(Article for publication week of 4-18-2012 AD)
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:13). Dear reader, do you ever think much about your soul and where you will spend eternity? Do you realise that you are destined for heaven and immortal glory, or hell and eternal misery? The most important question for you is, “where will I be five minutes after I am dead?”
Our text this week declares that only righteous people will be permitted to dwell in the new heavens and the new earth. Only those who have the righteousness that God requires will be allowed to live with Him in eternal glory. I cannot stress too strongly that God’s standard is absolute perfection. God will not let you into His heaven unless He finds you perfectly righteous.
God will not accept you into His presence because you are not as bad as your neighbour. He will not accept you because you tried your best. He will not accept you because you have a good reputation in your community. God will only accept you into heaven if you are righteous. Revelation 21:27 tells us “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth.” If God were to allow any unrighteous people into heaven, they would defile it. And God will not have it. He is righteous Himself, and He will only allow those as righteous as Himself into heaven.
Most of you vainly imagine that you can go to heaven wedded to your sins. You think God is some kind old grandpa that wouldn’t hurt a flea. You think when it is all said and done God is just going to pat you on the head and forgive you for your sinful rebellion and welcome you into His heaven. You are dead wrong if you think that.
Heaven is for the righteous only. God is too holy to let you into His presence with your sins. He just won’t do it. He is too just to accept unjust persons into His heaven to live with Him forever. God won’t quit being God just to keep you out of hell. God is unchangeably and eternally holy and just. So please get all your imaginary ideas about God out of your head and believe what the Bible says.
You have a court date before the Judge of all the earth Who will treat everybody right. You cannot get out of it or have another date set. You must meet your Maker to be judged. Unless He finds you as perfectly righteous before His holy law, you are a goner- forever.
The precious gospel tells us how poor sinners such as you and me can stand in that awful day. It is by the righteousness of Another. It is by the Righteousness of One as righteous as God, for He is God. That is the Lord Jesus Christ. I will (DV) see you back here at the Narrow Way next week to explain to you more of how a poor sinner can be right with God. Until then, may the Lord bless you all my dear readers.