Here’s this month’s Gone Fishin’ Newsletter.
Every month a team from our fellowship at Calvary Wellington heads out to our regular fishing holes – the Naenae Market and Hillary Court shops, or the Hutt Riverbank Fruit and Vege Market. There we share the Gospel to those in our immediate community.
Once a month I publish a simple newsletter that is distributed to the fellowship (or for anyone else who stumbles across this website), as a way of encouragement, and as a tool to equip us to be better evangelists.
You can read the last Field Report from 18/3/23 here.
Gone Fishin’ Monthly Newsletter – April 2023
“As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one…””(Rom 3:10).
I trust your week is going well, and that you are taking this time to reflect on the importance of what this week means in the Christian calendar – when the prophesied Messiah gave up his life, in order to save mankind!
There are many different perceptions about heaven, and just as many regarding how to get there.
Let’s look at how the world thinks salvation works; then what God tells us will actually happen; and finally, how He fixes the problem to ensure salvation is available to all!
Man’s View of Righteousness
Man’s view of righteousness is simple. It can be summed up in one sentence:
“The more good things I do, the more likely God will let me into heaven.”
The world cherishes Mother Theresa for all the great work she did in helping the sick and dying people of Kolkata. Because her life was selfless, and she always put other people first, she deserves to go to heaven.
The world abhors Adolf Hitler, because he spent most of his adult life manipulating people to do his evil work. Because he committed evil crimes, and was responsible for the death of millions, he deserves to go to hell.
We, on the other hand, are somewhere in the middle. None of us can probably say we are as good as Mother Theresa, but we are definitely not as evil as Adolf Hitler!
So, we will try our best to tip the scales in the favour of good: “I won’t gain automatic entry, but if I do more good than evil, God will see that, and let me into heaven. If I fail, then the scales will tip in the opposite direction, and go to hell. It is up to God to judge.
We are not equal – some hell-bound, some heaven-bound.
But is that how it works? If we want to know how to make it to heaven, then surely we should ask the Lord of heaven what the criteria is for getting in? After all, He makes the rules, not us!
God’s View of Righteousness
God’s view of righteousness is simple too. It can also be summed up in one sentence:
“Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt 5:48).
As our verse today says, none of us are righteous. Therefore, we can never be perfect, as Jesus commanded us from the Sermon on the Mount.
The Mother Theresa’s of this world can’t make it because they aren’t totally perfect.
The Adolf Hitler’s of this world can’t make it, in fact they don’t even try to be perfect.
And we can’t make it either, because as hard as we try, we fail to be perfect as well.
Therefore, we all deserve to go to hell, including those to whom we esteem as saintly.
All our goodness is a waste of time, because we all failed the perfection test; we have all tripped up in keeping God’s perfect test. No one gets 100% in that one. That’s the way God designed His law, to show us how much we fall short of it.
And even if we followed the law perfectly from this point onwards (which is impossible anyway), it won’t take away the fact that we already have a guilty criminal record against God that we need to be punished for.
We are all equal – equally hell-bound.
So, if God made a perfect law, that us unperfect people can’t keep, how can we possibly get to heaven? The answer will blow your mind!
God’s Brilliant Redemption Plan
God’s plan to redeem us is so brilliant, only God Himself would have thought of it:
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8).
This is the plan: Since we are not perfect, God must punish us. We all have a hell debt that we can’t afford to pay. The only way to escape it is to have someone else pay it for us. But that person must be perfect, and have no hell punishment of their own.
Since God is the only one perfect, He comes to earth in the form of a man; yet still also fully God. He goes to the cross. While on that cross, he is crushed by the weight of the world’s sin. This is all our sin – past, present, and future. He takes the hell punishment for those who give up trying to be perfect, and put their faith in Him. Therefore, if there is no more hell punishment for us to pay, we get to go to heaven.
The Mother Theresa’s go to heaven if all their faith is in Christ.
The Adolf Hitler’s go to heaven if all their faith is in Christ.
And you and I both go to heaven if all our faith is in Christ.
We are all equally judged, and someone will be punished for our sin – either us, or Christ.
Therefore, we should never be fooled into thinking we are good enough to get to heaven because we aren’t.
We should be wise, and place our faith in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, before it is too late!
I’ll see you down at the Riverbank from 9:00 am on Saturday, to tell hell-bound people this beautiful message on how to get to heaven!
Witnessing Tip: Christian or Not?
Just because someone says they are a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean they are.
It could just mean that they just follow Christian morals.
Stick to the law and Gospel with them, and all will be revealed!