The popular idea in modern America is that just about everyone who dies goes to Heaven. One would have to rival Joseph Stalin or Adolph Hitler to merit punishment in the next life, in the views of many. As long as somebody has not committed murder or some other ghastly crime, they are generally considered to be a good person in the eyes of the average individual and community.
The fact that one was known as a “pretty good guy” is seen as justification enough to propel the departed through the Pearly Gates after taking their last breath. This type of reasoning fails to consider the biblical definition of good and evil and what standard the Almighty will use to judge the world.
In order to “measure” men and women, God has given our race His holy law, summed up by the Ten Commandments. Though there is controversy in our court system concerning this ancient moral code, the highest court in the universe still stands behind it and endorses no cheap substitutes.
The Bible tells us “it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment”(Hebrews 9:27). To prepare for this solemn event, we must realize that the Ten Commandments reveal to mankind the Lord’s expectation for the human race.
#10 Thou shalt not covet
Ouch! That is a tough one for a materialistic society. However Jesus Christ tells us “beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth”(Luke 12:15). Friend, you entered this world with nothing, and you will leave the same way. Possessions do not bring joy.
#9 Thou shalt not bear false witness
This commandment deals with lying and gossip. Have you cultivated the art of deception? It is a terrible habit to have. Proverbs 15:3 states “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good”. You can’t hide from God! Revelation 21:8 warns us that “…all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
#8 Thou shalt not steal
Be it ever so small and insignificant, the item you stole is written down in the records of Heaven. One act of theft is enough to catch the eye of the Lord and dangerous enough to defile a conscience and produce a sense of guilt that lingers.
#7 Thou shalt not commit adultery
The shocking thing about this is that Jesus narrowed it down to the motive of the heart. According to the Savior, inward lust is the same as the outward act. Matthew 5:28 says “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Victory over this sin, and all others, is possible only through the grace of God.
#6 Thou shalt not kill
Have you ever really just hated somebody and wanted to get even with him or her? Guess what? According to I John 3:15, you are guilty of murder! No wonder people hate the Bible so much. It can really cramp your style and make you feel so….dirty.
#5 Honor thy Father and thy Mother
In a society that follows the lead of T.V. sitcoms and mocks the idea of giving respect to parents and other authority figures, this commandment is conveniently forgotten or labeled too “old-fashioned” for modern life.
#4 Remember the Sabbath Day
Sunday is the Lord’s Day. All too often, even professing Christians fail here. True believers have kept Sunday as a sacred day for nearly 2000 years. It has been only across the last several decades that the majority of the people have chosen to disregard it. Yet despite the changes of society, the Bible and Jesus Christ have not changed! Our activities should be God-centered on this day.
#3 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain
When you realize that one day each one of us will stand before the throne of God and that “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:11), it would be a good practice to start now. Do you take the name of Jesus or God in vain? Not a smart thing to do.
#2 Thou shalt not make …a graven image
This means that any view of God that doesn’t line up with the way God is pictured in the Bible is seen as sin. We cannot make God after our own likeness or the way we want Him to be, He is God and you and I are not! This also forbids prayer and worship directed to statues, supposed saints, and anything else in the universe that is not a member of the Trinity.
#1 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Simply put, anything that is loved more than your Creator is an idol and causes you to sin. Jesus affirmed that we must love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind if we desire to reach Heaven (Luke 10:25-28). Who or what do you make first in your life?
How did you do? 6 out of 10?
8 out of 10? Not bad, huh?
”Whosoever shall keep the whole law (10 Commandments) yet offend in one point is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)
This simply means that God’s standard of righteousness is so much higher than man’s, that our best efforts are not even a blip on the divine radar screen. The law of God was designed to give people knowledge of their sinfulness and show their need of inward cleansing.
The good news is that Jesus only died for sinful people. In the eyes of God, the whole human family falls into this category. The problem is that few see themselves as God really sees them. According to the Holy Scriptures, a life of known sin causes one to be weighed on the divine scale and found sadly lacking.
The true born-again experience begins with deep conviction of one’s own personal responsibility and guilt before God. The burden of guilt is lifted by heartfelt repentance of all known sin and faith that Jesus Christ died to forgive and cleanse us from all our sins. When you’ve met the conditions, you will know it is real. Have you experienced this in your life? If so, are you still walking in obedience to the Lord? The same attitude that it took to get saved must be maintained if one wants to keep their relationship with God. Sin always defiles the conscience and breaks fellowship with God.
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13)
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.“ (Isaiah 55:7)
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13)
“Ye must be born again” John 3:7