I love witnessing to people and one thing that always pops up is the declaration of being 'good'. The problem with classing oneself as good is that it is always in comparison to others. If you were to ask anyone if they were good the majority of them would say they were good because the petty things they'd done is nothing compared to murders and terrorists (Remember that the word of God says that "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him".- 1 John 3:15)
But are we all that different though? Even if you think you are a good person who lies now and then and lusts once in a while - Are you really that different from a person that kills for a living? The truth is that all of us have sinned. Romans 3:10-18 says
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
There are no different levels of hell. Hell is hell and anyone who has sinned ends up there there regardless of the sin and to the extent it has been committed. I was watching CSI the other day and there were two story lines, the first one was about a man that had killed a whole family and the second was about a man who had clumsily killed his wife and his neighbour. The important thing to note here is that they both had different intentions. One woke up with the intention of killing and the other... not really. The fact is that they both ended up in the exact same place. God does not class one sin worse than the other and therefore all sinners go to one place. Luckily for us, God always gives grace before He gives judgment. The hope is that Jesus came regardless of people's intentions so that we could have another chance.
Imagine if you were in the place of those two men and you were sentenced to life or you had to pay an unspeakable amount of money, but then a man comes in and says I'll pay it all for you. You don't have to pay me back because you can't. That is exactly what Jesus did, He paid it all for us even though he know we can't ever repay him for what we did. In the midst of our sin, God loved us so much that he'd be willing to die for us. You've probably heard this a thousand times and believe me there is a reason why you're hearing this so many times.
Do you know how big the universe is? Our planet is tiny, the Sun is tiny,we as humans are microscopical, we are insignificant in terms of size and we should be insignificant in the eyes of God. But God, the creator of it all sees us as so important, in fact, even the Angels of God don't understand the grace we receive (1 Peter 1:12). God created us higher than any other creation, we posses a special likeness to God something that is only unique to us.
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."- (Genesis 1:26-27)
Imagine this.You're in a supermarket and you've got a big shopping cart, as you stroll along the aisles you pick up a big packet of lies, then you see some lust, 2 for 1 offer! so you hurry to get that too, you realize you need to pride and envy so you take that too, Oh almost forgot the box of hate and murder which should be around the corner, aisle 13, ah there they are. Hmm forgot something... Oh right almost forgot the 'taking God's name in vain' voucher. Your cart is full so you'll probably come back tomorrow to fill your cart up again. Right, your cart is full now so you make your way to the cashier. Right that'll be £5000000.9599999.999500.00000.000000 please the cashier says you look in your wallet and find nothing in there, then scramble through your pockets AHA, oh it's a penny. Teary eyed you know you have nothing to give the cashier. But then a man whom you know nothing of, says "it's okay I'll pay that for you". Staring in disbelief you step back and watch him give his all for you. Remember that penny you had? Well out of gratitude you give him it, it's all you have at that moment but all that he's done for you amounts to nothing in comparison to what he just did.
Now replace the supermarket with life, the cart with your life and habits, those things in the cart with the sins you've committed., the cashier with God the judge, the penny with your heart and that man, Jesus. The figures aren't accurate (lol) but it's my interpretation.
So now,You look down at the cart and realize that these things are all worthless, so the man that paid for you not only did you the biggest favour but replaced your hate with love, your lies with faith, your envy with spiritual satisfaction, your murderous heart with hope. Now it's up to you to give Him your last penny, not as to pay Him back but just to thank Him.
After all this would it be fair if you went back to the supermarket the next day to do those things again, to turn away from Him without a heart of gratitude? Or would you invite Him into your home and allow your life to be changed even further.
Unfortunately people have turned away without even a second glimpse. The day will come when we will have to account for all that is in our shopping cart. Will your shopping cart be filled with love, joy, faith, humility, forgiveness and hope or would it contain hate,envy, pride, murder and greed?
If so will you have the right amount then?