By Allen White
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
Who would you be surprised to see in Heaven? A murderer? A Mormon? A child abuser? Your mother-in-law? That bully from junior high? Who would make you look twice inside the pearly gates?
Who’s going to look twice at you?
Every person on the earth is sinful, and every sin has consequences, both temporal and eternal. Forgiveness doesn’t release anyone from state prison. If you do the crime, you will do the time. This is justice.
But, Heaven is another story. None of us are good enough to deserve Heaven – not even good people like you and me. We’ve all failed God in some way and thus became God’s enemy. But, nobody has to stay on the wrong side of God.
There are sins so heinous that we can’t imagine the offender making it to Heaven. We can thank God that we don’t struggle with these particular sins. Yet, to God all sin is heinous, even ours.
The only solution for broken lives is God’s grace. Only through God’s mercy, which is really His pity for us, does anyone find forgiveness and salvation. If grace is good for some, but not for others, then we should all feel insecure about that.
God’s grace is sufficient for every person on the planet. Everyone God calls will be saved – regardless of what He has called them out of.
So, what about Mormons? With any religious group the two key questions are: (1) What is their source of truth? And (2) What do they hold as their means of salvation? Everyone who believes in the truth of God’s Word, the Bible, and trusts solely in Jesus Christ for their salvation by grace through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9) will enter God’s Kingdom.
People in regular, Bible-believing churches who haven’t surrendered their hearts and lives to Christ won’t make Heaven. But, everyone who confesses with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and believes in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead will be saved (Romans 10:8-9). That is the only criteria for entrance into Heaven. Anyone else’s rules don’t apply.
Who do you find yourself steering clear of, even at church? Would you be uncomfortable having a cup of coffee with any other believer? What backgrounds do you have difficulty relating to? Could your actions be keeping someone from finding their Savior? That’s a hard thought.
Pray for the folks who just came to mind. Pray that God will open your heart toward them – not in a naïve way, but in a loving way. Ask God to help you see that person as He sees them.
Once upon a time, someone saw what God could do in your life and introduced you to Him. What would the lives of those around you look like if they belonged to Jesus?
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