“I wouldn’t trust my best fifteen minutes to get me into heaven.”
So said the preacher and I agree with him. In that one sentence he uttered a profound theological truth. I can think of five reasons why it must be true:
1. Fifteen minutes isn’t long enough.
2. Fifteen of my “best” minutes can’t make up for the rest of my life.
3. I can’t be sure which fifteen minutes are my “best” anyway.
4. God judges more than fifteen minutes of my life.
5. Even my “best” minutes are tainted with sin.
I conclude that as long as I look to myself, I can never be saved–not by my “best” minutes or hours or days or weeks or months or years. If I am to be saved, it must be by what the Reformers called “alien righteousness.” The righteousness that I seek must come from outside me. What I need I can never produce. And as long as I trust in myself, I am trapped in a losing game.
The preacher was right. My best fifteen minutes will send me to hell. I am driven (gladly!) to the words of a familiar gospel song:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
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About Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 27 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 37 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law--Leah and Vanessa, and two grandsons--Knox and Eli. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
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