You Cannot Work Your Way To Heaven But You Must Live Right To Get There

You have millions of Christians who believe that all you need to make heaven is repeat these words: You give the sinners prayer and you are saved forever.  There are millions of Christian who believe that you must do more than that.  They believe Hebrews 12:14 – “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”  John Wesley taught without holiness they will not see the Lord. How one lived determined their eternal future.  John Calvin believed once saved always saved.  This is a non-essential belief that has been argued for years.  Can you lose your salvation?

As you study the Bible you will discover that most every prophet, judge and leader had a personal relationship with God from the very beginning.  They were called “a man of God” and a friend of God.  They had faith and they trusted God’s promises.  Whoever you believe, Calvin or Wesley, I believe you must live as God commands.  That is to live a holy life.

II Peter 3:9b – “Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God created every one of us with a purpose.  It is our requirement that we seek God’s purpose and direction for our lives.  We know the two most important commandments and they are found in Luke 10:27 – “He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  If every person kept these two laws there would be no need for any other laws or a law enforcement agency.   In addition, we are to have a personal relationship and be a friend of God.

We are told not to sin.  James 2:10 – “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”  Any time we break these laws we are guilty of sin and are a lawbreaker.  Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” We are all born with a carnal nature but we are not considered sinners until we reach the age of accountability. The Bible is very clear; we cannot enter the presence of God as sinners, that is why we must be forgiven.  Yet, we know that young children who die go to be with our Heavenly Father.  Therefore, at the point of accountability everyone becomes a sinner and lacks a relationship with God.  Eve, after sinning, asked the serpent, “Why have you done this to me, that I am separated from the glory given to me by God?”

Isaiah 29:13 – “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”  Matthew 7:22 – 23 – “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”  Matthew 7:13 – 14 – “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”

It has always been God’s plan to make a way for man to be set free from the slavery of sin and guilt if man was willing to repent and change how he/she lives. Christ’s resurrection gave God a way to forgive us and yet maintain a moral integrity.  God will forgive our sins without condoning our sins.  Is it not possible to believe we are saved and yet how we live disqualifies us from heaven?

I John 1:8 – “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”  If we believe we can live without sinning, we do not understand God’s Word.  Sinning and deliberately sinning are very different.  None of us can live without ‘missing the mark’.  Living a perfect life is not possible even though we are to strive to do so, Christ realized this.  However, to ignore the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit is to deliberately sin.  This is unacceptable and we must be careful in making those choices.  Yet, at the same time we must be careful not to set standards so high that they are impossible to meet or we would continually become discouraged.  A Christian must live a life that shows love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness and self-control.  These fruits may not be possible if we are continually walking in darkness and living an immoral life.  If a believer consistently disregards God’s ways and lives as the world lives life, is heaven questionable for them?

Many believers have a problem believing that God will do everything He promises.  They lack faith and the ability to trust Him.  They find it difficult to believe God wants to be involved in their life through the Holy Spirit.  Do they realize how much God loves them?  This is why God wants what is best for us.  Yet, we can believe our way is better than His too often.

If you don’t believe how you live makes a difference to God and you will automatically go to heaven, then you need not worry.  If it makes sense that God requires that you live a holy life to get there, then things may need to change.

I do not want to take any chances.  My interpretation tells me how I live will make a difference.  If I am wrong, what have I lost?  If you believe you can continue to live, forgiven, yet living as the world lives you could be wrong.  I know one thing!  God never lies and He says if you live a holy life you will be with Him in eternity.

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1 Comment

  1. Ted Hanlon

     /  August 29, 2013

    I try not to comingle “salvation” or the assurance of salvation by faith in His grace (centered on His promises) with “sanctification” or living a holy life on earth (centered on our works). Those are two entirely different things which should be treated separately. “In my Fathers house are many mansions or habitations.”

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