“Jerry was a good man”, the pastor said at Jerald Stevens’ memorial service. “He loved his family. He was faithful to his wife. He served his country in the armed services. He was an excellent dad and grandfather. He was a great friend.”
But then the pastor went on to tell the friends and family gathered that Jerry’s good life and good deeds
were not enough to assure him a place in heaven. And that Jerry himself would have been the first to tell them that!
Jerry believed these words from the Bible: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death” (6:23). Jerry’s final and eternal destination in life’s journey was not determined
by whether he lived a really good life but entirely by Jesus—the perfect Son of God—dying in his place to pay sin’s penalty. He believed that each of us must personally accept the free gift of God, which is “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 23).
Jerry was a good man, but he could never be “good enough.” See the link below to view Rasool Berry’s “In Pursuit of Jesus” story. He, like us, had to learn that salvation and righteousness aren’t the results of human effort. They’re gifts by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8).
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Watch the video below to view Rasool Berry’s story.
In Romans 1–3, Paul demonstrates that all human beings are sinners. Six times in chapter 3 he emphatically uses the phrases “no one” or “not even one” to show the total sinfulness of all mankind (vv. 10–12). Sin rules the entire person—our words (vv. 13–14), works (vv. 15–17), and heart (v. 18) condemn us. Paul concludes that “all have sinned and fall short” of God’s standards (v. 23). Without the regenerating work of the Spirit, humans are incapable of having a right relationship with God. We don’t seek Him (v. 11) but willfully turn against Him (v. 12), for we have “no fear of God” (v. 18). But God, in His grace and mercy, makes sinners right with Him when we believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood to save us from our sins (vv. 24–25).