If We
Could
Earn Our
Way To
Heaven ?

Then Please Explain
The Following . . .

If God expects us to earn our way to Heaven then why does
He say the exact opposite?

   The BIBLE clearly teaches that a person cannot earn their way into Heaven.   No effort or deed, no
matter how impressive and self-sacrificing, can pay for sins or persuade God into allowing a person into
Heaven.   The BIBLE says:

"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

"For by GRACE are ye saved..."   Grace means an unmerited, unearned favor.   In other words, grace
is displayed toward a person when they receive something they don't deserve.   WE AS SINNERS DO NOT
DESERVE HEAVEN nor can we be good enough to earn its entrance.   Yet God graciously offers it for free!

"through FAITH; ..."   Faith is simply believing God (taking Him at His Word) when He tells us to
stop trying to earn it, and instead TRUST in the fact that Jesus Christ paid for ALL our sins.

"...and not of yourselves: ..."   We can't save ourselves if our lives depended upon it (and it does).

"...it is the GIFT of God: ..."   Salvation is a free gift offered by God to the repentant sinner who
will accept it by faith.   Does one pay for a gift?   Of course not.   It would no longer be a gift if the recipient
paid for it.   The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is not something we earn, but something we receive as
a gift:

"...the GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord."   ROMANS 6:23
"...the FREE GIFT came upon all men unto JUSTIFICATION OF LIFE."   ROMANS 5:18
"...the GIFT BY GRACE, which is by one man, Jesus Christ..."   ROMANS 5:15

"...not of works, ..."   Salvation does not come through our efforts, nor by fulfilling church
sacraments, nor by church membership.   We can't earn our way to Heaven.   It is impossible!

"...lest any man should boast..."   No one will brag about having made it into Heaven.   Nobody, in
Heaven, will say "I got here because I kept the Ten Commandments, gave to charity, helped sick friends,
complied with all of my church's sacraments, did my best, got baptized, etc."
  Instead, those in Heaven will
praise Jesus Christ, the One who had to "bail them out" and save them.   The Bible says:

"For when WE WERE YET WITHOUT STRENGTH, in due time CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY...
but God commendeth
[demonstrated] his love toward us, in that, WHILE WE WERE YET
SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US."
  ROMANS 5:6-8

If making it to Heaven depends on our lifetime efforts, then why does the Bible teach
that we can know, right now, that we are going to Heaven when we die?

   Most people don't realize that the Bible teaches that A PERSON CAN KNOW FOR SURE THEY WILL GO TO
HEAVEN when they die.   God never meant for anyone to go through life wondering and worrying if they will
make it there; that would be cruel on His part.   The Bible says:

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the son of God; THAT YE MAY KNOW
THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, and that ye may believe on the name of the son of God."
  (I John 5:13)

   Many people assume it's impossible to know since they think their salvation depends on the final outcome
of their lives.   However, one's salvation depends on what Christ has ALREADY done.   Christ died on the cross to
purchase our salvation with His blood.   Now God can offer salvation as a free gift that we can accept RIGHT
NOW and therefore KNOW that we are saved.   That's why During His crucifixion, Jesus Christ said, "IT IS
FINISHED"
(John 19:30).

If making it to Heaven depends on our good works outweighing our bad deeds, then why
does the Bible teach that it only takes one sin to keep us out of Heaven?

   Many people assume that on Judgment Day God will weigh their good works against their sin.   Yet the Bible
teaches that no matter how many good deeds a person has done, it only takes ONE SIN to tip the scale against
them!   The Bible says: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in ONE POINT, he is guilty of
all."
  (James 2:10).

   God's holy standard requires "all or nothing" when it comes to obeying His laws.   Since no one is sinless, it
is hopeless to trust in our acts of righteousness no matter how many we have done.   God warns that, "...If he
trust to his own righteousness, and COMMIT INIQUITY
[sin], all his righteousnesses SHALL NOT BE REMEM-
BERED, but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it"
(Ezekiel 33:13).

If God's law were not impossible to keep, we wouldn't need a Saviour.   Jesus' death on the cross would not have
been necessary.   Jesus Christ can be our only Saviour because He alone was able to fulfill God's law (Matthew
5:17).   The Bible says He, "Was in all points tempted like as we are, YET WITHOUT SIN" (Heb. 4:15).   He was
sinless.   And having no guilt of His own, qualified Him to take our sins and die in our place: "For Christ also hath
once SUFFERED FOR SINS, THE JUST FOR THE UNJUST, that he might bring us to God"
(1 Pet. 3:18).

If our salvation is obtained by following the Ten Commandments they why
does the Bible teach that it's impossible to follow them?

   Many people believe that salvation can be earned by doing the best they can at keeping the Ten
Commandments.   However this is a misconception that comes from not fully understanding why God gave
them to mankind in the first place.   So let's quickly learn, from the Bible, the three purposes of the Ten
Commandments (also known as The Law).

