Well, Obama is at it again. According to The Christian Post, Obama has commented on the salvation of his mother:
While answering a question about his Christian faith, Obama said he believes that Jesus Christ died for his sins and through God’s grace and mercy he could have “everlasting life,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
But he also believes Jews and Muslims and non-believers who live moral lives are as much “children of God” as he is, according to The Associated Press.
As an example, he spoke about his late mother who was “not a believer.”
“[S]he was the kindest, most decent, generous person that I have ever known,” Obama said, according to the Times. “I’m sure she is in heaven, even though she may not have subscribed to everything that I subscribe to.”
Well, I’m not going to comment on the eternal destiny of his mother, but I am going to say this to anyone else who may happen by: That is not what the Scripture says gets us ‘into heaven.’ It is an absolute contradiction in terms to say that we can ‘have everlasting life’ through ‘God’s grace and mercy’ and in the same breath say that a person is also in heaven because they are the ‘kindest, most decent, generous person that I have ever known.’
The Bible is rather clear on this point: Kindness, decency, generosity do not matter a lick when it comes to heaven or everlasting life. All that matters is grace–God’s grace. We are told to have faith in the work of Jesus Christ. We are told that He is the Only Way. There is no other way. It cannot be both our kindness and God’s grace. It cannot be our generosity and God’s grace. It is either one or the other.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved…For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9, NIV)
It cannot be both ways and to teach it any other way is to preach a false Gospel. I know we all want to believe that we can behave, act kindly to others, save a dog or a cat from misery, plant a tree, give generously to the poor, or blow ourselves up in a cafe in Jerusalem and that that will be sufficient in God’s eyes to gain us eternal or everlasting life. But that is wrong and not the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel says we are helpless to do anything in God’s eyes that will make up the deficit of our sin. The only way we can be saved is by the grace of God–Him reaching down and offering us forgiveness of our sins because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is only God who justifies us; we cannot justify, in any way, shape, or form, ourselves.
I’m not opposed to Mr Obama’s candidacy necessarily. What I am opposed to his is continual mangling of Scripture, and I will continue to point it out every single time he opens his mouth to say something about Christianity or the Scripture. It’s a good thing that he is not really a preacher because he has no idea what the Scripture really says about Christian faith. If being nice or generous gets us ‘into heaven’ then I think, and I say this humbly, someone has a lot of explaining to do for the testimony of the Bible. God, to be sure, wants all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). But this salvation is God’s gift to us, not a wage we earn. God does not delight in anyone spending their everlasting life in hell, but the truth is that many, most, will do so precisely because they reject God’s free gift of salvation. Fact is, furthermore, we cannot earn our way into heaven; it just will not happen. We can never make up the deficit of our sins.
That’s what grace is all about in the first place. It’s free and cures us of the guilt and power of sin.
Soli Deo Gloria!
PS-I realize these are hard truths to come to grips with. I’m sorry to point this out to anyone who reads it and thinks that their good deeds towards dogs and cats and trees will be enough to earn them salvation. I’m sorry to point out the truth concerning hell. However, I am thrilled to point out to you that Grace is free and God is willing to save all those who call on His Name (Romans 10). Hell doesn’t need to be a reality for anyone. Put your trust in Jesus today.