I’ve been enjoying Disney Plus so far, having seen all the Santa Claus movies as well as the first three episodes of The Mandalorian. Currently, I’m in nostalgia heaven watching an 80’s movie called One Magic Christmas.
In the movie, one of the characters says something to the effect that if you’re a good person when you die, you go to heaven and become an angel.
That seems to be the prevalent belief about what it takes to make it to heaven, but it also begs a couple of questions: 1) Who defines good? and 2) How good is good enough?
Who defines good? Do you mean like good as in being nice to people or do you mean good as in religious activities, i.e. reading my Bible, praying, going to church, etc.? Is it about following rules? Is it about how many hours of community service you have?
Also, how good is good enough? Are we talking about being slightly better than your neighbor or judging yourself against the likes of Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin? Is it about keeping all ten commandments?
If you take Jesus’ words seriously, the standard is perfection. Jesus said for us to be perfect as God in heaven is perfect. That is what God considers good enough. That is also impossible.
Jesus didn’t come to show us the way to heaven but to BE our way to heaven. Jesus was the one who lived in perfect obedience to God the Father and kept every one of God’s commandments. By His death, He took our sins and gave us that perfection so that we could be acceptable to God.
The true gift of Christmas is the gift of salvation. It is the gift of us owning up to our sins, trusting Jesus and His finished work on the cross, and receiving Him as Lord and Savior. If you truly believe, you can pray the following prayer that Billy Graham always used at His crusades:
I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness.
I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died
for my sin and that you raised Him to life.
I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord,
from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will.
I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”