If all you are doing in this life is helping people, doing all you can to ease their worries and fears, assisting them with their aches and pains, both of the body and the mind, if your whole purpose in life is to save life, to extend it, to assist those in turmoil and trouble, then you have completely wasted your entire life. Try repeating these words to some of your lost, unsaved friends, I’m fairly sure that you would not be listened to, and it most likely would change your relationship with them, perhaps permanently.
This is how the lost believe they will enter into heaven, by producing more good works than bad ones, by living a life in service to man, with their ideology of who God is thrown in occasionally for good measure. Nearly every religious organization has tried to sell this thought process to anyone that will listen, and many do, for those who attend them cannot come to the truths of the Scriptures, that we are saved by grace. (Eph. 2:8) Those who do not pick up or even own a Bible have created within themselves this false doctrine of works, that good is always the best path, that following a strict moral conduct is the way to be pleasing to whatever higher power they have imagined.
It is not just the occasional individual that carries this false perception within them, ask nearly any person in any country, and the answers are nearly always the same, relative in their nature towards man’s ability to perform all the necessary tasks required to live in an eternity of bliss. It is one of the most difficult and challenging blessings that the born-again believer will ever encounter, attempting to explain to someone that every single thing they have accomplished in this life has been a complete and total waste of time, it is the one thing they have not done that is going to send them to hell. Think of the kindest, gentlest, most loving person that you know, those whom all see as the epitome of compassion in your neighborhood, then see them as Christ sees them, wicked, (Psalm 11:5) in sin, (Eph. 2:1-2) completely without any righteousness in Christ, (2 Cor. 5:21) and then try to explain their end to them. These words go against every concept held by man, what Christ did on the cross was not enough, we must perform some feat to add upon it before we can be justified.
Every religious organization in the world teaches these thoughts, they have written them down as law, and so they teach as the truth of God the traditions of men. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one,” (Romans 3:10) will be met with, “I’m a good person.” “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) will hear the rebuke of “Sin is what you make of it,” “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8) will receive the same response. Our Lord said, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17) The problem is that most people do not know they are sick. They believe that because they have and are living a decent life, that they adhere to the standards and laws set down not only by man, for the most part, and by the church they attend, if they do, then they have fulfilled all the requirements for entrance into their idea of heaven. To show them the error of their thoughts, in fact of the entirety of their lives up to this point, is an exercise in futility at times, to say the least.
Grace is not a word they understand, works are visible, good is better than bad, there are no lost sheep, all will enter the kingdom if they just stay on the right side of the moral construct that has been set before them. “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” (1 Cor. 1:26) Can you see why, the law of pride is written in their hearts, Satan has blinded their minds, (2 Cor. 4:4) and they have no convictions, save that of goodness and kindness. Without Christ, these two words along with love, compassion, and all the others that the world calls honorable and worthy are worth absolutely nothing. You will never meet a true born-again believer who will tell you that any work, any feat, he has performed added one single thing that was done on the cross that day, not one thing. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)
Try telling that to the nice old lady down the street, to the doctor that healed you, to the fireman who saves lives, to any and all you meet. You will either lose many friends, or gain many brothers and sisters in Christ.