My heart broke when one of my closest friends revealed the state of her faith. “I want to go to heaven,” she told me, giving a slight shake of her head. “And I think I will… I mean… I do think I will. But part of me isn’t certain. Like… I’m only ninety percent certain that I’ll go to heaven.”
When I asked her why she told me that she didn’t seem deserving. “I believe in God and everything and I asked him the big question when I was eight. But that was before I grew older and made so many mistakes. And now I wonder… is this part of me still enough to enter into heaven?”
Maybe you are plagued with that same doubt. It isn’t unnatural to wonder if you will ever qualify for the Final Round, the Great Paradise, the Beautiful Eternity. But God loves even the broken, the ‘unclean’ and the lost.
Firstly, God used some messed up people in the line of His Son.
In the beginning of the New Testament, we are given the genealogy of Jesus and His ancestors. It gives us a clear overlook at his relatives over a span of two-thousand years. Though there are some rather ordinary people in the line of Jesus, we see others that were not so clean- and some that weren’t Jews. Abraham was afraid of being killed so he told his wife, Sara to proclaim that she was his sister to keep from getting himself killed. Judah was jealous of Joseph and sold him into slavery. David was lustful and killed another man just so he could have his wife. Solomon was born of Uriah’s wife, not of David’s. God even used a prostitute, Rahab, to protect the spies of the Israelites and then put her in the line of David. All this proves that God doesn’t use the perfect and complete. Sometimes he uses the shameful and the imperfect to complete his perfect plan.
Second of all, Jesus healed the leper and gave sight to the blind.
In Bible times, people were very superstitious. They believed that if one was diseased, lame, blind or had some other sort of imperfection, it was because of the deeds of the person themselves or because of the deeds of their parents before them. People avoided these morbid humans because they believed they were sinful or unapproachable. Yet, as the leper cried out ‘unclean’ Jesus walked up to him and healed him and as the lame beggar begged for alms, Jesus gave him his legs. It didn’t cost anything at all, but one thing was required of the men. They had to believe that Jesus could do it. And they did, as weak and blind as they were. After that, they were healed and given the kingdom of heaven. If Jesus loved and healed the unclean and unworthy, who is to say that he can’t love and heal you too?
Third, Jesus came for all people.
He came for the murderers, the thieves, the prostitutes and the liars. He came for the sinful. So, if we look at the Bible and read through it, we come to realize that he came for all of us. Every. Single. One. He wasn’t impartial to the Jews or to the whites. He came for the whites, the blacks, the yellows, the oranges and the browns. He came for everyone. All they have to do is put aside their pride and believe. Even as Jesus was in pain and suffering, the murderer beside him begged for Jesus to remember him. Struggling to take a breath, Jesus said ‘today I shall see you in paradise.’ The criminal had no time to correct his life, do good things, or help those in need. He couldn’t even bow at Jesus’s feet. Instead, all he could do was believe. And that was enough.
In the end of all of this,
I want to present you with a single verse. Romans 8:35-39.
“Who shall separate from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long, we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loves us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Whatever you’ve done, whatever you are doing is forgivable. Your past nor your future can change God’s love for you. Though you may only be ninety percent certain of going to heaven, remember these things. It takes faith but, above all, it takes Christ’s love. His love doesn’t fill up that ten-percent, however. It fills up a hundred and ten. No strings attached.