STUDY THE BIBLE 50 (STB-50)
“What does God require from us so that we can enter heaven?”
Answer: “Perfect works, sinless and total obedience since the day we were born.”
When we understand the character and nature of God, we can see what his entry standards are for getting into heaven. This is the place where God lives, and as God is pure, holy and without sin, heaven is also pure, holy and without sin. Sin or sinners cannot enter.
When Lucifer sinned (his name means ‘the son of the morning’ with morning representing light - Lucifer was the son in the light), and became envious of who God was (Isaiah 14:12-15), God cast him out of God’s sinless kingdom of heaven, and onto the earth, and God changed his name to Satan, where he is called the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). When Adam sinned against God by disobeying God’s instruction of not eating from the tree in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:17), Satan then became the ruler over Adam who was now a law-breaker, a sinner.
So God has every right to take our lives and send us all to hell as punishment. That is the nature of God and his laws – God demands perfect obedience. God’s laws are pure, holy and perfect, just like God (Rom 7:12). We just can’t keep them no matter how hard we try! Why? We are flesh, we are sinful, we are born sinners. As the saying goes “We take to sin like ducks go to water.” We are sons of Adam, but WE NEED A NEW FATHER! We must be adopted by the last Adam, Christ Jesus, as our father! (1Cor 14:45).
Now when a person like you and me sin, by not obeying what God wants, God has every right to kill us, and send us to the fires of hell to be tormented forever. But if that were the case, then no-one could get into heaven because all have sinned (Romans 3:23).
But how would that prove that God is a loving God? It would only prove that God was an impossibly strict, but just, judge with no mercy. But that is only part of who God is. God said to himself “Look, if I send them all to hell to be punished forever, how will they know what love is? How can I show them how much I love them? I know, I’ll let them kill something in their place as a substitute for their sin. When they sin, they can kill an animal and the blood of that animal will represent their life.”
As God says in the book of Leviticus For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Lev 17:14).
God let animal blood be the substitute for man’s blood. That’s why we read, when Adam sinned, God let Adam kill an animal in his place as forgiveness for his sin. Both parties were happy. Adam was forgiven and God’s law of demanding a life and blood for sin, was satisfied.
But this forgiveness only lasted till the next sin. So next day, they sacrificed more animals and so on, and that is what happened under the old testament of endless sacrifices. Eventually, the priests and the people didn’t appreciate and love, what God was doing for them, with substitute animal blood sacrifices. Instead of praying to God saying “Thank you Lord for paying for my sins with killing this animal in my place”, they just went through the motions without a love attitude in their hearts toward God. So God said “I’ll come down to earth as the man, Jesus Christ, and I’ll obey my laws perfectly, and then I’ll spill my blood (Acts 20:28) as the perfect substitute for their sins. I’ll do this once and for all time, so no more animal sacrifices will be needed. My blood will pay the penalty for all their future sins as well. Now I’ll do this for the whole world, so that anyone can get right with me. Anyone will be able to have atonement for their sins, not just the Jews. And hopefully, this will make the Jews jealous, and they will see who they have rejected.” (Romans 11:11; Hebrews 10:14, 26)
Furthermore, God’s purpose for going to the cross was to shed his own blood after having fulfilled his own laws.
Although God’s laws were broken by man, only God’s own blood could pay the penalty, that God himself demanded. Animal blood would just give man a short-lived breathing space from God’s wrath.
The following chart explains why the Jews, while still doing animal blood temple sacrifices for their on-going sins, had to believe in Christ as their promised Messiah, their King, who was fulfilling day by day, God’s impossibly strict ‘Sermon on the Mount’ laws, on their behalf. This would then guarantee them a place in Abraham’s bosom upon their death, to wait to be taken into heaven after the resurrection of Christ (Eph 4:8).
under the Old Testament of
This was under the New Testament of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
JESUS WENT BACK
under the New Testament of Paul
& 2 WERE NEEDED
& 2 WERE NEEDED
TEMPORARY pause (salvation) from God’s wrath.
God’s wrath would pass-over them if they would continue to believe in the lamb + its shed blood for their protection.
TEMPORARY pause (salvation) from God’s wrath.
As they were outside of Christ, when they died, they went to Abraham’s bosom. This was not hell but it wasn’t heaven either – just a safe place, where they waited for Christ to come and get them after his death on the cross, and his resurrection, and take them finally to heaven. If the Jew didn’t believe Christ was God in the flesh, they would go to hell.
Christ gave them the impossible laws of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) … they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus … said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matt 19:25-26. This is why they crucified him, as Christ was saying “I will keep the laws on your behalf, as I AM GOD” (John 8:58). The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. John 10:33
This gives anyone
PERMANENT freedom from God’s wrath (saved!)
If anybody will not believe on Christ as their only Saviour, they will go to hell. No exceptions!
1. While only Paul has the doctrine for Christians, the books of 1-3 John, 1-2 Peter, James & Jude will also guide Christians.
2. As children in God’s family, Christians are still under God’s laws as Paul states … the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Cor 11:1; 14:37)
3. Except for “Keep the Sabbath” (Saturday 7th day), the Ten Commandments are restated in Colossians & Ephesians.
4. Christians are made free from the curse of the law not the law.
Christians worship on Sunday.