Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
- Mark 1:14-15

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why Being a "Good" Coach is Not Enough to Get Into Heaven

Coaching is one of the most noble professions one can enter into.  The coach does not profit much monetarily from what he does, but what he does profit from is helping others to succeed.  Athletics are one of the few places left in our modern society where the values of discipline and hard work are still being taught.  Too many young people grow up without a father in the home and the coach has been able to help fill that role and help teach kids to do what is right, to get an education, and to keep them from destroying their own lives.  Some coaches even go so far as to take young people from severely dysfunctional homes and take them in to live in their own homes.  There are many people today who owe their lives to that one coach who cared and made all the difference in the world to them. 

There are also some coaches who are only into coaching for themselves.  They want to win and move up in the coaching profession and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.  The good coach still wants to win but he wants to do it the right way and desires to use his position to help to better young people.  To be a "good" coach and to do it and help others to succeed is a pretty awesome deal, but it is still not enough to get into heaven.

The problem is that no one is good, but God.  You might think of yourself as good and point to the good things you have done, but Isaiah 64:6 says, “All our righteousness is like filthy rags.”  You think you are not all that bad, but Romans 6:23 warns that, "The wages of sin is death." You deserve death when you sin just one time against a holy God.  You can compare yourself to other coaches and say, "Well at least I am better than that guy," but that is not enough.  The only for you to get into heaven is to realize that compared to the standard of a holy, righteous, and perfect God, you are not "good" at all.  Most will get mad at this or dismiss it, but it is the truth. 

You may take comfort that you prayed a sincere prayer one time to accept Christ.  Unfortunately, this is not Biblical.  Jesus didn't beg or ask people to make a decision to let him into their heart.  Rather, He commanded men in Mark 1:15 to "repent and believe in the gospel."  If you are not sure what the gospel is, you can read the series on What is the Gospel? at the top of the webpage here.  If you are not sure if you have truly repented and believed, don't worry, the Bible tells you how to know for sure.

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  So then, you will know them by their fruits.”
Matthew 7:15-20

You will be known by your fruit, either good or bad.  There is no such thing as the carnal Christian, who is both good and bad.  The carnal Christian is not a Christian at all.  If you still cling to and cherish even one sin, you are not saved.  Period. 

You cannot cling on to sin and you cannot cling on to your works nor your own "goodness."  Your only hope is to cling to Jesus Christ.  You must know that God is holy and you are not.  You must repent of your sin and believe in Christ.  To repent means to turn away from sin and to believe means that to trust in His righteousness and not your own.  Salvation is impossible for us because we are born with a sinful nature, but Luke 18:26-27 says, "The things that are impossible with people are possible with God."  God has made a way, but only one way: Jesus is the only way that you can escape the eternity in hell that you deserve for your sins against God.  Repent and believe in Him.