"But I'm NOT Good Enough!"
"Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."
The simple answer to the question "What does God expect from us?" is: nothing. How does this make you feel? Do you believe it?
Tell me if you ever said this, or heard it said: "I'm a good person. I don't steal, I help people whenever I have time. I give to charity. I grew up going to church. I volunteer. And I believe in God. Of course I'm going to heaven!" In other words, good guys go to heaven.
There's a lot wrong about that idea, but there's at least something right. People who believe that good people go to heaven show that they believe heaven is a good place. There is nothing bad in heaven. These people may disagree about where the bad people go, but as for heaven, it's a good place.
How good is it? John describes heaven in Revelation 21. "I heard a shout from the throne, saying, 'Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever" (Revelation 21:3-4, NLT). Heaven is so good, it's perfect.
A perfect God will make a perfect home for his perfect people. Ah, but we said we're good people, not perfect people. Our lives may be mostly good, but they're not all good. No one has ever been 100 percent good their entire life. Most people recognize this but shrug it off. "God is love," they say, "He'll overlook my imperfections."
In fact, God can't overlook our imperfections, our sins. Because every sin is a direct insult to God. And if God didn't punish those mocked and insulted Him, He wouldn't be God. So, from God's point of view, no one is good enough to enter heaven because all of us have sinned. That's why Jesus went to the cross--to forgive our sins and make us right with God.
Lord, thank you for your great love and mercy. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Amen.