Reward or Reprimand
We all see good and bad in the world. If there is a "God," then it's only right that God should "reprimand" bad people while "rewarding" good people. Our consciences consistently affirm this idea, and all sorts of religions acknowledge the principle in some fashion.
The Bible speaks about the "reward" being heaven, and the "reprimand" being hell. If there's a chance that the Bible has some truth to it, and since it speaks of hell a real place, then each of us should ask a very important question:
Am I good enough to go to heaven?
The way to find this out is to examine yourself against the Law that God gives us in the Bible, also known as the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are found in the Bible, in Exodus chapter 20. Let's look at three of the ten commandments for starters:
- "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Jesus Christ discussed that commandment and distilled it to its simple truth: "Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.'" (Matthew 5:37.) Have you ever told a lie? If so, then you are a liar. That might sound harsh, but ask yourself, how many lies do you have to tell to be a liar? If you caught me telling you something that I knew wasn't true, what would you think of me? You'd think I was a liar. There's no magic number, "tell 9 lies and you're OK, but the 10th time — bang, you are now a liar!" All it takes is one. Now here's the really bad news: the Bible warns us (Revelation 21:8) that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire, which is the second death! You may not think deceitfulness is a serious sin, but God does.
- "You shall not steal." Have you ever taken something that belonged to someone else? It may or may not have been a big item. Like lying, there's no magic value or quantity that must be stolen in the sight of God before you're labeled a thief. Just one stolen pen from the office, one piece of candy from a sibling, or one stolen cookie from a cookie jar, and you are guilty of being a thief! And if you are a thief, there's bad news—according to the Bible you will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:10).
- "You shall not murder." Likely you are thinking, "I've never killed anyone, so I'm OK on that commandment!" But did you know the Bible warns that if you hate your brother, you are a murderer at heart (1 John 3:15)? The Bible describes God as so holy, and his justice is so thorough, that He even looks at the thoughts of your heart when He judges you under His Law. Have you ever murdered, according to God's thorough justice?
How did you do on these three of the Ten Commandments? If you are reasonable, reflective human being, you may now be recognizing for the first time the truth that God revealed for mankind to understand — that you are really guilty of breaking His Law! And not just once, but over and over both in your heart, and in deed.
And remember, there are still seven other Commandments that we haven't touched upon here, but which hit us in the same manner when we compare ourselves to them. You can see them all in Exodus chapter 20 of the Bible.
But am I really that bad?
If God judges you according to the Ten Commandments, will He send you to heaven or to hell? Before you give a quick answer thinking that God is forgiving or that your good works outweigh your bad, think about a court of law…