“I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless.
For if keeping the law could make us right with God,
then there was no need for Christ to die.”
Galatians 2:21 NLT
I used to think this way. Many do. We think good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell. It's sort of a Santa Clause mentality - if you're good, you'll get presents, if you're bad you'll get coal.
What we forget is that Jesus came to save sinners. But, what if you don't see yourself as much of a sinner? What if you do your best to be a good person and think that all of it will eventually add up to a nice sum of good deeds that you can present at the pearly gates? If you think this way, you have been sorely misled. Like the scripture above tells us, if being good could get our names into the Book of Life, Jesus never would have had to die on the cross. It's actually ridiculous thinking to proclaim that you are a Christian but still believe that it's on you and your own goodness to win God's approval and a pass into heaven when you die.
So we must put this kind of thinking into the grave once and for all. Whether you've been a Christian for 50 years or 50 days, we must remember this: Jesus has never been impressed by your own works done outside of His own Righteousness. In fact, they are like filthy rags to Him. What He is impressed with is a humble heart that knows there is no good thing that can be found in him and he is in need of a Savior. THAT is a life that God can then forgive, heal, and do GREAT things through!