“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” (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
It never ceases to amaze me how many people I meet who have convinced themselves that they are good moral individuals. They’ve been baptized, have had a good church attendance record, do their rites and rituals in their houses of “worship,” help people who are in need and are basically very religious.
Behind this veneer are often some very insidious flawed thoughts:
- “I am not so bad after all and therefore God should let me into heaven.”
- “My good works outweigh my bad ones, therefore I’m going to heaven.”
- “I’m better than a lot of others. Certainly God should think highly of me.”
But here’s the problem: God doesn’t need or want our good works. They are like filthy rags before Him (Isaiah 64:6). Do you really think you have enough money or (religious) achievements to make it to heaven? A bigger issue is, does God really want your worthless efforts? Even if you were to pay for your own sins with your own life, God would have to reject your sacrifice, since He required a perfect sacrifice, and you’re not perfect! That means, that you are a sinner (all are), and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
May I say this very graciously? – – There will be a lot of good moral and religious people in hell for all eternity. They’re good, but not good enough for heaven. They’ve fallen short of God’s righteous requirements (Matthew 7:21-23).
But here’s the good news – – God’s gift is eternal life for those who don’t resort to their good deeds or religiosity. They are those who receive God’s gift of salvation from hell and the wrath of God. They repent of their sins against God and fully trust in the efficacy of His shed blood and resurrection.
Which will it be for you, Christianity or “churchianity?” Only Jesus and He alone saves – – nobody and nothing else! Trust in His sacrifice alone and not yours!