I can't tell you how many times I've heard Christians say, "God accepts you just as you are." I understand the sentiment, but the statement is just not factual.
In several places Scripture speaks to the problem of those who will not make it to heaven. One of the obvious (because it comes up a lot) is
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
I'm not focusing (this time) on the "practice homosexuality" phrase. I'm focusing on the "the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God" phrase. Homosexual behavior is only one of a list, all of which point to "the unrighteous." The unrighteous, Scripture is abundantly clear, don't go to heaven.
Which brings me to ... me. I am a sinner. I sin. I have sinned all my life. A little here; a lot there. Truly egregious things over in that corner. The song says, "Just as I am," so I can come to Christ as a sinner, but I don't get accepted as a sinner. What is required to gain God's acceptance? I have to be not a sinner. I have to be other than I am "just as I am."
God does not accept me as I am. Instead, "For our sake He made Him to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). The only way I get acceptance from God is to not be "me." I need to be something new (John 3:3), a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). I need to be washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 6:11). Because if it's just me, I'm not getting into heaven. If the "I" in view is that sinner, I'm not going to make it.
Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
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