How far are you from Heaven? John the Baptist said, “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Matthew 3:2). Unfortunately, most people are an infinite distance from Heaven and don’t know it. Today’s devotional will explore the meanings of repentance and redemption along with the distance you stand from Heaven. The Good News is you can bridge the infinite gap between you and Heaven through Jesus Christ.
(Ephesians 1:7 tells us, “In Him we have redemption through the blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…”. In order to understand redemption, we need context in both worldly and spiritual terms. Through this understanding we can appreciate better the magnitude of what Jesus did to redeem us.
The word redemption was a word used in the Roman slave market. It comes from the Greek word apalutrosin, which means to buy back or purchase. There were six million slaves in the Roman Empire and they were bought and sold like inanimate objects, without thought that they had a soul. As with other chattel, a slave could be redeemed from servitude if someone were willing to buy him/her from the slave block and then set him/her free. Spiritually, we have been bought out of slavery and set free through the blood of Jesus Christ – we have been redeemed.
Old Testament sacrifices required the blood of perfect and innocent lambs be shed to serve as a redemptive picture of the Lamb of God who would provide Himself for our sins (Genesis 22:8). Ten times in Leviticus the Holy Spirit connects the atonement of blood with the forgiveness of the sinner’s sin. Scripture declares, however, “It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus blood was the necessary price to buy us from slavery to sin and each of us must accept Him as our LORD and Savior in order to enter Heaven.
Jesus is our Blessed Savior, but He is also our Judge. It is more pleasant to think of Him as the warm and fuzzy Lamb who healed the sick and fed the hungry. It is very frightening to recognize and admit He controls our eternity. He has the power to separate us eternally from God and the opportunity of the judgment is certain, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Because we have sinned, we will be judged. Only those who have accepted Jesus Christ and His blood sacrifice will enter Heaven. The question many ask is, “Why is judgment necessary?”
Jonathan Cahn, in his book The Harbinger, provides vivid pictures and explanations of the judgment necessary because of sin. As long as there is sin and evil, there must be judgment. For God to accept us into Heaven, every evil, sin, or wrong must be terminated, or hope cannot exist. Heaven must be pure and without evil. Those who are not covered by the redemptive blood of Jesus must be sent to Hell, where there is no hope. Ever. Jesus judges you righteously regarding your eternal destination. Without Him, you can’t enter Heaven (John 14:6).
Righteousness is an absolute quality, a concept difficult for humans to comprehend because we judge our behavior using relative terms, comparing ourselves to others. Jesus, however, requires absolute goodness and regards even our slightest sin as abhorrent and intolerable. For example, in His eyes, lust becomes adultery and hate becomes murder. God’s standards are impossibly high for humans to achieve by themselves.
Under God’s rubric, no one could make it into Heaven. Because God is infinitely righteous, just one small sin puts an infinite distance between us and Heaven, and therefore, Him. The infinite distance means the judgment is infinitely great. To bridge the gap would take an infinite amount of time; in other words, an eternity, and we could never get there. There would be an infinite separation from God, which is the precise definition of Hell. Thus, there is an infinite distance between Heaven and Hell.
If an infinite gap exists between man and God, we have an infinitely large problem. We are hopeless unless there is an infinite answer to resolve our predicament. An infinite answer cannot come from us or this world, it must come from God, which means any system devised by man will fail. Every answer where man reaches up to Heaven is ruled out. The answer must come from the other direction.
Only an infinite God reaching down from Heaven to man will suffice. An infinite judgment from God must be met with an infinite mercy based on an infinite, agape love. An infinite judgment means infinite separation, which can only be filled by an infinite presence. We know God is omnipresent and He is love (1 John 4:8, 16). Because of these attributes, God can provide an infinite presence with His infinite mercy and infinite love.
The soul is eternal. After a thousand ages, it will exist. The question is, “Where?” Because judgment presents a predicament, each of us must decide where to spend our eternity. Our only choices are Heaven and Hell.
Sin is why we need God’s forgiveness and redemption. We cannot overcome our sin debt through human means. Our only hope of eternal life is for God to redeem and forgive us. God is infinite. He can solve any problem and bridge every gap. You and I will die in our sin if we reject the infinitely redemptive blood of Jesus Christ and the infinitely large gift of salvation it brings.
If you haven’t already, make an infinitely important redemptive decision today to accept Jesus Christ as your eternal LORD and Savior. The alternative is infinite suffering in Hell. The kingdom of Heaven is as near as Jesus Christ. How close to Him are you?
“I’m Normal.” – I AM
It’s God talking to you.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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