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Same Standard For Everyone

Same Standard For Everyone

Jesus said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you." Matthew 21:31 (NKJV)

Jesus had given an assurance that "tax collectors and harlots (Prostitutes) would enter the kingdom of God before you" - but who was Jesus speaking to?

Well, in this particular case, it was the Pharisees - the Chief Priest, Scribes and elders of the church - those religious zealots who believed that they were successfully working their way to Heaven through their good deeds and/or by the positions that they had attained within the church.

Q:    What was Jesus saying here?

Well, I could say confidently that He wasn't saying that it was okay for a person to be a thief or a prostitute in life.  Jesus was saying, that there would be thieves and prostitutes who would enter heaven before these Pharisees, because the thieves and prostitutes He spoke of represented all sinners who understand and acknowledge that they have fallen short, and could never earn their way - these sinners would confess their sin, and repent, and turn to the Grace of God for His mercy to gain access - something the Pharisees were unwilling to do.

Jesus was telling the Pharisees that they would not be able to enter into heaven by what they were doing - there were no works that they could do that could possibly account for their sin. It is a great lesson that Jesus taught to these people, and one that we all need to know.

Jesus set the "Standard" for "All" mankind to enter heaven, and it is the same for all people - it doesn't vary from person to person, and it isn't based on any particular ethnicity or cultural background.   It's not based on any man made religion.  This "Standard" doesn't have anything to do with our parents having us baptized as a child, or our attending church our whole life; its not based on how well we have lived life, or by the amount of good deeds we have done compared to our bad deeds.

That standard that was set is that everyone must come to God through Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6 (NKJV)

Here's the deal; all of us have sinned and have fallen short of the Glory of God (Rom 3:23).  We have been told that the wages for this sin is death, but the "Gift" of God is eternal life "In" Christ Jesus (Rom 6:23).  It is a free gift to all who would "Receive" it - we cannot earn it.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9 (NKJV)

Jesus became that bridge to connect us to God.  He became that propitiation - that atonement for our sin.  That's how much God loves us - He demonstrated and proved that to us, in that while we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us to cover those sins (Rom 5:8).  That's cool!  Notice that we didn't have to get all cleaned up and stop what we were doing before He did this - He did it while we were still filthy in our sin - that's because we can't clean ourselves up enough, no matter how hard we may try.

Hey Christian, let's share this Gospel message - this "Good News" about what Jesus has done.  Let's not ever get jaded to this message.  Our background doesn't matter to Him, nor does what we've done - God loves every one of us and wants to have a personal relationship with each us individually.  And that personal relationship is available immediately through Jesus Christ. 

We may be different people, but it is "The Same Standard."

STUDY QUESTION: What can we positively learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional regarding our salvation?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you been deceived into thinking that you have to earn your way to Heaven?

APPLICATION: If you have made a profession of faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then simply read your bible daily, spend time in prayer with Him, and abide in God's word.

Father, Thank You for allowing Your Son to die on the Cross of Calvary for me.  I choose to accept Him as my Savior and allow Him to be the Lord of my life.  Help me to share this message today with whomever you send my way.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000