In the beginning of our I served as part-time assistant pastor of my home church. The only job I could find to support my family was working with the road department of the county.
I wasn’t especially good at this but my wife and I had developed a bad habit. We liked to eat, and since the grocery stores didn’t usually hand out free food, I thought I better take the job I could find.
It was great in that it brought me into close contact with co-workers who didn’t know the Lord. That is an element that many of us in the ministry miss.
One of the more ornery co-workers was called *Jonesy. This little fellow had a big, vulgar mouth and ran it often. One day at lunch, though, he said something that has stuck with me for over forty years since.
“Preacher, if you have to do everything in that book (the Bible) to make it to heaven, there won’t be enough people there for a two-handed party of cards.”
I don’t remember how I responded, but I know how I wish I had responded because for once Jonesy had said something extremely intelligent.
The Old Testament shows us how holy God is, but his holiness only accentuates our unholiness. If we did perfectly everything that God commanded us, we could earn our ticket to eternal life, I suppose.
“You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 18:4-6New King James Version (NKJV)
No One Is Perfect
One little problem pokes it head up. I don’t know anyone who has kept all of God’s commands perfectly, do you? Actually, I do know of One, the Lord Jesus, but outside of Him—no one.
If our best efforts are all we can offer God, Jonesy was right. No hope. Continue reading