Christianity is the only religion that does not offer salvation by works. All other religions say you can work your way to God and be accepted by being good and doing everything that God wants by your own efforts. You must go through procedures and sufferings and rituals to get to God. To stay in Gods good books, and to continually be accepted you must keep doing good things without failure (if you fail you simply ask for forgiveness and start over again). This thought actually keeps people from wanting a relationship with God, it does not encourage them.
Some religions say that you can become a God and this can appeal to man's pride. The same thing happened when pride entered into satan and he said, "I will be like the Most High God”. New age religions have the same theme. You can become a God. It is not new; even in the Garden of Eden satan tempted Eve by telling her if she ate the fruit, that she would become like God.
But through Jesus we are offered Grace, a free gift, and it is only available through Jesus. God’s Grace is the underserved love of God towards all of mankind, not just a few. It is a love that is not earned, or deserved, but freely given and can be freely accepted. Jesus Himself said:
“For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NLT).
God not only loved the world He created, but He loved it very much. His efforts towards mankind were not based on necessity or need, but love.
We cannot work our way to God. We cannot please him by what we do. We need to get a revelation that God loves us; He loves you now, warts and all.
But how can this be some ask? How can God be pleased with sinful people?
It is so simple, most people miss it. Sin has been dealt with at the cross. The sins of the world have been forgiven. Sin is not the hindrance it once was in the Old Testament, stopping mankind from having a personal relationship with God.
He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. 1 John 2:2 (NLT).
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 (NLT).
So if man’s sins are forgiven, how come people go to hell? The bible says only those whose sins are forgiven by God go to heaven, so everybody must go to heaven if the sins of the world are forgiven?
This would be true if people go to hell because of unforgiven sin, but this isn’t the case. There are Christians that think they have to keep their salvation (right standing with God) by their own efforts, by trying to be good, and when they fail they feel terrible. The bible calls this condemnation, and there is no condemnation for those who accept Jesus.
The truth is people go to hell because they have not accepted Jesus, and His sacrifice on the cross for their sins, not for being bad or sinful. That is why Jesus died on the cross, to pay the price for our sins, so we do not have to pay it.
People go to hell because they freely choose not to accept the price Jesus paid for them; they have to pay the price for their own sins. This is called the penalty of sin, meaning an eternal separation from God.
Jesus said: “And when He comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me”. John 16:8-9 (NLT).
Jesus said that there is only one sin that sends a person to hell, it is known as the unforgivable sin. This sin is not accepting Jesus and what He did on the cross.
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29 (NLT).
This means a person can accept Jesus and still sin, and still get to heaven?
Sounds OK, but it does not work that way. If you accept Jesus and what He has done on the cross by faith from your heart, not your head, or mouth only, but from your heart, meaning you totally believe in Jesus and the cross, then, the love of God will bring supernatural change into your life. You will not want to sin. You will want to stay away from it. The Bible says you become a new creation, spiritually, inside when you accept Jesus. Your spirit is actually re-born, a supernatural thing that natural man cannot explain, but it happens, I can testify to that. As Andrew Wommack put it,
“you will do more good by mistake then you ever tried to do on purpose before”.
Apostle Paul wrote:
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? Romans 2:4 (NLT)
Jesus and the cross did not wipe sin from the face of the planet, there is still sin and people can freely partake in it. The cross forgave people for partaking in it and the penalty it brought. It made it possible for mankind to have a personal relationship with God directly, not through animal sacrifices as in the Old Testament. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for all time, and opened a personal open doorway from you to Him.
It is the love of God towards mankind that once is accepted, will supernaturally turn you from wanting to do wrong without effort on your side.
Simply, God’s Grace is His love towards mankind, a love that is underserved. It is a love that we cannot earn, it is freely given and to accept it is to have a new life, and new way of living, a relationship with God through Jesus. Your old life will go (if you let it go) and the new life will transform you by the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to work for it, or try and make God accept us by our own efforts. Jesus did the work on the cross; and the only work we have to do is accept it by faith from the heart.