New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently stated, when referring to his efforts on gun control and his nanny-state limits on obesity and smoking, “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.”
He said this with a grin. This is the guy who legislated how big soft drinks could be in the city, and doesn't trust the law-abiding members of the populace to responsibly control their own guns. The criminals who threaten that populace by ignoring laws anyway are not in the purview of this discussion, but the criminalization of that populace by freedom-stealing laws is.
This brings several points to mind concerning living in freedom down here, and entrance to heaven afterwards.
1) "For by grace(undeserved merit) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift(grace) of God: not of works(man's efforts), lest any man should boast(Bragging)." Ephesians 2:8-9
The Bible teaches that we get to heaven based on a gift from God that we do not deserve. We cannot work our way into heaven. Mayor Bloomberg's statement is framed as a hypothetical based on the existence of God; but the crux of God's statement in His Word is that we cannot earn it, so we cannot end up bragging about it when we get to heaven. "Look what I did to earn my way here!" This attitude is antithetical to salvation, as we have to admit we do not deserve it, before we can obtain salvation.
2) Mayor Bloomberg is notorious for living the maxim "Laws for thee, but not for me".
His carbon footprint, if you care about such things, is enormous, but he thinks he has earned the favor of God by telling his constituents that buying a few more ounces of soda in one purchase is bad. Jesus blasted the self-righteous religious leaders of his day for doing the exact same thing. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe(10%) of mint and anise and
cumin(spices), and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith(matters of freedom): these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." Matthew 23:23 Jesus, God in the flesh, Who lived down here with us for 33.5 years, found that the hypocritical Pharisees needlessly burdened the people(took their freedoms?) by making up too many laws. What He did not do was blast and condemn sinners like the woman caught in the very act of adultery. The difference was her ATTITUDE of repentance. Take note, Mayor.
3) God, who spoke the universe into existence, has the authority and power to make us all robots to do His will. Many is the non-believer that asks the question, "How can God allow evil in the world?"
The answer is free will. God can make us, but He chooses to allow us to choose to love Him, and follow Him. I much prefer when my children CHOOSE to jump up in my lap and say, "I love you, Daddy!" (Even my 19 year-old) It is just not the same when I order them to do it. It seems God's approach to freedom, i.e, free will, is to allow us to choose between right and wrong. God gave authority to human government to punish evil-doers(those who harm others), but I just do not see, Mayor, where that authority exists from Him that allows you to decide you won't let me make my own meal choices. That approach does not seem very divine, if you aspire to that standard.
4) I have been around someone when they say something distinctly ungodly, or casually mention some sin they are currently engaged in. They then realize my background(trained to be a preacher), and they look sheepish, and apologize. I do my best to not be self-righteous(enough sins of my own to be ashamed about), but I try to gently explain how sin offends God far more than it does me. His holiness will not let Him ignore sin, as we all have to pay a price for sinning, but He will not put us in some sort of supernatural tractor beam that will hold us immobile, preventing us from sinning against Him. He loves us enough to allow us to offend him with our sin, to allow Jesus to pay for that sin on the cross, and to allow us the time to realize the wonderful gift that the cross and the resurrection provide for us. Mr. Mayor, perhaps you should realize that there are some things that are in the realm of the spiritual, and God's responsibility, rather than that of the government.
Since you claim to be in God's league, and will not even be stopped at the gate of heaven for an ID check, how can you make criminals out of law abiding citizens for HAVING guns to protect themselves, and comparatively ignore those who are USING guns to "devour" those around them? You talk much about gun control, but seem to hold your tongue about those who destroy lives with their guns for their own personal gain.
6) So what does the application of God's Word to this situation teach us to do?
a) Live and let live. It is not up to the government to legislate things that do not harm anyone else
b) Lessons in humility are good for us humans. It keeps us from thinking that what we decide must be what God thinks.
c) Legislating to PROTECT freedom, not to LIMIT freedom, is the responsibility of government, and, by extension, government officials like the Mayor.
d) Forcing others to do something to right a small wrong, while ignoring a huge wrong, is backwards thinking.
e) We should focus our efforts on the real wrong doers, instead of making criminals by fiat, due to a new law. We should do something EFFECTIVE, not do ANYTHING so we can claim to be solving the problem.
I will not be the judge of whether or not the Mayor gets into heaven. I cannot know what is in his heart, anymore than he knows what is in mine or anybody else's. But the Bible does say, "By their fruits you shall know them." We can judge people's actions, albeit by God's standards. God certainly has the authority to tell Mayor Bloomberg what to do; it remains to be seen whether he will do it.