Matthew 16:26 (ESV)
26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
In this verse Jesus is speaking to His disciples. There are two questions asked, 1) what happens if a person gains all the worldly possessions they desire and then loose there life?; and then a question that is the reverse logic of the first question 2) what would you give up to keep your eternal soul?
According to a Gallup poll conducted in May of 2004, 90% of Americans believe in God or a universal spirit; the percentage has remained somewhat constant for the past 60 years. In the survey 81% of Americans said they believe in heaven, 10% are unsure, and 8% do not believe. Prior to 1974 the belief in hell ranged from 56% to 71%. The 2004 study showed overall 70% of Americans believed in hell, 12% were not sure and 17% did not believe in hell. It is apparent from the study that the majority of Americans believe in God and there is an eternal afterlife either in heaven or hell.
For a moment let�s assume you are part of the majority that has come to a point in their life they believe in God and they believe in an afterlife either in heaven or hell. If God asked you, �Why should I let you into heaven?� what would be your response? After searching the internet for answers to that question, here are some of the responses people gave:
-Because all my life I've done the best I can for myself and other people. I've never intentionally hurt anyone. And besides that, I've adopted lots of homeless cats and dogs and given them a home."
- I'm only 15 but I'd say I know I have done bad in my life, but please forgive? I've helped many in need.
- I've never been intentionally cruel and I never told anyone they weren't going to heaven because they held different beliefs.
- I would tell him that I don't deserve to enter heaven because I have sinned too many times to count.
- I would say "What makes you think you're in any position to be gatekeeper? You're the one who created this mess in the first place!"
Those are guesses by people, but what does The Bible say? The Bible says man sinned and brought the punishment of sin upon himself. God did not make the mess we are in; man did by his selfish act of sin. God is the creator of everything and as the creator He has the right to decide to do with what He has created. Because of God�s love and mercy towards us, God provided salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus died on a cross as payment for sin. Jesus rose back to life defeating death to show us there is an eternal life. When a person places their faith in Jesus, Jesus stands before God making them right in God�s sight. The Bible says Jesus is the propitiation for our sins and the sins of the world. It says, �This is real love�not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.� Because Jesus makes our sin right before God our faith in Jesus allows us into heaven. So if God asks, �Why should I let you into my heaven?� the answer is because I have faith in Jesus who died for my sin. If you are not sure you have ever placed your faith in Jesus tell God right now, �Father God, I know I am a sinner, I desire to change and I turn my life over to Jesus placing my faith in Him as savior and redeemer.� When you place your faith in Jesus know there is nothing that is not forgivable, not one thing. Jesus has redeemed you so you can live eternity in heaven.