Can I work my way to heaven?

According to Christian researcher George Barna ( 72% of all Americans and 53% of Christians believe that it might be possible for someone to earn their way into heaven through good deeds.  This doesn’t go so far as to say that these people believe that they are working their way into heaven but that some others might be accepted because of good deeds.

John 14:6 says, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

There is one way to heaven and that is through Jesus.  There are no shortcuts or alternative routes.  This belief is likely held out for people who seemed good but never could be bothered by Christianity.  We don’t like the idea that God would punish someone who was “relatively good.”  But the fact remains that pretty good doesn’t meet God’s standard.  We are all sinners and we are all in need of forgiveness, even those who were pretty good and who tried to live a good life.

Once again, we must go back to the idea of absolute standards.  God set the standard at perfection.  If we can make it into heaven by being good, how good is good enough?  How could we ever have assurance of salvation if making it into heaven depended on some other standard that we were never given?  But we were given a standard.  The standard is perfection and we fall short of it.  And because of that we need the forgiveness of Jesus.  Good deeds are not going to be enough.

Good deeds do not address the issue of sin.  We all sin, even the best of us.  But how can a good deed make up for something bad that we have done?  Once hurtful words are out of our mouth, they can’t come back.  Once we have done something wrong, we can’t undo it, only hope to repair the damage from it.  Only forgiveness addresses the issue of sin.  Forgiveness is what is needed to make it to heaven, not good deeds.  There are no good deeds that can make up for the bad things that we do, no matter how many good things we do.

It’s Maction Time!

What on earth is maction?  It is a new term for “massive action.”  I was recently talking to a friend and he said that he had set aside the month of June for maction.  He has a second child coming in August so pretty much whatever he hopes to accomplish in the next few months needs to be done now.

I’ve been absolutely wore out lately with church stuff.  Hospital visits always take a toll on me and I’ve had someone in the hospital for the last three weeks.  It all started with three people in the hospital which wouldn’t be out of the ordinary expect my church isn’t that big.  But I’ve also noticed before that hospital visits come in bunches.  I can go months without anyone in the hospital and suddenly I’ll have a group of them. 

All of this has left me worn out and feeling like I haven’t gotten much done lately.  It’s also a foolish time to take on any more projects.  Yesterday I decided to take on a new project on a whim however.  My whims have been some of the greatest ideas I’ve ever had and have been the cause of some of my greatest online successes.  Despite the fact that I had decided to focus all of my online work on Christian websites from now on, I took on an entertainment project.  Hoping to be ahead of the curve, I’m setting up a network of sites devoted to 3D technology.  If it doesn’t catch on I’m not too concerned because I don’t have too much invested in it.

Just having a change of pace has felt really good though.  I love the work I do as a pastor and I love what I do online.  If I had the option of doing them for free I would.  But it is nice to take on a new project that has no religious significance.  That way there is no real pressure to even complete the project if I don’t feel like it.  If the project fails, I won’t lose any sleep over it either because there is no significance to it other than an opportunity to supplement my income online.

While I’m energized I hope to get the bulk of the work done for the new sites.  Unlike the other projects that I’ve taken on recently, this one is meant to be short term.  This means that right now is time for maction.  Even though there’s not religious significance I’ll post the links here when the sites are completed just in case anyone is curious.  (And it helps my search engine ranking when there are more links too. 🙂 )