Welcome back class. I hope you have reviewed your notes from yesterday. I cannot stress it enough that there is only ONE test–the Final Exam that will be administered by the Head Master at some time in your future. It may be years, even decades away; but He will administer the Test. Keep those notes handy for your personal study. Now, let’s continue.
Yesterday we looked at the Cosmic Accountant Plan–that God keeps a record of your virtuous deeds and your bad deeds. So long as you have more virtuous deeds than bad deeds, you get in. I hope you can see and understand how this plan doesn’t work to get us into heaven, nor have a relationship with God, a relationship HE designed for us to experience.
While the Cosmic Accountant Plan seems to make a lot of sense to us, it really doesn’t work because our “bad” deeds are more than bad–they are in reality, SIN. I may not have mentioned this yesterday, but there are not enough virtuous deeds to cover the cost of just one single sin. God demands that our righteousness, our account of “virtuous deeds” must exceed that of the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees. Remember that these 2 groups had a wealthy balance of “virtuous deeds”, but they were still outside the Relationship God wants.
Now, today let’s look at another plan. This plan we can see in Churchians and Tenured Pew Sitters. Let’s look at another of what some consider to be one of many ways to experience relationship with God, and thus get into heaven.
God Is The Cosmic Observer. He’s there just to watch how we respond to life, and to Him. He hopes we will be in the right place at the right time to soak it all in. Here is how The Sponge Plan works:
- Attend church regularly. Some consider Christmas and Easter to be regular. However, the more dedicated followers of this plan insist that unless you are sick or on vacation, the goal is perfect attendance. The moderates of this plan insist that it’s not about perfect attendance, but at least once a month or so.
- Read your Bible. In the Sponge Plan, memorization is the key. The more verses you memorize the more likely you are to get into heaven.
- Listen to Church music. This is important to give others the impression that you are on the way to heaven. It is considered bonus points if you listen to songs just about heaven and what it’s like.
- Attend some church functions. This means volunteer occasionally to help, but not too often. Attending church events or programs helps you absorb more. This is like the safety net, in case you didn’t memorize enough verses or didn’t want to go to church on Easter.
That’s pretty much it. All you must do is be like a sponge in water—soak it all in and voilà, you get into heaven. Well, here’s the problem with this plan—it never addresses our real problem—sin. Paul wrote in Romans 8:7— For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.
Our default setting is to be hostile to God’s ways. It seems like I am always going back to that “sin” thing, and for good reason. All of us, bar none, are INFECTED with this DNA from Adam and Eve. It lies deep within us and resists everything about God. Oh, it doesn’t always show itself, but it’s still there. Soaking up like a sponge will not deal with the root of sin in all of us. The Sponge Plan is like treating a tumor in our colon with Hydrocortisone on the skin. My personal favorite response is this: “Sitting in a church sanctuary doesn’t turn you into a Christian any more than sitting in a garage will turn you into a car.”
Well, that’s it for today class. Tomorrow we will look at another plan. Take good notes and review those notes BEFORE the Final Exam. And remember…love God with all your heart. Love others the way HE loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him! Hopefully I will see you tomorrow….unless the Head Master gives you or me the Final Exam….yup, I have to take the Final Exam, too!