Why are you going to heaven?


By Gilbert Owens - Contributing columnist



The gospels tells us that when Jesus successfully resisted the temptations of Satan, his ministry began in full earnest. He traveled throughout all of Galilee and Syria preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of sickness and diseases and performing many miracles. As a result, great multitudes of people followed Jesus into Syria from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond Jordan.

Upon seeing the great multitudes, Matthew chapter 5 tells us that Jesus went up into a mount and began to teach. Much of the focus of what Jesus taught has been referred to as The Beatitudes. But during the course of His teachings, Jesus said something very profound in Matthew 5:20. He said, “…that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

This statement by Jesus was a complete shock to the multitudes, because at the time of His statement, the scribes and Pharisees were regarded as the most religious group of people on earth and the most likely to go to heaven. They were viewed this way because of their outward show of pious and holiness. They dressed a certain way, they were at the synagogues in some service all the time, they carried scriptures attached to their clothing and they were attempting to obey all of the law of Moses. So when Jesus said, your righteousness has to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, they were in utter shock.

The scribes and Pharisees of Jesus day are no different than most church folk of today. Church folk of today are the same ones Paul mentioned in Romans 10:3 when he said, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, {are} going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves, unto the righteousness of God.” When I use the term church folk, I am talking about both clergy and laity. I am talking about those who are at “the church” every time the doors are open because that is the only place God is and that is where “I get that certain feeling.” I am talking about those who have deceived themselves into thinking they have earned the right to sit and speak from the pulpit while God’s other children have not earned that right. I am talking about those clergy leaders, who lead the people into so called “worship” when before worship begins they have committed the sin of having respect of person, thus tainting the entire worship experience.

During Jesus’ time on earth, the scribes and Pharisees looked down on those who did not go to church as often as they did. They looked down on those who they thought did some things that they would never even think of doing. They looked down on those who did not dress like they did. They looked down on those who they thought were not living something. Church folk act the same way. Like the scribes and Pharisees most church folk from all faiths are trying to look righteousness and holy while not submitting themselves to the righteousness of God. That is why Jesus is now saying that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of church folk there is no way you will go to heaven.

So why are you going to heaven?

You are going to heaven because John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

You are going to heaven because Romans 3:23-26 says that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, but we are now freely justified by the grace of God through the redemption that is only in Christ Jesus. God has set Jesus to be our sacrifice through faith in His blood, so He would be able to declare and put His righteousness on our account.

You are going to heaven because of what Romans 4:1-8 says. Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him, {put on his account} for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worked not, {not trying to earn their way} but believeth on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even David said,, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

You are going to heaven because Ephesians 1:13 says that as a result of hearing the word of truth and the gospel of your salvation, you trusted Christ. And the moment you trusted Christ you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

You are going to heaven if you, according to John 10:9, have confessed with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead.

To sum it all up, you are going to heaven because your righteousness exceeds that of church folk and religious folk, because you know the righteousness of God has been placed on your account, by God Himself, through the divine redemptive work of Jesus Christ!

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By Gilbert Owens

Contributing columnist

Gilbert Owens is a native of Roseboro and a columnist for The Sampson Independent.

Gilbert Owens is a native of Roseboro and a columnist for The Sampson Independent.

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