My wife and I found a pond that was so peaceful and beautiful. We walked there though the terrain was terrible, with ankle-breaking ruts and seemingly endless weeds. Eventually we found a path where others had trod before us. But before we found the path, we picked up a lot of burrs and weed seeds.
There is a form of Christianity that tells us if we are good enough we just might make it. To salvation, that is. I know, because I was in that religion. It is not some weird cult, but a very respectable church.
This is what I learned as a child. Jesus came to show everyone a better way to live. He set an example for us to follow. For details we have the Sermon on the Mount.
I heard an older man say, "I don't have any real religion, except to do the best I can. God can't ask more than that." Now that sounds so great--very noble. I knew the man, he was the father of one of my school teachers. I don't doubt that he was a very good man. But he was as wrong as can be about what God can ask.
I mean God can ask for sinless perfection. In fact He has. I am not speaking of a holiness religion where people attain a perfect life from birth to death in everything they do, don't do, or think. The idea of it makes me dizzy, just thinking about it. Anyway, it would be too late for me to plead a case based on "good behavior".
So God asks for absolute perfection. It seems so unreasonable of Him! Doesn't God know how many inborn traits we have to sin? And then there is the devil and his temptations.
Well, I found out that this all-demanding God provided a way to be perfect, and it is guaranteed to work and guaranteed to last forever. And best of all it doesn't depend on my goodness, whatever that would be. It is the gift of Jesus and his blood.
Now why am I telling you this when you already know it? Only for one reason. You might know of a very nice person who believes they must work for their salvation. One slip and they must try again. I got out of my original church.You can help others to understand also. You understand, but someone you know may not be there yet.
What about the pond? Well there was a beautiful pond long before I knew about it. I strived, as did my wife, who left a cult. We picked up a lot of burrs along the way. But the path and the pond were always there.