by Mark Aites, Preacher
South Point church of Christ, Ohio

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.” – Abraham Lincoln

“There’s always an element of self-delusion among people who believe they ought to be President. There’s an underestimation of your opponent and an overestimation of your own abilities. This is compatible with being rich and powerful, the idea that we were blessed by God because we deserve to be blessed.” – Jimmy Carter

“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.” – Mark Twain

“There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.” – George Washington

“The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Many of those people deserve to be in prison; however, some of them do not.” – Rand Paul

To deserve something means, “To be worthy, fit, or suitable for some reward or requital (compensation).” Isn’t it interesting how many times man believes that he deserves something, when in fact, he may not be worthy of it.

It is a common thought among folks that if they are morally good in life then they deserve a home in Heaven for all eternity. The irony in this is that the criteria for entering Heaven is based upon their own thoughts or standards. Nowhere in Scripture does it indicate that being a good moral person is enough to deserve Heaven.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). Paul notes that salvation through faith is not something which we earn, but is given as a gift. And it is not works of righteousness which we do that saves us. There is a big difference in deserving something and receiving something as a gift.

Now by no means is this negating the importance of obedience (Matt.  7:21; Heb. 5:8-9). But it is setting things straight that salvation is not based on what we deserve. Actually, if one wanted to be honest about it, what we truly deserve is to be lost for all eternity. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:23-24).