You Can't Follow My Bubbles To Heaven
Bible Study Network
Many people seem to believe that—if they just behave themselves
properly—then surely they will get to heaven (just in case there is a
heaven). Many “agnostics” and people with a generalized belief in God
feel that God—whoever he, or she, may be—should let them into heaven
if they don’t mess up their lives too badly. Others make sure that they do
enough “good things” to keep ahead of “the other guy” or to somehow
balance out the bad things they have done.
Many of my non-Christian friends and acquaintances observe professing
Christians commit sins such lying, cheating, drinking, cussing, you name
it. These non-believers then make sure that they act better than these
Christians do so that surely God will let them into heaven, too.
I enjoy scuba diving once every year or so. Because I don’t go very
frequently, I have not kept up with the latest equipment. In fact, I usually
have to rent a good bit of it.
In scuba diving, it is important to regulate how long you stay at various
depths and not to ascend too quickly. The people I dive with go a lot, and
they own dive computers which provide them with information about
depths and times and the like. Because I don’t own a dive computer, I
make sure that I stay near my dive buddy so that I keep at the proper
depths for the proper amounts of time and so that I make sure not to
ascend too quickly.
Oftentimes, visibility can become obscured from rocks, kelp, reef, etc.,
and when that happens, I can lose track of my buddy. So, I look for his
bubbles, then I swim over to him by following his bubbles. My logic is
that—as long as I follow his bubbles—I can stay close to my buddy and
stay out of trouble.
In life, many non-Christians attempt the same thing. They try to act
better than the Christians around them. They engage in a form of spiritual
“hedge-betting” in case these Christians are really right about things like
heaven and hell and God’s judgment. These people believe that, if they
live as morally (or more morally) than the Christians they know, then
surely they will obtain favor with God and He will let them into heaven.
Unfortunately for these people, the Bible does not provide support for this
It is also unfortunate that religions promote the notion that good works
will get a person into heaven. In fact, virtually all religion involves
people's efforts to work themselves into God’s good graces. However,
this theology—which is even held by many “Christian” religions—is
contrary to God’s Word, the Bible.
The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and
that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone
should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9.) In other words, God gives people
salvation, they don’t work for it. This makes sense. Can you imagine a
“heaven” where people sit around bragging about what they did to get
there? That doesn’t seem like much of a “paradise.”
You have probably heard the saying or seen the bumper sticker which
states, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” This pithy little statement
actually has support in the Bible.
“As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one.’” (Romans 3:
10.) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:
It is not our “good works” which gets us into heaven, but Jesus Christ’s
death on the cross. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.”
(1 Corinthians 15:3.) At all, if it is our “rule keeping” which “earns” our
way into heaven, then Jesus’ dying for our sins was not necessary. “For
if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need
for Christ to die.” (Galatians 2:21. NLT)
Some people have the idea that they can “balance off” the sins they
have committed by doing other good things. However, they miss the fact
that God’s judgments are righteous. Can you imagine a convicted
murderer convincing a human judge not to sentence him because he was
kind to people other than the person he killed? If the judge let this man go
free on that basis, then His “judgment” would not be righteous—justice
would be corrupted. In the same way, God cannot dismiss our sins
simply because we did some other good things.
The problem with our sin is that it separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-
2.) and it condemns us to eternal damnation. “For the wages of sin is
death. . .” (Romans 6:23. NASB) “[T]hose who refuse to believe . . . will
have a place in the lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
(Revelation 21:8 NCV.)
The good news is that God has provided Himself a Savior. “God
demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8.) “Nor is there salvation in any other, for
there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must
be saved.” (Acts 4:12.)
Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one
comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6 NASB.) “And if
anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the
righteous.” (1 John 2:1.)
These passages make clear that “being a ‘good’ person” or following the
teachings of men will not result in salvation. To be saved and to be
enabled to spend eternity in heaven with God, a person must do so
through Jesus Christ.
We must receive Jesus as the Lord —or master—of our lives to obtain
the spiritual rebirth necessary to be redeemed from sin and to obtain
eternal life in heaven. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave
the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His
name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the
will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13. NASB)
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot
see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NLT)
The Bible tells believers, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again,
because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great
expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is
kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change
and decay.” (1 Peter 1:3-4.)
It is now time to stop trying to mimic others’ behavior or to continue
carrying the burden of attempting to do enough good things to merit God’s
forgiveness, something that does not work anyway. “For God says, ‘At
just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’
Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation.” (2
Corinthian 6:2. NLT)
Make your decision to trust God and His Son Jesus right now. They
will hear you.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe you died for my
sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart
and life. I receive you as my personal Lord and Savior. Please send
your Holy Spirit to me and help me to do those things that are pleasing
to God. I can’t change myself, but I know that you have the power to
change me. Thank you for saving me. Amen.
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