After many years in the ministry, I finally realized that sometimes, (thank God it is only sometimes!), people come to church wanting a “Get Out of Hell Free” card. They have in mind doing whatever is the minimum required so that when they die they can go to heaven. In the meantime, they would like to do pretty much as they please, trusting in God’s forgiveness, since they figure they have met the minimum requirements for heaven.
“He didn’t go to church much, but he was a moral man.”
“She believed in God but didn’t believe in church.”
“He worked hard all his life to support his family. He didn’t have time for church, but he was a good man.”
I have heard all of these and many more. I have no idea who gets into heaven and who doesn’t because that is not my decision. It is up to God. Matthew 7:1 tells me I cannot judge these things. I may have my opinions, but I keep them to myself and pray, “Thy will be done.” I just wonder what God thinks of this phenomenon of people looking for the minimum requirements? When he sent his Son to us, God did NOT think, “Now what is the least that I can do to reach people so that they will know how much I love them?” No, Jesus was willing to give his utmost. It is truly a pleasure to know a Christian who is giving his or her best to God, not because it is a down payment on heaven, but out of love for Jesus. That must be someone who truly is a disciple of Jesus Christ.
The Lexington Ministerial Alliance is coordinating these Ministers Messeges. Any pastor in the Alliance may submit an article. Please email your artical to Rev. Linda O’Neal, the Alliance secretary at email@example.com.