A very important question we must ask ourselves is: “If I die tonight and I get to heaven, what will I say, why I should be allowed to enter?” Alistair Begg delivered an interesting sermon (see photo) at Parkside entitled: “The Power and the Message of the Cross.” Here are parts of the sermon:
“If you were to die tonight and you get to heaven, what would you say?” You would be wrong to answer in the first person: “Because I . . . Because I believed . . . Because I have faith . . . Because I am this . . .” The only proper answer is in the third person. “Because He! Because He!” Think about the thief on the cross . . . I can’t wait to find that fellow one day to ask him: “How did that shake out for you? You’ve never been in a Bible study. You never got baptized . . . You didn’t know a thing about church membership, and yet . . . you made it. How did you make it?” That’s what the angel must have said, you know: “What are you doing here?” “I don’t know.” “What do you mean you don’t know?” “I don’t know.” “Excuse me, let me get my supervisor.” He goes and gets his supervisor angel and the supervisor said: “So, just a few questions for you. First of all, are you clear on the doctrine of justification by faith?” The guy said, “I’ve never heard of it in my life.” “And what about the doctrine of Scripture?” This guy’s just staring and eventually, in frustration, the supervisor says, “On what basis are you here?” And he said, “The Man on the middle cross said I can come.” That is the only answer. That is the only answer. And if I don’t preach the gospel to myself all day and every day, then I will find myself beginning to trust myself, trust my experience. If I take my eyes off the cross, I can, then, give only lip service to its efficacy, while at the same time living as if my salvation depends upon me. And as soon as you go there, it will lead you either to abject despair or a horrible kind of arrogance.
It is only the cross of Christ that deals both with the dreadful depths of despair and the pretentious arrogance of the man that says, “You know, I can figure this out” and “I’m doing wonderfully well.” No, because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free. For the righteous God is satisfied just to look on my Savior and pardon me. We’re saved as a result of what Christ achieved.”
Paul gives us an important warning: If you do look to the Law to make you justified, then you have separated yourselves from Christ, and have fallen from grace (Gal 5:4).
Our heavenly Father, help me to realize every day that I can only be saved by Jesus who took my sin upon Himself on the cross. Amen.