As a missionary I have lots of conversations with individuals in the community (especially men) about their relationship with God.
Eventually they almost always make the same statement….
“I am going to start coming to church again!”
This response shows their emphasis on outer things like baptism, church membership, or wearing church clothes (shirt and tie) instead of faith in Christ.
But in their hearts, they know those works aren’t enough.
Friday afternoon I was spending some time with a friend who used to attend church, and was baptised. But when asked where he was going when he died, my friend immediately said “hell.”
Though he had done all of the things right, he knew that there was something missing.
The importance of a personal relationship with Christ instead of good works affects the other side of this situation as well. There are many “religious” people in Barrouallie who attend church, are baptised, and do all the right things. But they have never accepted Christ as their Saviour.
Good works are meant to be a fruit of Salvation, not a foundation for it.
Both the backsliders, and religious are focusing on works while ignoring the most important thing. And neither knows Christ.
And it’s our responsibility to show them works aren’t enough.
There are lots of ways to do this, but I have found one truth especially effective.
We will all answer to God for ourselves.
I’m not referring here to the Great White Throne judgement, since Believers don’t experience it. Instead we will all have to give an account of our lives, and tell God why we deserve to be in Heaven.
The thing about that question (why should I let you into Heaven?) is there’s only one real answer….Jesus is my Saviour.
Nothing else satisfies the Holiness of God.
- Not Bible reading
- Not church membership
- Not tithes
- Not prayer
- Not wearing church clothes
- Not “living a good life”
As so many build their spiritual houses on the shifting sand of good works, we must point them to the one and only solid rock. The Lord Jesus Christ.