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Home > The Law

How good do you have to be to get into heaven?

The answer: You need to be perfect. You need to be as good and pure as God. You need to follow, without error, all of God's laws.

"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder.' If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker." - James 2:10-11 (NIV)

Following God's Laws:

The Bible tells us what those laws are: The Ten Commandments. The 613 points of the Mosaic Law. The 1000's of points of the Levitical Law (the book of Leviticus in the Bible).

Let's look at just the Ten Commandments. The are given in Exodus 20:1-17

1. You shall have no other Gods before me.

2. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.

3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

5. Honor your father and your mother.

6. You shall not murder.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Click on the links included in each of these commandments for an simple contemporary explaination of what the commandment means.

How do you measure up? Have you keep all these commandments, without fail, throughout your entire life? I haven't. I've tried hard to be good all my life and I've broken at least 9 of these, and probably all 10 -- multiple times. If you say, "I know I have not murdered anyone," then click on the link for the sixth commandment above to find out what Jesus considers to be murder.

Imagine it is judgement day and you are called before Jesus for a final accounting. As Jesus goes through the Ten Commandments, will he pronounce you guilty or innocent as each commandment is read? If you are guilty of just one, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven, but will spend eternity in hell, for you are not pure enough to come into the presense of God.

If you feel you have perfectly obeyed the Ten Commandments, then measure your self against the Mosaic law, also given in Exodus (for example, read Exodus 21 through 23). Then measure yourself against all the laws in the book of Leviticus. For example, Leviticus 7:22-27 commands us not to eat either the fat nor the blood of an animal. Have you ever eaten at McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, or any other fast food restaurant that serves beef or cheese? (Cheese is made from fat that comes from cow's milk.) If you have, you have broken God's law.

God doesn't have anything against any of these restaurants. However, God reserves the fat and blood of cattle, sheep or goats for himself.

If your reaction is, "Aw, come on! God can't mean this. Is He some kind of sadist? No one can perfectly follow all these laws!" Then you understand the true point and reason for God's laws!

The reason God has given us His laws is not so that we can follow them and thus be saved. He has given us His laws so that we see that we can never obey them all. We can never be as perfect as God.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." - Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)

God has given us His laws so we will see that they ONLY WAY to salvation, is through Jesus.

"man is justified by faith apart from observing the law." Romans 3:28 (NIV)

We are imperfect. We will break God's laws, and there must be punishment for that. Jesus has taken our punishment for us so that we will be pure and perfect when we stand before God. All of our sins -- all of God's laws that we have broken -- will be forgotten.

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