Alas, there are some people who think they are good enough to get to heaven without the Cross. Many year ago I was one of them. But, as today’s devotional shows, that is sheer folly! As you read it, rejoice at having been delivered from that foolishness and having been brought to see the necessity of the Cross and at the incredible goodness of God in providing it. God bless you.\
Because of Calvary,
John 3:14-20 (ESV)
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 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. 18 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. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
“…I think that I hear somebody making this kind of enquiry, ‘….When I come to this place, I hear a great deal about atonement by blood, and reconciliation through the death of Christ; but why does not God just say to me, “It is true that you have done wrong, but I forgive you, and there is an end of the matter”?’ With the utmost reverence for the name and character of God, I must say that such a course of action is impossible. God is infinitely just and holy, he is the Judge of all the earth, and he must punish sin. You know, dear friends, that there are times, even in the history of earthly kingdoms, when the rulers say, by their actions, if not in words, ‘There is sedition abroad, but we will let it go on; we do not want to seem severe, so we will not strike the rebels down.’ What is sure to be the consequence of such conduct? Why, the evil grows worse and worse; the rebellious men presume upon the liberty allowed them, and take still more liberty; and, unless the law-giver intends that his law shall be kicked about the street like a football, unless he means that the peace and safety of his law-abiding subjects should be absolutely destroyed, he is at last obliged to act; and he says, ‘No; this state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. I shall be cruel to others unless I draw the sword, and make justice to be respected throughout my realm.’
“I tell you, dear friends, that the most awful thing in the universe would be a world full of sin, and yet without a hell for its punishment. The most dreadful condition for any people to be in is that of absolute anarchy, when every man does what he pleases, and law has become utterly contemptible. Now, if, after men had lived lives of ungodliness and sin, of which they had never repented, and from the guilt of which they had never been purged, God were just quietly to take them to heaven, there would be an end of all moral government, and heaven itself would not be a place that anybody need wish to go to. If ungodly people went there in the same state as they are in here, heaven would become a sort of antechamber of hell, a respectable place of damnation; but that can never be the case. ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ He has devised a wondrous plan by which he can pardon the guilty without to the slightest degree shaking the foundations of his throne, or endangering his government. Will you be saved in that way, or not? If you reject God’s way of salvation, you must be lost, and the blame must lie at your own door. God will not permit anarchy in order that he may indulge your whims, or vacate the throne of heaven that he may save you according to your fancy. At the infinite expense of his heart’s love, by the death of his own dear Son, he has provided a way of salvation; and if you reject that… you know why he does not pardon your transgression, and take away your iniquity; and upon your own head shall lie the blood of your immortal soul.” [Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, XLVI, (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1900), p. 592-593]