Did you know that just because someone is a good person doesn’t mean they’re saved? We are saved by grace alone; what does that mean, and how does it work?
The word grace means receiving something you did not deserve. Mercy means being spared a punishment you deserved. Salvation is both grace and mercy. Through mercy, Jesus saves us from hell. Through grace, Jesus offers us an eternity with Him. He is the gift and in Him is eternal life. Our good deeds are irrelevant to our salvation. Here is what the Bible says about it.
Why We Need to Talk About Hell
Christians believe that Jesus saved us from hell. Jesus spoke of it more than any of the prophets. Yet it is a very unpopular topic to talk about. Indeed, many people consider it to be taboo.
If we never talk about hell, the explanation of Jesus’ resurrection is incomplete. How did Jesus save us from death, if everybody still dies? In Revelation 21:8, we read about the second death. It is the lake of fire, the opposite of heaven.
Jesus came to save us from the second, eternal death. Jesus died on the cross so we wouldn’t have to see hell. We read that Jesus resurrected and was the victor over death. Jesus, not our good deeds, saves us from sin. In Him, we have eternal life with the Father in Heaven (John 14:3; John 5:24)
Salvation Is in Jesus
God made hell for the Devil and his angels, not humans (Matthew 25:41). Neither does God want anyone to go to Hell (2 Peter 3:9). He died in our place to pay for our sins so we can live with Him for eternity. Salvation ultimately rests in believing in Jesus and His power to save. (Romans 10:9)
If being a good person is enough to save us, then why the crucifixion? If all God asked of us was to try and do more good than bad, then Jesus had no reason for dying on the cross. He came to save the entire world from their sins. (1 John 2:2). He came to wash us clean by taking our punishment. (1 Peter 2:24)
It is in Jesus that we find our righteousness, (2 Corinthians 5:21) as we can’t make ourselves righteous after we sinned (Isaiah 64:6). Too many people think that good deeds make up for wrong ones. Does donating to charity justify theft? Jesus came to take our guilt upon himself; he placed all our wrongs on Himself as if He did them (1 Peter 2:24). That is why we say, ‘He died for us.’
Is Anyone Without Sin?
God will not punish anyone who does not understand right from wrong (Deut 1:39). But to the rest of us who knows wrong from right, we are without excuse. The Bible has many examples of people who ignored their conscience. In time your conscience is seared, and you lose that understanding – in this case, you are still guilty.
You sinned the first time you did ‘wrong’ instead of ‘right.’ A white lie is still a lie. It is enough to make it impossible for God to have a relationship with you. Light can not have fellowship with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14).
The Bible tells us that Jesus never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). His resurrection proves this. If Jesus had sinned, He wouldn’t have been able to escape the second death, but Jesus was pure (2 Corinthians 5:21), thus Jesus conquered death. (1 Corinthians 15:55 ). He took our sins upon Himself, but He was righteous and had to power to defeat death.
It is in Jesus Christ that we, who have sinned, find forgiveness for our sins. His blood cleanses us (Hebrews 9:22-29). Doing good things can never wash your sins away. By accepting Jesus and asking Him to wash you and be your God and Savior, He will save you (Romans 10:13).