1) God gave us the Law to teach us what sin is.   The Bible says: "All the ways of a man are clean IN HIS OWN
EYES..."
(Prov. 16:2).   Determining right from wrong often becomes a matter of personal opinion.   We see this
taking place today as many in our society practice "situation ethics", and try to justify lying, stealing, adultery
and even murder according to a given situation.   But without an absolute standard defining right from wrong,
society (and mankind as a whole) would self-destruct morally.   Fortunately, God gave mankind His Law to define
sin.   The Apostle Paul said: "...I HAD NOT KNOWN SIN, BUT BY THE LAW: for I have not known lust, except
the law had said, Thou shall not covet"
(Romans 7:7).   Elsewhere the Bible says: "...FOR BY THE LAW IS THE
KNOWLEDGE OF SIN"
(Romans 3:20).

With God's Law as the standard, sin is no longer defined by someone's opinion but by God's, which is
the only "opinion" that counts!   "FOR SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION [breaking] OF THE LAW."   I John 3:4

2) God gave us the Law to show us that we are sinners.
   This realization comes when we, with our natural inclination toward sinful behavior, try to follow the holy
standard of the Law.   The Law exposes our sin nature by showing us how incapable we are of following it.   All
the self-righteousness in the world can't hide the fact that we are sinners guilty of not following God's Law.
"...The carnal [sinful] mind is enmity [Rebels] against God: for IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE LAW of God,
NEITHER INDEED CAN BE."
  Romans 8:7

That's why the Bible warns: "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are
under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD."

ROMAN 3:19

3) God gave us the Law to teach us that we need a Saviour.
   The Bible says that, due to our sin nature, we are unable to save ourselves through the Law, "For what THE
LAW COULD NOT DO, IN THAT IT WAS WEAK THROUGH THE FLESH, God sending his own son in the likeness of
sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh"
(Romans 8:3).   Therefore, our honest reaction should be,
"Since I can't save myself by keeping the Law, I need a Saviour."   This realization lead us to Jesus Christ:
"Wherefore THE LAW WAS OUR SCHOOLMASTER TO BRING US UNTO CHRIST, that we might be justified by
faith."
  Galatians 3:24

The bottom line is: If we could earn our way to Heaven,
then why did Jesus Christ have to die?

   Would God have put His Son through all that if there was any other way to save mankind?   Obviously not.
Christ's death is the only payment God will accept for sins.   The Bible says:

"...Without SHEDDING OF BLOOD is no remission [forgiveness of sins]."   Hebrews 9:22
"...By HIS OWN BLOOD he entered once into the holy place, having obtained ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR
US."
  Hebrews 9:12

   Yet, as we've noted, many are substituting God's requirement of Christ's shed blood with their own acts of
righteousness.   The Apostle Paul said to do so is to make Christ's death worthless.   He said: "IF RIGHTEOUSNESS
COME BY THE LAW, THEN CHRIST IS DEAD IN VAIN."
  Galatians 2:21

To further learn how you can partake of Christ's sacrificial payment for sins,
please read the back [below] of this pamphlet.

Dear Reader, The Bible says: "if righteousness
come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

(Gal. 2:21)   Think about it, if you could earn
your way into Heaven then Christ died for
nothing.   However, His death was not in vain, it
served an important purpose.   It provided a
reconciliation to God that was not possible
any other way.   Here's why:

The Bible teaches that, "your iniquities [SINS]
have separated between you and your God,
and your sins have hid his face from
you
, that he will not hear."
  (Isa. 59:2)   "For
all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God;"
(Rom. 3:23).   And there is a price
to pay for having sinned before God, and that
price is death.   "For the wages of sin is
death
; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord."
  (Rom. 6:23)
"and without shedding of blood [DEATH] is
no remission
[FORGIVENESS]."   (Heb. 9:22)

Of course, this means that BAPTISM cannot
pay for your sins since no one dies while
getting baptized, nor can CONFIRMATION,
COMMUNION, KEEPING THE TEN
COMMANDMENTS, CHURCH MEMBERSHIP,
SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, or GOOD DEEDS.   Anything
other than death CANNOT and WILL NOT
pay for any of your sins.   That's why:
"Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3).

He paid the price.   He died in our place and if
we don't put our trust in His death to save us,
Jesus warned that: "ye shall die in your
sins
: for if ye believe not that I am he,"

(John 8:24).   And that means eternity in the
Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:15).   To claim what Christ
has done on the cross for you, you must
REPENT.   That means: change your mind, and
agree with what you have just read from the
Bible and place all your trust in Jesus Christ,
and Him alone, to save you.   So "if thou shalt
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus
[i.e.
REPENT], and shalt believe in thine heart
[TRUST] that God hath raised him from the
dead, thou shalt be saved"
(Rom. 10:9).

SEND THE LIGHT
P.O. Box 815
Fargo, ND 58107

[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]