One of my favorite ways to explain the Gospel these days is to use the scales analogy.
It wasn’t too long ago that a Muslim explained to me that on the day of judgment (Qiyamat) scales will be brought before each human being, and, like measuring grain, all of the good deeds that someone has done in their lifetime will be poured on one side of the scale, and all of the bad deeds that someone has done will be poured on the other side of the scale. If the good side weighs more than the bad side, the person will be allowed into Heaven.
This scale is not unique to Islam, though. It is the default position of every human being from birth. We all believe that we are inherently good, and that one day God will let us into Heaven based on our goodness. There is a simple way to expose this when sharing the Gospel.
Simply ask the person if they believe that they are good. Or, even better, ask the question, “If you were to die today and stand before God, and if He were to ask you, “Why should I let you into Heaven, what would you say?” I’ve found that most of the time the person has never been asked this question, and their answer reveals some type of works-based answer. When they answer, ask them if the above scale analogy fits their understanding of what will happen on the Day of Judgment. Every person I’ve asked lately, regardless of religion, has said yes.
That’s when you come in with a different scale.
The Bible presents a much different scale. First of all, the Bible tells us that God is perfect (Psalm 18:30). He has always been perfect and holy and has never changed (Mal. 3:6). Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, exposes the fact that God judges differently than humans. He goes beyond the outward actions and looks at the heart. He says that God can see lustful intention and it doesn’t matter if one ever gives into it, in God’s eyes it’s as if he has committed adultery (Matt. 5:27-30). He says the same about murder, that if someone hates his brother, God sees his intention, and in God’s eyes that person is a murderer (Matt. 5:21-22). He ends the chapter by raising the standard for salvation to an impossible place, “you must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).
The scale Jesus presents has God’s perfection on one side. That’s the standard that it takes to get to Heaven.
According to this scale, you have two options on judgment day. Either you come up with enough good deeds to match God’s eternal and infinite holiness–if you choose this option God will consume you in your pride and cast you to hell because He is too just and too holy to let a sinner into heaven–or you can trust in Jesus Christ to save you.
He qualifies to take your place only because three things are true about Him. 1) He is both God and man (Col. 2:9). The only way He can mediate for man (1 Tim. 2:15) is if He, Himself, is a man, and the only way He can match God’s holiness is if He is an uncreated and always existing God. 2) He lived a perfect life (1 Peter 2:22) and died on the cross for your sins (1 Peter 3:18), taking upon himself the wrath of God that you deserved (2 Cor. 5:21). 3) He didn’t remain dead (1 Cor. 15:4). In order to prove that he satisfied God’s wrath and could atone for our sin, He had to raise from the dead and defeat death once and for all. This is the only Jesus who can save and qualify to take our place on judgment day.
The question is, are you humble enough to see the real scale?
One scale flows out of a prideful, sin-suppressing heart where someone believes that they can perform well enough to earn salvation over their life.
The other scale flows out of a humble heart where someone recognizes his sin, understands what he truly deserves, and doesn’t seek to save himself through good works. The person with this heart trusts in Jesus Christ entirely for his salvation.
Will you trust in Jesus today?
Source: The Cripplegate