II Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
God cares immensely for the people of this world. What is often misunderstood is the role that God has chosen to take in the affairs of mankind. Many think that God should take a more visibly active role in the problems of our world. However, this is not what He is most interested in.
Instead, He is more interested in helping people to get right with Him and to restore a relationship with Him that was broken by sin. Indifference to God and His claims on peoples’ lives are evidence that there is a problem.
Trouble in our world causes people to seek God because their world, whether personal or on a national scale, is shaken. This happened very noticeably when 911 occurred. After that, churches in America were suddenly filled. Once again, however, God must send trouble to disrupt lives so they come back to Him.
The above Bible verse indicates that some people mistakenly think that God either does not exist or does not care about life on planet earth because He seems distant or inactive. Although He has promised to come and straighten out our world, He seems to be taking a long time to do it, they say.
Again, as the verse indicates, they are sadly mistaken. The reason he waits is so that they, and more people, may be saved from Hell and destruction. He does not want to cast them or anyone into Hell, but sin cannot be allowed into Heaven. He has promised a righteous judgment. He is giving them time to repent (turn from sin), and to trust Christ to be their Savior.
Although Christ appears to be patient today, He will not wait for you forever. If you are not saved, the Bible tells us, in II Corinthians 6:2, that now is the best time: “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” Won’t you call on Him today for salvation, and have the matter settled forever? There is no need to wait – do it now and ask Him to forgive you, change you so you can do His will, and to save you from Hell. He will do it, according to His promise.
If you would like to know more about God’s sure salvation, I invite you to download my eBook for free: it’s entitled How to Be Saved and Know It(no log-in required, PDF). It explains Bible salvation in clear detail.
I have no doubt that some people reading this title are going to be at least a little surprised by it. It is not a gimmick, or a trick. It is just plain Bible truth, and it is a truth that is repeated throughout the Bible.
Before I get to those reasons, I ask that you think for a moment why Jesus needed to die at all. You see, if Heaven could be gained by being or doing enough good, then Jesus did not need to suffer at all. The implication would then be that God made His Son to suffer for nothing. Of course, an all-knowing God did not make that mistake.
Here are five reasons from the Bible why good works cannot save anyone.
Because God’s Law Demands Perfection
Every one of us knows that nobody is perfect. We’ve all said it. With God, though, it is different. If He let sin and sinners into His holy Heaven – it wouldn’t be Heaven anymore. It would become just like earth – not much to look forward to, in that case.
To let us know what He wanted, He gave us the Ten Commandments. They are the gatekeeper, and they reveal what we really are inside. The problem with law is that it knows no mercy. Do the crime – do the time, is its motto.
God’s Law is also merciless. It says, in James 2:10: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” In plain English, it means if you sin, you forfeit Heaven. Now, the Bible also tells us that: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This means everyone is in serious trouble with a holy God!
Because Sin Is Not Erased by Good Works
Since we all have sinned, it means every human is facing a horrible penalty – Hell. Romans 6:23 tells us that the “wages of sin is death.” Hell is the price for sin – even if there were only one. Even judges on earth operate on a similar principle. Doing good works after a crime does not mean you won’t have to pay for the crime. Plainly, crimes against God will also have to be paid for in full.
Here is what the Bible says about paying for sin: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood” [death]; “and without shedding of blood is no remission” (“remission” means payment for) (Hebrews 9:22). This Bible verse teaches that no sin is erased – ever – without a sacrifice!
Because Good Works Will Not Change Your Sinful Nature
The Bible makes it plain that we all had a wrong birth. We were born into Adam’s family, and this means we are cursed. Every human needs a new birth and a new nature – one that can please God. The one we are born with loves to sin!
This is why we find that Jesus told one leader in his day: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Once any individual is “born again,” God gives that person a new nature – one that can please Him.
Because God Does Not Accept Good Works for Salvation
God will never corrupt justice. He will punish sin. If He were to let unrepentant sinners remain unpunished for their sins – then that is not just. Good works cannot buy God off so that He will overlook your sin.
Besides, what people consider to be good works, God does not see them that way at all! In Isaiah 64:6, He tells us: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses” (good works) “are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Even the best works are just rags to God, if offered in hopes of being saved by them.
Because Good Works Do Not Glorify God
The reason people try to work their way to Heaven is because they want to try and make themselves look good to God. They want the praise. Unfortunately, it can’t work because God very well knows we are sinners.
Besides that, He sacrificed His Son to buy salvation for you. This means that anyone trying to work their way to Heaven is completely ignoring this great Sacrifice God made for us! They are discounting the very blood of Christ – the only thing that can save their soul!
Notice carefully what God says about works in this verse: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). Works cannot save the soul. Faith in Christ’s work for you can save.
Notice in these verses also, that works cannot save anyone: “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:27,28).
The single key to getting saved is to trust Christ to save you. He died to take your penalty for sin. Recognize what He did for you. It cost Christ a lot to be able to offer salvation freely to you. Ask Him to forgive you of your sin and to become your Savior today. He is more than willing and able to do it.
Listen to the words of Christ: “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” (John 3:16).
For Salvation and Revival, Evangelist Mike Valles
If you want to read more information about salvation, I encourage you to read the following posts:
Being that today is Sunday, I am sure that many people will be going to church. This is a good thing, and I hope that many more people will go, too, even those who have not been in a church for a long time.
The thing that I want to focus on this morning is the issue of “why” some people go to church. Of course, many people have been brought up in church. They plan on going and are often faithful to every service. Again, I think this is a good thing.
For those who may look at going to church as a part of going to Heaven, however, I want you to pay attention to this post. Salvation does not come to people through the local church.
Don’t get me wrong. It certainly can be valuable in showing people how to go to Heaven – but it cannot confer the gift of salvation to you.
I have met a number of people who have gone to church all their lives. They thought they were saved and on their way to Heaven, but one day they discovered they were wrong. What brought them to this conclusion?
A number of them just thought it was kind of automatic. They knew the lingo, the songs, were faithful and some had even been serving actively in the church for years. Others around them thought they were saved, too.
The plain truth, however, is different than that. You see, just because you go to a pool or lake and start swimming, does not at all make you a fish. Walking into a garage won’t make you a car either. Likewise, going to church, no matter how often, will not make you a Christian.
The Lord Jesus tells us how to be saved. He said in John 3:3 that every person needs to have a new birth. We were born into the wrong family and our sin proves it. We love to go against the laws of God. Every one of us is guilty of breaking His laws. God’s Word tells us: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Because of our sin, we all are on our way to Hell: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
The only way this situation could be changed was for God to do something about it. He loved us, and proved “his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Notice that Christ, the Son of God died for us. Not the church.
Participating in religious ceremonies and services cannot wash away sin. Only the blood of Jesus can do that. It can wash away all your sin.
In order to be saved, you need to come straight to God. You must confess your sinfulness to God and be willing to turn from it. There is no one else Who can save you: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).
The reason the church members I mentioned earlier were not saved is because they realized they had never actually asked God to forgive them and save them. They had been baptized, joined the church, and did more – but this cannot save you.
Salvation comes only by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. This must be a deliberate decision on your part and it takes places at a specific point of time. Have you deliberately chosen to trust Christ to be your Savior. Can you point to a time when you did that? Consider what Christ said: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
I hope and pray that you have called on Him for salvation – or will do it now.
Evangelist Mike Valles
P.S. – If you have still questions about salvation, I encourage you to download my free eBook: How to Be Saved and Know It and read it carefully. It will answer many questions.