Salvation Bible Basics
Now let me ask this question: Is it possible to somehow someway, do something to have this relationship with God? Is it possible for a person to change themselves to have a relationship with God? There are certainly a lot of people who try. In fact, the Bible says in Proverbs 16:25, ‘There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.‘ The way that seems right to us as humans is that we ought to be able to work our way to Heaven by being good enough. Surely if we do the best we can then God will overlook all the bad.
That is the lie that Satan has placed in every person’s heart. If you don’t believe that, just ask ten people walking down the street how they think a person gets to Heaven. Every answer will include doing something good, unless that person happens to be saved and already knows what God says.
People try many different things. Some try good deeds like being good to a neighbour. I know a lot of tremendous people in this world who have no relationship with God, who are under God’s wrath, heading to Hell itself, but they are some of the best neighbours you could ever have. They are wonderful people, but they don’t know God. They do lots of good deeds, but they have no relationship with Him.
What are some other things that people do to try to make themselves right with God? There are people I know who tried things like getting baptised or reading their Bible. Some give their money to the church to buy their way to Heaven. Some attend church and pray. These people think, ‘Surely if I do all these things, God will overlook some of these things I’ve done wrong.’
Let’s look at it this way. Suppose you are convicted in a court of law of first degree murder. The judge asks you if you have anything to say before he pronounces your sentence. You walk up to the bench and reply. ‘Yes, Your Honour, please give me a moment. I know I committed this murder. I believe it was wrong for me to do it. But that was five years ago. It took them a long time to catch me. But I want you to know that in the last five years, I’ve been a model citizen. I’ve not killed anyone else. In fact, my next door neighbour was having real problems and I helped him. I heard about a family that got burned out, and I donated money to them. I’ve been volunteering in the hospital. I even started reading my Bible, and I’ve memorised much of it. I go to church. I don’t hoard my money. I’m a good guy. I’m nice to people. And I promise you, if you will let me off, I’ll never do this again.’
Now what would you think if the judge said, ‘That is a moving testimony! I think I’ll let you go. You’ve done so much good, I think you have made up for this murder you committed.’ No judge in his right mind is going to let you off just because you have reformed your ways. You still have to pay the penalty for committing murder.
But suppose you made one more plea to the judge that went like this. ‘But Your Honour, one more thing, please. I throw myself on the mercy of the court. I’ve heard a lot of good things about you. You are a good man. I’ve heard how wonderful and kind you are, how forgiving you are. Your Honour, please, forgive me.’
What kind of judge would he be if he said, ‘I forgive you. Go free.’ He would not be judge for long. That wouldn’t work in a court of law. That doesn’t work with God either. God is a God of justice. He is not just a God of mercy; He is also a God of justice.
When you and I come into this world, we are guilty before God. We are condemned, heading for Hell itself and rightly so because of our sins. But many think that somehow, by just reforming their life and doing some good things, maybe somehow God will let them into Heaven. But that is not what the Bible teaches. Remember we are looking at things God’s way.