SCRIPTURE: Matthew 5:20: "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Most people, especially many of us in America, think that we live in a pretty good world. For the most part, our houses are well-built, the food we buy is nourishing and wholesome, and our vehicles run properly. Things are pretty much available when and where we want them. But while this world may be good, it is not good enough. Notice the following:
12 babies are given to the wrong parents each day; Telecommunications companies misdirect 1,314 telephone calls every minute; 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions are written each year; 22,000 withdrawals will be deducted from the wrong bank account in the next hour.
Our world may be good, but it is not good enough. It is not perfect. In the same way, you may consider yourself to be a good person. You may even think that you are good enough to go to Heaven. Perhaps you have said to yourself, "If I try my best to live right God will let me into heaven" or "God is so loving that He will overlook my faults and I will go to Heaven anyway."
Martin Luther, the great reformer, wrote, "The most damnable and pernicious heresy that has ever plagued the mind of man is the idea that somehow he could make himself good enough to deserve to live with an all-holy God." My friend, you may be good, but, you are just not good enough to get into Heaven. Allow me to share with you the reason why.
1. First of all, you are not good enough because God's standard is perfection.
2. Secondly, notice that God has a solution for our imperfection -- it's called pardon.
3. If you accept the pardon that God offers by faith, you will go to Heaven despite your imperfection.