What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
Those of us who are parents have the awesome task of preparing our children for their future. That future is the fusion of two parts—training for the short time they will be here on earth and training for their future in eternity. That can be a daunting undertaking, involving two totally different approaches to achieving a successful outcome.
For their time here on earth, we teach our children to be self-sufficient and responsible for their actions. We teach them to stand on their own two feet. The goal is to prepare them for life on their own, establishing their own families.
Then there is the training we give them to prepare for eternity. Suddenly we tell them that they can’t be self-sufficient. There is no way that they can prepare themselves to live eternally with God. Not since our first parents—Adam and Eve—sinned. From that time on, none of us could keep God’s commands and earn our way to heaven.
Instead, we totally rely on God and his plan for our salvation. We were unable to find our way to be with him eternally. As much as we may have wanted heaven for our future, we had a fatal flaw; we were sinners and separated from God. So God sent his Son. Jesus’ perfect life, his death in our place, and his resurrection brought us back so that we will be with God eternally in heaven. There is nothing we can do because Jesus has done it all by the mercy of God. Jesus was self-sufficient for us.
Lord Jesus, I take comfort in knowing that my hope of heaven is completely dependent on you and your mercy. Thank you! Amen.