Hmmm, let me think about that….um… NO! That suggestion is the oldest and most used lie of the devil. It sounds like it should be true though, right? I mean, the foundation of our lives are based upon the proven truth that hard work and right living produce a good life and rewards. We all learn this concept almost from birth. If we obey our parents, we earn candy or praise. When we start school, we learn that if we do what the teacher says then we receive good grades and good report cards and then that leads to more candy or praise. The older we get and the harder we work, the greater the reward becomes. If we do the opposite and don’t work hard, we create a life of limited possibilities and little to show for our actions. If we don’t obey the law, we earn a ticket or even a trip to jail. We live in a society where our actions dictate the outcome of our lives. This is the standard that people across the universe expect.
IF you believe this article and listen to the pope, then you continue past this earthly life and into eternity following the same standard for which you have patterned the actions of your life. Doesn’t that sound great? Live good, die better. Sadly, there will be many, many people who find this belief to be the polar opposite of reality. This is a concept that is almost impossible to explain because it goes against everything that we have been conditioned to believe. Take a moment though and review your life – not the little details, just the large ones. Can you remember the good things you have done? Those shining events of greatness where you were really one of the good guys. But, are all of our lives made up of these great shining moments? No, so we actually do have to focus on the little details. Those times when no one saw our actions and we were very happy to see that no one was watching. Maybe there was time when we were mean to a co-worker. We’ve all told little white lies to get out of doing something we really didn’t want to do. Have you ever daydreamed about someone who wasn’t your spouse? You should also remember those times when you had the opportunity to do something good but turned a blind eye to someone in need. But, hey, our good actions offset our bad actions, right? During your 70-80 years on earth, that answer is, generally, yes. The very second that we draw our last breath, however, that dynamic changes. 2 Cor. 5:8 says , “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” In other words, when we pass from this life in an instant we will be present with God in heaven. What will He say at that moment? Will He welcome you with open arms or will He say, “my child, I never knew you?” This is the perfect time to think about this because you are still alive and have a choice. It would be a terrible waste of your life to move to eternity and never have taken the time to make a decision about your eternal destination. You see, on earth our rewards are a result of our actions, in eternity our reward is a result of our choice. The reward of eternity with Jesus Christ is only given to us if we choose to accept that we cannot be good enough to enter into the presence of a perfect God. By definition atheists do not believe in God, so how can they be redeemed to be with God? It is futile for anyone to think they can be good enough to enter heaven, let alone someone who doesn’t believe in a Higher being. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”
It’s impossible to be perfect. If you think you are perfect, or even a really good, person then you are lying to yourself. Even on our very best day, our very best deed cannot even come close to God’s perfection. We would have to be perfect every second of every day and that is not even a remote possibility for anyone. God says that even the best things that we do are like filthy rags in his sight. But, for argument’s sake, even if we could be perfect it still would not be enough to allow us access to God’s perfect heaven and presence. As the Bible states above in Ephesians 2:8-9, faith is what saves us because it is a gift. God paid the price for our imperfection and tells us it is free IF only we will believe that He died for us so that we would not have a chance to boast. How much nonsense would it be for us to boast about our good deeds compared to what Christ did for us?
For the pope to stand in public and proclaim that if we are only good and try to be good then we will be redeemed is the worst disservice that anyone could do to another. That is a deceitful action crafter by the master deceiver. Not only if a person is good will he be redeemed, but according to pope, an atheist as the same opportunity. This statement boggles my mind but even more than that, it infuriates me. I have not met an atheist yet who is not vocal to the point of rudeness in their defense of how the notion that there is a God is false and that heaven is a fairy tale. Atheists are, in my opinion, reprehensible for they mock the One who loves me more than anyone else. They defame the One who created me and knew me in my mother’s womb. They defile the One who suffered and died, not for His own actions but for mine. They despise the One who rose from the grave because He is Almighty God.
Not only will atheists never be redeemed unless they repent of their false beliefs, good people who don’t put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ will not be redeemed either. “Choose you this day Whom you will serve,” Joshua 24:15. Make you choice, but choose wisely. Eternity is just a breath away.