You might as well quit while you think you’re ahead. Or you might as well quit while you are convinced you are behind. Because no matter where you think you stand on the measuring stick of being good enough for heaven, you are absolutely positively definitively most assuredly 100% permanently incapable of earning your way to heaven.
If you open up the Bible and take one good look at God, Creator of the universe, you will see without a shadow of a doubt that God is totally righteous, forever pure, and perfectly holy. You will also see that we as humans are sinners by nature and are totally unrighteous, absolutely impure, and anything but holy. We are also thoroughly incapable of being in God’s presence, of having a relationship with Him, and spending eternity with Him in heaven because of His holiness and because of our wickedness as sinners. Unless – Unless what?
If I’ve burst your bubble by now and convinced you that trying to earn your way to heaven is absolutely impossible and made you utterly devastated that no amount of good works on your part will save you from eternity in hell and reserve a place in heaven for you, let me give you the very best possible news in the whole wide world. The news I am compelled to share with you has to do with the word unless. Yes, unless. Unless? Yes. Unless God has provided for us a plan of redemption to redeem us from the curse of death ending in eternity in hell that results from our sins, we will never spend a single moment in heaven. And the good news, the magnificent news, which I am compelled to share not just with you, but with anyone anywhere in the world that will listen, is this.
God does have a redemption plan for us. The end result of our sin against God is death and eternity in hell forever separated from God, but God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to bear God’s wrath against us for our sin and to pay the death penalty for our sins so that through repentance from our sins, confessing Jesus as Lord, and believing He died on the cross for us and was resurrected, we are given eternal life.
Yes, that’s right. Forgiveness for our sins. A relationship with God while we are on this earth that we cannot possibly have without Christ paying the penalty for our sins by acting as the atonement for our sins. And forever in heaven instead of hell.
So if you were devastated to hear that no amount of effort to do good works to earn your way to heaven will get you there, you should now be utterly elated at the good news of Jesus Christ. This is the good news. This is the glorious news. This is the Gospel. Jesus the Christ came to this earth and took on the form of a man, was utterly without sin despite enduring the same temptations we do, went to the cross to pay for our sins by dying a horrifically gruesome death beyond measure, and rose again from the dead. For us. So we could go to heaven instead of hell if we repent and believe in Him. And, if we truly believe in Him, we will follow Him. And, if we truly believe in Him and follow Him, our lives will be living proof of our genuine faith in Him.
So much for good works, right? Not so fast. How is that, you may wonder. Didn’t I just tell you Jesus Christ paid the price? Yes, I did. But that is not the whole story. For if you truly repent of your sins, if you truly place your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, if you truly establish a relationship with God through your faith in Christ, then you will lay down your life and the world’s way of living and become a committed follower of Jesus Christ whereby you study the Bible and learn to live according to God’s ways rather than your own and the world’s ways. What does this have to do with good works? This.
Good works will not earn you a ticket to heaven, but if you are truly born again and saved from God’s wrath by placing your faith in Christ, then your life should produce the fruit of good works. Good works should be the natural result of becoming a Christ follower. These good works will not earn your way to heaven. They should result from being spiritually reborn by believing in Jesus as Lord and making the commitment to grow in God’s image through study of His Word and application of of it to your life in order to become conformed to the image of Christ.
So if you’ve been trying to earn your way to heaven, quit. Repent from your sins and place your faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for your sins, pick up a Bible and study it and apply it to your life, and let the good works you do from now on be a reflection of your commitment to follow Jesus for the rest of your life.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.