A teacher asked the children in her Sunday School class, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get into heaven?”
“NO!” the children all answered.
“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into heaven?”
Again, the answer was “NO!”
“Well,” she continued, “then how can I get to heaven?”
In the back of the room, a five-year-old boy shouted out, “You gotta be dead!”
So funny, but so true.
No one can pay for their sins. Only the blood of Jesus can do that (1 Peter 1:18-19).
No one can earn their salvation. All our good works cannot pay for even one of our sins (Ephesians 2:8-9).
No one is good enough to go to heaven. We all sin (Romans 3:9-18, 23). Only One is good in the absolute sense (Luke 18:19).
So, we must die.
We must die physically (i.e. separation of body and spirit) because this is the consequence of Adam’s sin upon all humanity (Romans 5:12-15).
We must die spiritually (i.e. separation from God) because of our own sins (Isaiah 59:1-2; Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 6:23).
But, because of Jesus Christ we can still get to heaven!
When you see that Christ died for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-4); when you are willing to trust Him as your Savior (1 Timothy 4:10). Then, you will turn from your sins to live for Him, you will confess your faith in Him as the Lord and Savior, the Son of God, and you will be baptized into Him (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:36-41; 8:35-39; 16:30-34; 22:16; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Peter 3:21). In this way, the sinner is put to death, buried with Christ and raised to new life with Christ (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-13).
The gospel calls us to die, in baptism (Romans 6:1-11). To give yourself to the One who gave Himself for you!
The gospel calls us to die, daily (Luke 9:23; 1 Corinthians 15:31). To offer ourselves up for His cause every day!
The gospel calls us to die, in the Lord (Revelation 2:10; 14:13). To be true to Him to the very end of our life!
The boy is right, if you want to go to heaven, “You gotta be dead!”
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135