Accepting Jesus To Escape Hell

Q. I’m curious. Is it selfish to accept Jesus in order to avoid going to eternal judgment? Originally I think that I just wanted to be saved because I knew that if I wasn’t I’d go to hell, and I didn’t want to go there. Now, of course, I know all the benefits that come from accepting Him as well. Regardless, was it wrong of me to accept Jesus just to escape Hell?

A. No, it’s not wrong, because escaping judgment is the main purpose for accepting Jesus. It’s the reason He went to the cross for us, and it’s why we call it being saved. We’re saved from the penalty due us for our sins.

“When we were dead in our sins, God made us alive in Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and stood opposed to us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

Jesus didn’t abolish the law, because those who don’t accept Him are still liable for its penalties. But for those who do accept Him he cancelled all of its requirements and paid all of our penalties in advance by dying in our place.

I think just about everyone would agree that if all He had done was save us from judgment it would have been more than enough and more than we deserve. The blessings we also receive, both in this life and the next one, are enormous added benefits.

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