In 1964, a one-hit wonder group, J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, had a huge hit with the song Last Kiss. The song was based on a very sad , but true story. Just two years earlier, Jeanette Cook and J. L. Hancock, both 16 years-old, were out on a date only a few days from Christmas in 1962. Their car was struck by a tractor-trailer on a road in rural Barnsville, Georgia. A local gas station attendant helping with the recovery of the bodies didn't even recognize his own daughter. In the song, the girl dies in her boyfriend's arms. The lyrics are as follows: Where, oh where, can my baby be? The Lord took her away from me. She's gone to heaven so I have to be good, so I can see my baby when I leave this world.
One of the hardest things for us to comprehend about Salvation is that it has nothing to do with how good we are. Salvation is a gift from God, not something we can earn. In our society, many things we do are judged based on comparisons to other people. But no matter how "good" we are, we will simply never measure-up to the Goodness of Christ. Further, no matter how much "better" we are than other people, in God's eyes, we fail just as miserably as they do. When I took calculus in college, my professor gave the class a diagnostic test to ascertain our strengths and weaknesses. I found out later that I did better than anyone else in the class-I got two correct out of 20 while everyone else only got one correct. I may have done better than they did, but I still failed just as badly as everyone else in the class. We can't earn heaven no matter how well we do. Today, let's thank God for His incredible gift of Jesus Christ and for eternal life that comes only through Him.
Titus 3:5 says, "God our Savior saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy."
Father, thank-you so much for Your only Son Jesus. Help us to remember that it is through Him only that we are given eternal life. In Jesus name, Amen.