"I've never done anything so bad. I never harmed anyone. I've always lived a clean life. God won't condemn me to everlasting punishment because of anything I've done." So runs the common reply of many who are urged to come to Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life.
If you had committed murder and would come before the court to receive your sentence, you could hardly plead like this: "I have never stolen anything from anybody. I have always been kind to others except in this one instance. I've always lived a clean moral life and the court should be lenient with me because this is my only crime." You know that plea would be useless, for you would have already committed the worst crime with which you could be charged.
Even so, whether or not you have committed murder, God declares that you deserve the death penalty: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God . . . . For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 3:23; 6:23).
If you refuse to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord, and Saviour, and you do not love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, which Jesus said is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37), you stand condemned before God until you accept Jesus Christ as Saviour, and surrender to Him as Lord of your life. By stubbornly and self-righteously rejecting Him, you break the greatest commandment in the law of God, regardless of what other sins you have or have not committed.
In the day of judgment you will be found worthy of the death sentence because you have rejected the only pardon God has, forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:8-10).
You are hereby commanded that, laying aside all other business, you personally be and appear at the judgment seat of Christ, on the great and final day of the Lord, there to testify to the truth that while upon earth you rejected Christ, neglected the church, and insulted the Holy Spirit time after time, and although you knew your duty, you did it not.
Furthermore, you shall then and there receive sentence according to your deeds, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire" (Matthew 25:41).
VOID FOR ALL WHO ACCEPT . . . Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:11-13).