By RAY COMFORT, Living Waters Ministries. www.raycomfort.com
Of all the questions you will ask yourself in life, probably the most important is, Am I good enough to go to Heaven? The way to find this out is to ask yourself if you have obeyed the Ten Commandments. Most would answer the question, ‘Well, I’ve broken one or two, but nothing too serious, like murder, etc.’ So let’s go through them and see how you do:
1. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’
Is God first in your life? Do you love God above all else? Many years ago, I purchased a TV for our children, but the first evening we had it, I arrived home from work and found that they didn’t even bother to greet me. They were too busy watching television. I turned it off and explained to them that if they ignored me because they preferred to watch TV, They were setting their love on the gift rather than the giver, a wrong order of affections. In the same way, if we love anything — husband, wife, children or even our own lives — more than we love God, we are setting our affection on the gift rather than the Giver, which is a transgression of the First Commandment. In fact, the Bible says that we should so love God that our love for Mom and Dad and brother and sister should seem like hatred compared to the love we have for the God who gave those loved ones to us. We are also commanded to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. Jesus spoke of a Samaritan who found an injured stranger, bathed his wounds, carried him to an inn, gave money for his care and told the inn-keeper that he would pay for his expenses. We call him the good Samaritan, but in reality he wasn’t ‘good’ at all, he merely obeyed the basic command to love his neighbor as himself. That is a picture of how God expects us to love our fellow human beings. We should love them as much as we love ourselves…whether they be friend or foe. Have you loved God with all your heart? Have you loved humanity as much as you love yourself? You be the judge. Will you be innocent or guilty on Judgment Day of breaking that Commandment? I’m not judging you — I’m asking you to judge yourself before the Day of Judgment. The sentence for breaking this Commandment is death.
2. ‘You shall not make for yourself any graven image.’
This means that we shouldn’t make a god to suit ourselves, either with our hands or our mind. I was guilty of this. I made a god to suit myself. My god didn’t mind a ‘white’ lie or a fib here and there — in fact, he didn’t have any moral dictates. But in truth my god didn’t exist. He was a figment of my imagination, an ‘image’ which I shaped to suit myself. Is your god the One revealed in Holy Scripture? If not, then you have made your own god to suit yourself – you have committed the oldest sin in the Book. Scripture warns that no idolater will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
3. ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.’
Have you ever taken God’s name in vain — instead of using a four-letter word to express disgust, you’ve used His name? Hitler’s name wasn’t despised enough to use as a curse word. If you have used His holy name in that manner, you are a blasphemer and will not enter the Kingdom of God.
4. ‘Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.’
I ignored this command for 22 years. Even though God gave me the gift of life, never once did I ask what he required of me. I was guilty of breaking the Commandment.
5. ‘Honor your father and your mother.’
Have you always honored your parents in a way that’s pleasing in the sight of God? Ask Him to remind you of the sins of your youth. You may have forgotten them, but God hasn’t.
6. ‘You shall not murder.’
Jesus warned that if we get angry without cause we are in danger of judgment. If we hate our brother, God calls us a murderer. We can violate God’s Law by attitude and intent.
7. ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
Who of us can say that we are pure of heart? Jesus warned, ‘You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart.’ Remember that God has seen every thought you have had and every sin you have ever committed. The day will come when you have to face His Law, and we are told that the impure, fornicators (those who have sex before marriage) and adulterers will not enter the Kingdom of God. Punishment for transgression of this Commandment is the death penalty.
8. ‘You shall not steal.’
Have you ever taken something that belonged to someone else (irrespective of its value)? Then you are a thief — you cannot enter God’s Kingdom.
9. ‘You shall not bear false witness.’
Have you ever told a lie? Then you are a liar. How many lies do you have to tell to be a liar? Just one. The Bible warns that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire. You may not think deceitfulness is a serious sin. God does!
10. ‘You shall not covet.’
That means we shouldn’t desire anything that belongs to another person. The covetous will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Who of us can say we are not guilty of breaking these Commandments? All of us have sinned, and just as with civil law, you don’t have to break ten laws to be a law-breaker, so the Bible warns, ‘For whoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.’
A little girl was once watching a sheep eat grass and thought how white it looked against the green background. But when it began to snow she thought, ‘that sheep now looks dirty against the white snow!’ It was the same sheep, but with a different background. When we compare ourselves to the background of man’s standard we look pretty clean, but when we compare ourselves to the pure snow-white righteousness of God’s standard — His Law, we can see ourselves in truth, that we are unclean in His sight. That Law is the holy standard by which humanity will be judged on Judgment Day.
This may sound strange, but the worst thing you could at this point of time is to try and clean up you lifestyle — you realize that you have sinned, so from now on you will keep the Ten Commandments, do good deeds, say the right things and think only pure thoughts. But should a judge let a murderer go because he says he will now live a good life? No, he’s in debt to justice and therefore must be punished.
The Law of God is merely like a mirror — all a mirror does is show you the truth. If you see egg on your face, you don’t try and wash yourself with the mirror, its purpose should be to send you to water for cleansing. Neither should you try and wash yourself with the mirror of God’s Law . . . that’s not its purpose.
The sight in the mirror is not a pretty one, but if you can’t face it and acknowledge that you are unclean, then all that ‘dirt’ will be presented on Judgment Day as evidence of your guilt, and then it will be too late to be cleansed.
