I often hear about “weighing-scale” concept which makes me think that God needs a weighing-scale. The weighing-scale concept is this: If a person does more good deeds than bad deeds, he/she goes to heaven. Otherwise, he/she goes to hell. That inspires me to do many calculations in my mind. What if a person does 51.1% good deeds and 49.9% bad deeds? Will he/she still make into God’s presence? What if a person does 99.9% good deeds and commits one terribly bad deed which accounts for only 0.1%?
As I was trying to investigate the extra-ordinary claims of Jesus, I read the New Testament of the Bible completely in the recent past. I came across a parable that surprised me. The parable is explained here. In this parable, Jesus talks about an employer who pays same wages to all his employees whether they are hired full-time or part-time. Added to this, he explains that the employees who are hired last and do the least amount of job, not only get the equal amount of wages as of the other full-time employees, but also are the first ones to get paid. Jesus mentions that God’s Kingdom works this way.
This puts up a good question in the first place. Why do we do good deeds? The answer that baffles me the most from many people is ‘to go to heaven’. Such people are so much obsessed with going to heaven that they really do not do any good work with compassion and humility, but either out of fear about going to hell, or with a selfish motive to get noticed and praised by this world. Such ‘good’ is bad and is even ugly and disgusting because the intention is not pure.
We do good deeds not to win God’s approval to get into heaven. Rather these good deeds are the outcome of our inner transformation, and compassion for the fellow being, and as a sign of appreciation for God’s sacrifice in Jesus Christ for the humanity. Performing such good deeds may not always make us feel good. If we ask most people what a good deed is, they may explain as giving to charity or helping the poor. By donating some money, they feel that they have done their job, and it is counted as a good deed.
On one occasion, Jesus praises a poor widow who donated only a few copper coins, than the rich people who donated large sums of money. He says that where the rich donated out of their wealth, the poor widow gave away all the wealth that she has. Jesus derives a conclusion that the poor widow gave more than the rich people.
According to the teachings of Jesus, God does not use the criteria of weighing-scale to compare good deeds against the bad ones, and He also does not rely on the worldly definitions of goodness. It is entirely up to Him; whom He wants to chose into His Kingdom, and what criteria He uses. People are burdened down with different problems, and only God knows under what kind of situations people performed their bad deeds. So it is not our job to judge these people, and we must leave the judgement to God. In fact, there may not be many ‘good’ people who will be in God’s presence, but there will be many who are considered as 'sinful' by the society.
So, there is no need to get discouraged thinking that you will go to hell if you have done many bad deeds in your life. There is always a hope in Christ, and you will be given the required strength to live a righteous life, as long as you are willing to change. Therefore, rejoice! Since God is 100% holy, He cannot tolerate bad deeds from humans whether their bad-deed ratio is 99.9% or 49.9% or 0.1%. The only way to enter God's presence is through His grace and according to His rules, and not by our 'good' works.
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 2:8-9
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