The Myth About Getting into Heaven
“You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas.” —Davy Crockett
When it comes time to decide how to get off the road to hell and head toward heaven many people base their beliefs on myths and not the word of God. A lot of people believe that if you're a good enough person, you'll get to heaven. I call this the “good-guy mythstake”. The words of Jesus, however, destroy this notion.
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” Mark 10:17-18
By human standards, the man that Jesus was talking to was a “good” man. He had kept all the law since he was young—and yet Jesus stopped mid-track and said, “No one is good” (except God of course). Jesus obliterated the assumption of being a “good guy” before the conversation even got started.
Here’s the problem with the “good-guy mythstake”: We compare ourselves to other humans. It's not too tough to find somebody who is more of a scumbag than we are. So in our minds we think ‘compared to that other guy, I'm a pretty good guy.’
Jesus says that if you want to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to God. He is the ultimate standard of what is good. Hmmm, that's a little tough isn’t it? Compared to God, we are anything but good. “Good guys” are just an illusion created by human-to human-comparison.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
Listen, if we're honest, we will realize that we are all guilty of this mythstake to one degree or another—that's one of the patterns that just seems to be built into our flesh. Every day, however, we can replace this myth with truth.
Jesus, I want to break free from this mythstake today! By the power of your Spirit in me, replace my tendencies to judge and compare with a profound awareness of your grace and the free gift of eternal life that you have given me. Amen.