Perhaps you think that God is good and will therefore overlook your sins. But if you were guilty of terrible crimes in a civil court and said to the judge, ‘Judge, I am guilty but I believe that you are a good man and will therefore overlook my crimes,’ the judge would probably respond by saying, ‘You are right about one thing; I am a good man, and it’s because of my goodness that I am going to see that justice is done, that you are punished for your crimes.’ The very thing that many people are hoping will save them on Judgment Day, God’s ‘goodness,’ will be the very thing that will condemn them. If God is good, He should punish murderers, liars, thieves, etc., and Hell will be their dreadful fate.
What a terrible place Hell must be. If you read in the newspaper that a man received a $5 fine for a crime, you could conclude that his crime was insignificant. But if a man received multiple life sentences, you could conclude that his crime was heinous. In the same way, we can catch a glimpse of how terrible sin must be in the sight of God by looking to the punishment given for it — eternal punishment. Ungrateful humanity never bothers to thank God for His wonderful blessings of color, light, food, joy, beauty, love and laughter, so He will take those blessings away from them. Instead of proving their gratitude by obedience to His will, they use His name to curse. Their punishment will be just but severe to the uttermost. Take the time to read what Jesus said Hell was like in Mark 9:43-48. I am afraid for you . . .please, look honestly into the mirror of the Law, then seek the ‘water’ that cleanses every sin. If you don’t believe what I am saying about the reality of Hell, it means you think God is corrupt (that He hasn’t the moral backbone to seek justice), that Jesus was a liar, that the Apostles were false witnesses, that God’s promises are nothing but prefabricated lies, and there is no greater insult to God than to call Him a liar. By doing so, you are adding to your transgressions.
Imagine if you reject the Savior, die in your sins and find that what I have told you is the Gospel truth? Then it will be too late, you will be judged for your sins. If that happens, and your eyes meet my eyes on the Day of Judgment, I’m free from your blood. I have told you the truth, but if you choose to ignore it your blood will be upon your own head . . . you will have no one to blame but yourself.
Can you see your predicament? You are guilty of sinning against God Himself, and because you have a conscience you have sinned ‘with knowledge.’ Isn’t it true that every time you lied, stole, lusted, etc., you did it with knowledge that it was wrong?
Does the fact that you have sinned against God scare you? It should. You have actually angered Him by your sin. The Bible says His wrath abides on you, that you are an ‘enemy of God in your mind through wicked works.’ But let fear work for your good in the same way that a fear of jumping out of a plane at a great height would make you put on a parachute. Let your will to live open your heart to the Gospel of salvation.
I am not the only one who doesn’t want you to end up in Hell. The person who gave you this tract cared enough to give it to you and risk your rejection, and God Himself is not willing that you perish. To make clear what an incredible thing He has done for you in the Gospel, let’s look again to civil law: You are standing in front of a judge, guilty of very serious crimes. All the evidence has been presented and there is no doubt about your guilt. The fine for your crime is $250,000 or imprisonment, but you haven’t two pennies to rub together.
The judge is about to pass sentence . . .he lifts his gavel, when someone you don’t even know steps in and pays the fine for you. The moment you accept that payment, you are free to go. Justice has been served, the law has been satisfied, and what’s more, the stranger who paid your fine showed how much he cares for you. His payment was evidence of his love.
That’s what God did for you, in the person of Jesus Christ. You are guilty. He paid the fine 2,000 years ago. It is that simple. The Bible puts it this way: ‘He was bruised for our iniquities . . . Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law being made a curse for us . . . God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’
It was no small thing for Jesus to die for us. The only thing that would satisfy the demands of Eternal Law was the suffering death of the sinless son of God. What love God must have for you! He suffered unspeakable agony, so that you wouldn’t have to be punished for your sins. His sacrificial death and resurrection mean that you need no longer be in debt to the Law, and God can now grant you everlasting life if you obey Him — death no longer has a legal hold upon those who belong to Jesus Christ.
Two men were offered a parachute while seated in a plane. The first man was told it would improve his flight, but the second man was informed that he had to make a 25,000 foot jump. When the flight struck severe turbulence the first man took his parachute off because, as far as he was concerned it didn’t improve the flight. But during the same violent turbulence, this second man clung tighter to his parachute. Each man’s motive for putting the parachute on determined whether or not he would keep it on*. In the same way, the reason you should ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ’ shouldn’t be to find peace, joy, true happiness, to have your marriage healed or your problems fixed, etc. (to have your flight improved), but it should be to escape the jump to come — because of the fact that you have to pass through the door of death. Then, when the flight gets bumpy (when problems come) you won’t fall away from the faith.
What should you then do? Simply repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Don’t put it off until tomorrow. Would you sell an eye for a million dollars? How about both for $20 million? No one in his right mind would. Your eyes are priceless to you, yet they are merely the windows of your soul. Your life (your soul) is of such value, Jesus said that you should despise the value of your eye compared to it. He said that if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is better to enter Heaven blind, than to go to Hell seeing. In other words, of all the things that you should prioritize in you life, it’s not your health, your vocation, etc., it’s your eternal salvation.
Think of a man who has committed adultery. His faithful wife is more than willing to take him back, so what is the attitude in which he should approach her? It should be one of tremendous humility, asking for forgiveness, and determining in his heart never to even think of committing adultery again. That’s how you should approach God. If you are not sure how to pray, read Psalm 51 and make it your prayer. Then put your faith in Jesus Christ in the same way you would put your faith in a parachute. You don’t just ‘believe’ it will benefit you, you actually trust yourself to it by putting it on. Then, once you have made peace with God read the Bible daily and obey what you read.
May God bless you — Ray Comfort, Living Waters Publications, P.O. Box 1172, Bellflower, CA 90706.
*Condensed from, Hell’s Best Kept Secret, Ray Comfort (Whitaker House).