Merits and Deeds :: By John Lysaught

John 14:6 says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” People do not want to believe this because there is such a natural inborn resistance to rebel against this simple truth.

People want to get to heaven on their own merits and their own deeds. These will absolutely NOT get one to heaven. There is only one way, and that is through the belief in Christ’s death for our sins and His resurrection.

This core belief in Christ’s atoning sacrifice for us is such a simple concept to hold, and yet people resist and outright blaspheme this. They, the unbelievers, want to get to heaven but on their terms, not God’s. They believe they can elbow their way through the strait and narrow path with their own ideas of what it takes to get to heaven.

They make getting to heaven more troublesome than a child-like faith in Jesus does.

I’m not downplaying the importance of our faith or Jesus, but most unbelievers I know have a notebook full of rules and do’s and don’ts of what they believe they have to do or not do to get to heaven. They believe if they check off the square boxes next to their lists, they will be allowed into heaven. But since they make the lists, of course all the boxes will be checked, but in reality, they are nowhere near even stepping towards heaven.

Christ, of course, is the only way to heaven. One only needs to believe in Him. With Christ, there is no need to have to check off lists or ensure certain deeds are done here in this world. Nope, the only thing one must do is believe in Him.

Yes, there are great and kind and generous people out there. They live wholesome lives, are kind to people, and are all-around nice people. But without Christ, it does not matter. Without accepting Christ, no matter how good they are or how they treat others, etc., without the foundation of Christ under their feet, they are doomed to hell.

Some say that this is a harsh statement. Yes, it is, but it is also a true statement.

Each and every person deserves death because we all fall short of following God’s laws.

Whether in thought or deed, we fail, and we fail miserably. People try to make up for this by doing good things and being good people, but it is just a façade. Rebellion reigns in our hearts, and no good acts or thoughts can diminish this.

Satan wants people to believe that their own deeds and merits will get them into heaven. He has people believe that they do not need Christ for salvation, but salvation is found within themselves – there is no absolute truth; only personal truth and efforts will get one to heaven. This is a lie perpetuated by Satan, and people believe it.

They do not want to believe that they need someone else’s sacrifice to allow them to go to heaven. They want to believe they can do it on their own, but doing it on their own is not going to make the cut.

When one falls to their knees in front of Jesus, they are admitting something that goes against the grain of pride and selfishness. They are admitting that they are sinners that need forgiveness and cannot get to heaven on their own but need help to do it; and that is to have an intercessor between them and God, who, of course, is Christ.

Satan, he wants people to be prideful and selfish in their beliefs on how to receive eternal life. We live in such an individualist society now that to question someone about what they believe is in itself a social sin. Satan has fashioned society so well that people actually believe their truth is truth. If one believes the sky is purple, that is their truth, and you cannot tell them otherwise but are to just accept it.

It is silly, but this is where we stand. People are so self-absorbed with themselves that they are blinded to the truth of God and what Christ did for them.

Satan sure has duped a lot of folks.

Unbelievers believe their personal beliefs are the way to heaven. They believe hell is only for bad people. Well, I have a revelation for them – we are all bad people. God is just, and justice for all mankind is hell, but He created a way through Christ, His Son, to redeem us from going to hell. We do not have to earn this way, pay for it, or do [fill in the blank] to get to heaven; we just need Jesus.

All one has to do is accept Christ as their Savior and Lord. No strings attached, no small print. But people do not want to make this commitment because they feel it limits them. Yet, they are committed to something. They are committed and are slaves to sin and death.

By default, if one is not committed to Christ, they are committed to Satan, who is the perpetuator of sin. By not making the choice to come and surrender to Christ, they chose to surrender to Satan and his ways. People do not like to hear this either, but it is absolute truth.

In life, we must choose to commit to Christ or Satan. There is no way around this.

Choose Christ, and you get eternal life. Otherwise, one gets hell. People get offended when we proclaim this to them. Even if they say they do not believe in God, they get offended when we tell them they are destined for hell.

We, as believers, want nonbelievers to accept Christ. We do not want to see them lost. We want them to share the same eternity we will have. This is especially true for our unsaved family and friends. It hurts to think of heaven without them.

We must not sugarcoat what it means for their eternity if they do not come to Christ.

We need to let them know that no matter what they do, without Christ they will not enter heaven but will go to hell.

Their merits and deeds mean nothing without Christ.

Unbelievers who are reading this must know that a choice needs to be made now, not tomorrow or the next day, but now. You cannot get to heaven by going around Christ. Christ is THE ONLY way to heaven, and if you deny this truth, you have consciously chosen to serve Satan, and you will go to hell when you die. Please consider this greatly because your eternity is at stake.