"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.
- 11/24/2015 02:54 AM
The Benefits of Giving Thanks
Realizing our moment-by-moment dependence on God the Creator for our very existence makes it appropriate to live lives of devotion, commitment, gratitude, and loyalty toward him, and scandalous not to.1 —J. I. Packer, Christian theologian The God revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ and in sacred Scripture wants his children to be grateful. God’s incredible majesty, goodness, and love…
- 11/17/2015 05:40 PM
A Church’s Hospitality Has Power to Persuade
As my friends and family know, I’m clearly an introvert. Growing up, I struggled with shyness, and even today I’m still more at ease among books than I am among people. Upon reflection, I suspect I even battle a certain amount of social anxiety. Nevertheless, as a public speaker and teacher I’ve learned how to be at ease even when…
- 11/10/2015 02:33 AM
How Christianity Influenced the World’s Law Systems
Today I offer an article by guest author Andrew Stebbins. **** Christianity has had a profound impact on Western culture. Rule of law in particular has deeply influenced virtually everything that makes the West unique. From the early stages of Western civilization, through America’s founding fathers, and up until recently, the Christian foundations of rule of law have been acknowledged.…
- 11/03/2015 05:48 PM
The Many Faces of Courage
I have heard it said that the only thing warriors fear more than death is cowardice. I have been thinking about the meaning of courage for a long time. When I was a boy I wondered how my ordinary father was able to do extraordinary things as an American combat soldier in World War II and receive the Bronze Star…
- 10/27/2015 05:06 PM
Finding Humor and Hope in the Graveyard
This might sound morbid to some people, but I’ve always been fascinated by the subject of death. As a youth, I found funerals much more interesting than weddings. And growing up in the Roman Catholic tradition, I thought Catholic funerals were particularly remarkable ceremonies. I can still remember the unique smell of incense filling the church at the first funeral…
- 10/20/2015 04:00 PM
Memento Mori: Facing Our Mortality
As a child, the first time death hit home for me was when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. And even though more than 50 years have passed, I still distinctly remember two things about the event. First, I remember the shock and sadness expressed by my parents when they heard of the president’s death. My parents were…
- 10/13/2015 01:26 PM
New Podcast Provides Antidote for Christian “Nonthinkers”
Many of today’s critics of Christianity view believers in Christ as feelers instead of thinkers. The skeptical charge is often that the faith of most Christians is grounded more in emotional experience than rational considerations. Christians are viewed as people who follow their hearts instead of their heads. Unfortunately, too many evangelical churchgoers today lend validation to the allegation that…
- 10/06/2015 03:29 PM
Think Again: The Danger of Preferential Reasoning
There seems to be a tendency in human beings to draw the logical conclusion that each of us prefers to be true. So when it comes to evaluating arguments for reasonableness and explanatory power, preference tends to weigh heavily in our final assessment. Preference can even at times trump solid evidence that points to the truth of an alternative conclusion.…
- 09/29/2015 02:10 AM
“The Martian”: The Ultimate Rescue Mission
This Friday, the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s highly successful debut novel The Martian hits theaters. In anticipation of the film’s release, I met with editor Sandra Dimas to discuss how The Martian might help remind others of a different kind of rescue mission. Sandra: In The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is stranded on Mars by his crewmates…
- 09/22/2015 02:10 AM
Adaptation: A Story of Brilliant Design
This is an article from guest writer Dr. Anjeanette Roberts. In storytelling, every tale is told within an overarching framework. Settings, events, characters are critical in storytelling and plot development. The best writers create tension, foreshadowing, plot twists, and characterizations that not only entertain, but also make sense within the world the writer has established. It’s how it all fits…
Last updated March 30, 2005