The Judging of Michael Bloomberg :: By Joe Southerland

In a recent article titled, “Michael Bloomberg Is Sure He Has A Spot In Heaven,” the following was included:

“Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, Michael Bloomberg said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.” (The Huffington Post)
I am sure these statements raised the hackles on the back of many necks as it did mine. And there are indeed many theological issues to examine in Mr. Bloomberg’s statement, but in this article I will focus on what the Bible says about the entrance criteria into heaven for Mr. Bloomberg.

Who is Judged? Mr. Bloomberg, despite your expressed personal opinion otherwise, Jesus Christ will judge you by the same standard as the rest of mankind. God does not show favoritism.

· Acts 10:34-35: “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”

Who is righteous? Righteousness simply means to do what is right. Mr. Bloomberg, again like the rest of us, you sin and therefore are unrighteous. What exactly is sin you ask? Sin means to miss the mark, and so not share in the prize due to your faults, offend, or trespass. And all have sinned; all are unrighteous.

· Psalm 14:3: “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

· Romans 3:23: “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”

· Romans 5:12: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:…” (Thus original sin.)

· 1 John1:8: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

Is there a righteousness standard? In short, yes. But we will get to that soon enough. Mr. Bloomberg I doubt you believe you are sinless, but like many today you do appear to believe your self-assessed good deeds will guarantee your acceptance into heaven. But can any of us be good enough, or do enough good deeds to go to heaven? In the Old Testament times 613 laws needed to be maintained for righteousness; however when Jesus Christ came he raised the righteousness standards even higher!

· Mathew 5:20: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

· Matthew 5:21-22: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

· Matthew 5:27-32: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

· And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

· Matthew 5:48: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Wow! Be as perfect as God? How is that even possible? Jesus raises the bar to an impossible level. Though we may attempt it, despite our best efforts and all our great works, on our own we can never obtain the perfect righteousness of God. James tells us it is whole law or nothing! And Paul tells us that is not possible! What are we to do?

· James 2:10: “For whoever keeps the whole law…yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”

· Romans 3:20: “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his <God’s> sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”

How then can anyone get to heaven? Can we even obtain righteousness? I am glad you asked Mr. Bloomberg. Yes, there is a way we can obtain righteousness, but not on our own accord. We can only be made righteous by faith in Jesus Christ!

· Romans 3:21-28: “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished. He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.”

· Philippians 3:9: “…and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

· Galatians 3:11: “Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, the righteous will live by faith.”


Through our faith in Jesus, his grace and righteousness make us righteous and perfect!

· Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

· Hebrews 10:14: “… because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

So going to heaven is about faith? Correct, Mr. Bloomberg. To be saved we only need to believe, to have faith, in the resurrected Christ as our Messiah!

· John 6:28-29: “Then said they [the Apostles] unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

· John 1:12-13: “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.”

· Romans 10:9-10: “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

· 1 Corinthians 15:2: “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”

· 1 Peter 1:3-5: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade– kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

But what about my good works? Mr. Bloomberg you have no good works, if they were done in self-righteousness.

· Isaiah 64:6: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

· 1 Corinthians 3:10-15: “…But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”

So my good works mean nothing? Correct, Mr. Bloomberg. Salvation is a free gift of mercy for all who believe in Christ, for which we did nothing to earn! Our salvation is not about what we do, it is about what Jesus did! And Jesus did it all!

· Titus 3:4-5: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”

· Romans 5:17: “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”

· Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”

P.S. Only God can judge the heart: Jeremiah 17:10.