A devotional thought from Juan Sanchez for “Jesus: The Faithful Son”
You and I have an appointment with death; then comes judgment (Heb. 9:27). Imagine that your appointment with death is here, and you are now standing before God. Many Christians have been trained to ask unbelievers to imagine this very situation, and they ask, “Why should a holy God accept you into heaven?” The better question to ask is “How can a holy God accept you into His presence?”
Think with me for a moment. Only those who are pure in heart can ever see God (Matt. 5:8). Our problem is that every one of us is born sinful (Rom. 3:10-20,23), under condemnation (5:18), and deserving God’s wrath (Eph. 2:1-3). This is the universal human condition and presents a great dilemma. A holy God cannot allow anything unholy into His presence (1 John 1:5-6).
In fact, at the final judgment, Jesus will separate the righteous from the unrighteous (Matt. 25:31-46). The righteous will dwell with God in the new heaven and the new earth for all eternity (Rev. 21:1-7), but the unrighteous will have their place in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur (v. 8).
Meditating on the truths of the Bible mentioned above leads us to move from the question of why would God accept you to how could God accept you, for a holy God and unholy people cannot dwell together. That is the heart of our problem. Thankfully, the good news is that there is a way of acceptance for sinners like you and me. In this session, we will see the answer to the better question: How can a holy God accept sinful people?
Pause and Reflect
• In your own words, can you explain the problem that the gospel resolves?
• How does our knowledge of pending judgment increase our sense of urgency in making disciples?