Getting in Heaven by the Skin of Your Teeth!
Question: How many laws must you perfect to be saved?
Based on the Old Testament mitzvot (commandments), there were approximately 613 rules that the Jewish people required.
Rules are good. We have them to keep law and order. Imagine not following the rules at a traffic light. It would be chaos! Think about the context of the ten commandments: The Hebrews had been enslaved for 400 years. They had lost their identity, religion, and morals. After God delivered them out of slavery, he established some basic ground rules. We call these rules the Ten Commandments.
However, the people started adding their own set of rules to God's commandments. Many of these rules were well thought through because they revolved around civil order and sanitation. The problem is that that they tied many of these rules to salvation.
Good news: Jesus came and died, making all of those rules unnecessary to salvation. (See Colossians 2:14)
Sad news: Humans started adding more rules and tied the behavior to being saved.
Here is the bottom line: (Read the following sentences a million times) The only thing that is required to be saved is... (drum roll)... that you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (your leader) and believe that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved! (Huge cymbal crash) (See Romans 10:9)
So how little can you do but still get into heaven? That is a great question. It is not (nor has it ever been) about behavior. Your deeds and behavior are only a reflection of how much you love God. It is like marriage. You remain faithful and do sweet deeds for your spouse because you are expressing your desire for them!
Think of it one more way. God isn't trying to keep anybody out of heaven! Period. (See Luke 14) He wants to invite every person in heaven (including you), even by "the skin of their teeth."
Do you have questions about God? Are you unsure about what you just read? Don't worry. Send a message to the Concierge Minister.