Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When I was a boy I was taught by well meaning people
that in order to go to Heaven I would have to be good. I
was taught that good people go to Heaven and bad people
go to Hell. In order to be good I would have to be
baptized in water, go to church on a regular basis and
keep all the commandments of God. To me this sounded
very logical, after all, God is good and surely He would
only receive good people. The problem that I encountered
very quickly was trying to be good. I failed miserably
in my attempt.
Being baptized in water was easy, my parents had me
baptized in a Lutheran church when I was eight years
old. I don't recall making a decision in that process, I
may have, but I don't remember. Going to church
regularly worked out fine until I found more interesting
things to do, like playing football, baseball, watching
TV, etc. In other words, I went to church when I felt
like it or when my parents insisted that I go. When I
did go I was putting in a good appearance but my heart
wasn't in it.
The real difficulty came when I began to learn the
commandments of God. I didn't have any false gods (Ex.
20:3), nor did I have any images (Ex. 20:4-6). Our
family was not Roman Catholic. I had broken the 3rd
commandment (Ex. 20.7) many times by the time I was
eight years old. That is, I had taken the name of God in
vain frequently. Remember the Sabbath day (Ex. 20:8-11)
was never kept in our house even when we thought it
meant going to church on Sunday. Honour thy father and
mother(Ex. 20:12)? Are you kidding? In America? I was a
rebel from a very young age. I loved my parents dearly
and was willing to obey them when they were watching,
but when they weren't looking, well, that was a
different matter. I hadn't killed anyone (Ex. 20.13) nor
had I committed adultery (Ex. 20:14).Stealing (Ex.
20:15) was quite another matter. With great shame I
confess that I stole just for the fun of it. The thrill
of it. I think my companions in crime and I put a couple
of stores out of business. Bearing false witness (Ex.
20:16)? Lying came naturally to me. Thou shalt not covet
(Ex. 20:17)? I really didn't want my neighbors junk, I
wanted my own. Actually, I did want all that the store
owner had on display and I helped myself quite a few
If keeping the commandments of God was the key to
getting to Heaven, it became very evident to me that I
wasn't going to make it. I ceased all attempts to make
it to Heaven. I didn't stop believing in God, the very
thought of Him scared me. I refused to play church. I
had many Catholic friends who thought themselves O.K.
because they went to church once a week for an hour. In
fact, I almost became a Catholic because they could
check in and out in one hour and our family's church
services (Lutheran and Baptist)always lasted for at
least two hours if not more! Plus they insisted we go
twice on Sunday. This was just too much for me.
I was in a quandary, I had to be good in order to go to
Heaven, yet I wasn't good at all. I'm not sure that I
even gave an honest attempt at trying. Once I saw that I
broke half of the ten commandments before I was 15 years
old, I just gave up all hope of being saved. I was left
with just two options, I could "pretend" that I was good
(I wasn't) or I could give up on my attempt at trying to
be good. I elected the later.
It was some years later when a friend suggested that I
read the Bible. I immediately resisted as the thought of
exposing my sins to God's word again only brought
shivers up and down my spine. But after admitting that I
wasn't good enough to get to Heaven, I heard something
that I had never heard before: Jesus came not to call
the righteous, but sinners to repentance. With my
interest sufficiently heightened I began reading some
very interesting things in the Bible (KJV). I was
correct in my assumption that I could not keep the
commandments of God. In fact, God's law was given for
the purpose of exposing my sin.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it
saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth
may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty
before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there
shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the
law is the knowledge of sin.
had not known sin, but by the law:
for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou
shalt not covet.
If keeping the commandments of God was the ticket, God
demanded that all of them be kept. After all, the 10
commandments were not 10 suggestions.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend
in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that
said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill.
Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou
art become a transgressor of the law.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the
curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that
continueth not in all things which are written in
the book of the law to do them. But that no man is
justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident:
for, The just shall live by faith.
Not in all my wildest imaginations did I ever dream of
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not
one: There is none that understandeth, there is none
that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the
way, they are together become unprofitable; there is
none that doeth good, no, not one.
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good?
there is none good but one, that is, God.
How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be
clean that is born of a woman? Behold even to the moon,
and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his
sight. How much less man, that is a worm? and the
son of man, which is a worm?
What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is
born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold,
he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens
are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and
filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like
God's description of me was not comforting at all. These
types of verses do not inspire thoughts of the basic
"goodness of man" in general. A reflection upon the
genocide that went on here in Poland just 50 years ago
along with the killings in Bosnia, Africa, Russia,
China, and around the world will forever squelch the
thought of the basic goodness of man. Man is not
basically good. He is in his very core, evil.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,)
dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with
me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that
all have sinned.
Of course I already knew many of these things by
experience. All my attempts to be good had failed
because there was no good in me. I was evil and a sinner
from birth. How could I therefore ever be good? All my
efforts were destined to failure. No amount of painting,
perfuming, renaming my sin(Ex: drunkard - alcoholic,
fornicator - lover) or pretending would ever change the
glaring fact that I was a wicked sinner in God's eyes.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed
appear beautiful outward, but are within full of
dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our
righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do
fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have
taken us away.
As if this wasn't bad enough the glaring reality of Hell
set in with all its' weight and power.
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the
nations that forget God.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit
the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither
fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor
thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable,
and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and
idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in
the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:
which is the second death.
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape
the damnation of hell?
But alas, Jesus came to call not the righteous, but
sinners to repentance! This was so foreign to my concept
of God and His word. God was interested in saving
sinners? Sinners like me?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotton Son, that whoseoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life.
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one
mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who
gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in
They that are whole have no need of the physician, but
they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved.
On December 23, 1974, I called upon the Lord. I asked
God to have mercy upon me and to save me. I believe He
saved my soul. I know that I am not worthy, I know that
I cannot ever merit the mercy of God. I know that I have
truly found grace in the eyes of the Lord. I thank Jesus
Christ for saving my wretched soul.
My friend do you realize that you are a sinner? Perhaps
you lived and are living a better life than I. Perhaps
you find it easy to be faithful, perhaps you believe
yourself to be righteous. What can I say? If you compare
yourself to me, then I must agree, you are better than
I. I will be the first to admit that. However, when He
who dwells in light judges your soul, His judgement will
be based upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ. How do
you match up with the Lord of lords? Remember, sin does
not have to be committed overtly for you to be declared
The heart is deceitful
above all things, and desperately wicked who can know
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed
evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit,
lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride,
foolishness: All these evil things come from within,
and defile the man.
Ye have heard that is was said by them of old time, Thou
shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That
whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath
committed adultery with her already in his heart.
My advice to you my sinner friend is to repent.
Acknowledge your helpless condition and call upon the
Lord Jesus asking for mercy.
Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.
May God have mercy upon your soul.
In Jesus Name,