The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:20 Understanding our wretched condition apart from Christ is profoundly helpful for us as we pray for and long for unbelieving friends and relatives to come to Christ. Think about a father and mother who have been grieving...
“They do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 (NIV)
What were these men really doing when they were nailing Jesus to the cross? Well, one thing they were doing was shutting themselves out of heaven. Did you know that it is actually sin that shuts people out of heaven?
If you could see the joy that you are spurning when you sin, you would not do it. Pastor C. H. Spurgeon paints a compelling picture:
I see a pearly gate, and beyond it is a world of light and joy.
A man standing outside, with a hammer and nails.
He is nailing bars across the gate to shut himself out.
Would you not say, “The man is mad!” Here are men with a few short years on earth, and then they’ll enter eternity. They are face-to-face with the Son of God, who owns heaven. But instead of pleading for mercy, they are cementing their own fate.
Remember, there was also a thief who was crucified with Jesus, but he seized his opportunity by reaching out to Jesus in faith: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (23:42).
When you sin, you do not know what you’re doing either. Whether a sin is committed intentionally or unintentionally, whether it is done on the spur of the moment, or it is premeditated and planned, if you really knew the consequences of sin, you’d never do it.
Do you believe that your sins have the power to shut you out of heaven?