, I did my best and and led an exemplary life. I never was physically involved with any of my girlfriends. I was a Scout leader for years. I tried to help people in some way almost every day. I did a lot of other good things - I'm, sure you know all about them."
"I tried to tell the truth all the time and was almost always honest."
"Richard, have you ever lied?"
"Yes, Lord. I have lied some."
"Richard, what do you call a person who lies?"
"A liar, Lord."
"Richard, what does my word say about liars?"
"It says that all liars will be "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)sent to hell, Lord."
"Richard, have you ever taken anything that is not yours?"
"Lord, You know that I am an honest person."
"Richard, have you ever taken something that belonged to someone else?"
"Richard, what do you call someone who takes something that belongs to another?"
"A thief, Lord. I am a thief."
"Richard, what does my word say about thieves?"
"It says that Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:10)no thieves will enter into heaven, Lord."
"Richard, have you ever wanted something that belonged to someone else?"
"Richard, what does my word say about people who want things that belong to others?
"It says they are coveting, Lord"
"Richard, what does my word say will happen to those who covet?"
"It says that Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:10)no covetous people will enter into heaven, Lord."
"Richard, have you ever killed anybody?"
"Of course not, Lord."
"Richard, have you ever hated anybody?"
"Richard, what does my word say about people who hate others."
"It says that they are "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court... (Matthew 5:21-22)guilty of murder in their heart."
"Richard, what does that make you?"
"I'm a murderer, Lord."
"Richard, have you ever called anybody a fool?"
"Yes, Lord, but he was really stupid."
"Richard, what does my word say about people who call others a fool?"
"It says that they shall be ...whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. (Matthew 5:22) guilty enough to go into hell."
"Richard, have you ever committed adultery?"
"Absolutely not, Lord."
"Richard, have you ever lusted after a woman?"
"Richard, what does my word say about those who lust after a woman?"
"It says that he has but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)already committed adultery with her in his heart."
"Richard, what does that make you?"
"I am an adulterer, Lord."
"Richard, what does my word say will happen to adulterers?"
"It says that Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:10)no adulterers will enter into heaven, Lord."
"Richard Deem, are you ready for me to pronounce sentence?"
"Wait, Lord. What about all the good things I have done?"
"Richard, are you pleading not guilty to the above crimes?"
"No, Lord. I am guilty."
So, do you think you are going to get into heaven on the basis of your good behavior? The above exchange illustrates the futility of attempting to earn your way to heaven. No amount of good works is going to exonerate your guilt before the Holy God. My (and your) guilt is based upon the things we do against God's laws. It works the same way our criminal justice system works - if you are guilty of a crime, you go to jail. It doesn't matter how many good things you have done.
Now, maybe you have never done any of the things above. If so, you need to go to this page. The rest of us realize that we have a BIG problem. I came to this realization upon reading Jesus' Sermon on the Mount from Matthew chapter 5. I realized that I needed a Savior to take away my sin. That is the only way I could appear before God without guilt. Jesus Christ died to take away my (and your) sin, so that we could be righteous before God. The Bible says you must receive Jesus Christ as your Lord (i.e., boss) and Savior. This means that you repent (turn from your sin) and believe that Jesus died for your sin. You also agree to follow Jesus to become more like Him. He will give you true joy in this life and eternal life with Him afterward.
- My Attorney
- Many are Called, But Few Are Chosen
- Questions on Salvation: What is the Gospel?
- 'People are Basically Good' - Proof to the Contrary
- Original Sin - Are We Condemned by the Sin of Adam and Eve?
We are what we think.
- 05/03/2016 09:00 AM
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St. Anselm
Can faith and reason be compatible? Does reason support the truth claims of Christianity? Many people today believe in a false dichotomy that forces faith and reason into separate categories—but thinkers like St. Anselm, a medieval Italian, have offered compelling arguments for integrating faith and reason. St. Anselm’s ontological argument for God’s existence was a significant, though controversial, contribution that…
- 04/26/2016 09:00 AM
The Insatiable Search for Peace and Rest
Human beings were made for God (Psalm 100:3, Acts 17:26–27), but something has gone deeply wrong. Sin has cut us off from our Creator and left us out-of-sync with each other and ourselves. Under the curse of sin, we both desire God and resist Him simultaneously (see Romans 1). The consequence of this spiritual tug-of-war is that we often turn…
- 04/19/2016 09:00 AM
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Blaise Pascal
Did you know that the first digital calculator was invented by a seventeenth-century French mathematician? In his brief time on Earth, Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) wore many hats and left an imprint on both modern science and Christian philosophy that lingers to this day. Here’s your crash course on the life and accomplishments of Blaise Pascal—and why he still matters today.…
- 04/12/2016 09:00 AM
5 Levels of Christian Faith
We often use the word “faith” to describe the core of someone’s beliefs—but people of differing religions use the term in very different ways. This has challenged me to more carefully probe the distinctive features of the word “faith” from the perspective of historical Christianity. Faith is much more profound than simply recounting our personal conversion story. Rather, Christian faith…
- 04/05/2016 11:17 AM
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on C. S. Lewis
In the last decade a slew of Narnia movies were released in theaters and, though C. S. Lewis has been gone more than 50 years, his books are still as popular as ever. He’s the famous atheist-turned-Christian, but what exactly did he believe and what did he contribute to Christianity? Here’s your crash course on the life and accomplishments of…
- 03/29/2016 09:00 AM
Risen and What Makes a Good Christian Film
Christian filmmakers are on a roll. The last several years have brought us an increasing number of religious films, many bordering on mainstream and featuring globally recognized stars. But among the miraculous true stories and positive message films, Risen, the tale of a skeptical Roman soldier Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) encountering the risen Christ (Cliff Curtis), is the one that caught…
- 03/22/2016 09:00 AM
Jesus’ Family and the Resurrection
People who doubt religion and the supernatural typically think believers lack skepticism. In the minds of most atheists, Christians cannot sufficiently think through a religious claim unless they begin with cynical disbelief. Atheists often assert that extraordinary claims—like the supernatural—require extraordinary evidence in order to be justifiably believable. One central leader of the early Christian church began his journey to…
- 03/15/2016 09:00 AM
How Intellectual Christians Can Fit in with the Evangelical Church
“It is man’s glory to be the only intellectual animal on earth. That imposes upon human beings the moral obligation to lead intellectual lives.”1 —Mortimer J. Adler The first article I wrote on the subject of intellectuals in the church received so much attention on social media that I decided to follow up with a second. All of the positive…
- 03/08/2016 09:00 AM
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St. Augustine
I’ve heard it said that evangelical Christians don’t study our church history very deeply. As a fellow evangelical, I think there is, unfortunately, a lot of truth in this statement. Contemporary Christians can learn a great deal from the history of their faith. But where to start? This series, “Christian Thinkers 101,” provides a snapshot of some of the…
- 03/01/2016 09:00 AM
3 Timeless Books on Christianity
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food. —Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch Renaissance scholar and theologian Reading books has been an obsession of mine since my conversion to Christianity as a college sophomore. I sensed my mind really mattered in serving the Lord; so I began a serious pursuit of…
Last updated March 30, 2005