Trying to please God by our own good works is religion by self-effort. It means we practice preparing a diligent service, disciplining ourselves to obedience to the work in hopes of receiving a reward. We view ourselves as being good by what we do.
In the prophecy of the New Testament, according to the finale judgment, there are no more second chances—only a last chance to except Christ as our personal Savior and be obedient to the will of God. At the final judgment (Revelations 20:11-13), the books of life are open. In them are the names and recorded deeds of everyone, whether good or evil. This includes those who put their trust in Christ to save them. We are not saved by works. Works are seen as clear evidence of a person’s actual relationship with God. “And, behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work,” Revelations 22:12-13.
Many people would like to think they have done something special in their church or in their lives that would bring about their salvation, setting forth a honest effort through the power of self-determination, self-motivation, and self-control. The results of this type of character will only bring chronic guilt, depression, failure and a constant desire for approval from others leading to disappointment. Christ’s way is simple if we trust Him and live to please Him. We should confess and submit ourselves to His control, letting the Holy Spirit in us do good work for Christ’s Kingdom.
Our character should exemplify joy, thankfulness and love—ready to give guidance, service, and forgiveness to others.
Nothing but the way of Christ leads to eternal life. God has written the final chapter. It is about true fulfillment for those who love Him. There is a holy city, a new Jerusalem (2 Peter 3:7-15) described as a place where God will wipe away all tears—no death, pain, sorrow, or crying. Eternity with God will be more wonderful than we can imagine.
My weekly prayer is that the reader of this commentary will be truly inspired by God. Become an intercessory Prayer Partner with Expressions of Faith and learn how to walk in the Spirit in your daily lives. Contact: Expressions of Faith at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville, Tenn. 37203; or e-mail <email@example.com>.