Career-wise, I have worked in my industry for more than 35 years, and over 25 years in my speciality. I’ve done work for many companies, several of which are on the Fortune 100 list. I have stellar personal and professional references, a strong history of employment, am generally liked by co-workers and appreciated by management, and I am known for solving problems. You might say, in terms of employment, I have strong credentials.
I also have an unappealing history from my pre-Jesus days. When I am looking for a job (as I have been these last 3 months) it takes a while to get one because that background stuff tends to come up. But eventually I get hired. Inevitably, it is because someone in the hiring firm knows me from previous experience, and vouches for me. I get the position because someone else testifies on my behalf. They put their reputation on the line for me.
It just happened again.
The pivotal point is relationship. Because these people know me from personal experience from our relationship, they choose to disregard the past and to intercede for me. They have made a decision about me based on our relationship, not what the record says.
And so it is for those who enter heaven. In the end, it’s not a matter of what you’ve accomplished, or how much you know. It all comes down to who knows you. No one is getting into heaven unless someone vouches for them. His name is Jesus. And He says heaven is for those He knows personally; people who are in a very personal relationship with Him.
It is foolish to think our good works will do anything to sway the eternal decision. Our earthly resumes are useless. Our best accomplishments are insufficient. Our record of sin and rebellion prevent our admittance… unless Jesus says we are worthy because of His perfect record.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:17-18
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” Matthew 25:31-34
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. Psalm 92:4