“What are you going to tell God when He asks you why He should let you in to heaven with Him?”
A hard question for a nine or so year old. But my parents liked asking hard questions just as much as I liked trying to answer them.
I stared at the dining room table. I had been asked the question after devotions, probably after a Bible reading that should have convicted me. What would I say…
“I will tell Him that I try to be good. That I go to church. That I love people and I love Him.”
I don’t remember Dad’s response, but my little kid mind imagined he was proud of me. Looking back, I know his and my mother’s heart broke at my confident words. Here was their kid, boasting in her own good works, tossing Christ and His cross to the sidelines.
Despite my obvious confidence in my own ability, I was scared of hell. I didn’t think I was going to hell, because, well, look at my good deed accomplishment chart. But a part of me knew I was destined for eternal fire and separation from God. I didn’t want to die, and I didn’t want Jesus to come back. Not until I knew for sure where my soul resided.
Because, you see, it was up to me. I had to save me from hell. I had to do enough good things to weigh out the bad. And I tried. I tried so hard. And we all know I failed. Failed so hard.
I became increasingly aware of the fact that I couldn’t juggle it all myself. My facade began to unravel, my sinful, wretched troll soul began flailing out of control. Everyone within arm’s reach could see the pitch darkness of my heart and no matter how I tried to hide the black, it would not be tamed.
“I came to Jesus, as I was, so weary, worn, and sad. I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad.”
And then, when I was 22, after my heavenly Father saved me, I remembered my earthly father’s question.
What would I say… there is only one answer.
“I cannot boast in anything but in the sacrifice and righteousness of Jesus Christ my Savior and King.”
It is His righteousness that gives me reason to rejoice. It is His righteousness that saves me from the eternal grave. Not mine. Only His, which He freely gives to me.
And now, death is but a milestone. Because after I pass from this life, I get to see Jesus in the next, in all His heavenly glory, and I get to sing to Him, worship Him, and sit at His feet. Now, death doesn’t scare me. It doesn’t ruin my plans.
What will you say…?
No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me.
-Keith and Kristyn Getty
“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?'”
1 Corinthians 15:54-55