You Can’t Get to Heaven on Your Own
By Rick Warren
“If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” (Romans 11:6 NASB)
Most of the world figures they know how to get to Heaven. Ask 10 people, and you’ll likely hear answers like, “Just work really hard,” “Do more good than bad,” and “Be nice to people.”
That may be what the world thinks, but keep this in mind: You don’t have a chance of getting into Heaven by your own effort. You’ll never be good enough to get into a perfect place. You stopped being perfect a long time ago.
In fact, the Bible says you get into Heaven through the exact opposite approach: “If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace” (Romans 11:6 NASB).
This is the fundamental difference between Christianity and every other religion on Earth. You can summarize every other religion with the word “do.” Depending on the religion, there’s a different list of what to do, but regardless, there’s a list. And you must obey that list to get to Heaven. You have to earn your way to God.
The Bible gives an opposite plan. The Bible says you get into Heaven by accepting what has already been done for you — that Jesus died on the cross 2,000 years ago for you.
Everything that needs to be done has already been done. Jesus did everything. It’s a free gift.
Your only part in salvation is simply to accept that it was done for you. That’s grace. And it’s God’s gift to you.
You may be given a Rolls Royce someday. You may be given a million dollars. But there’s no greater gift than the grace of God.
You can learn more about how you can have a relationship with Jesus through God’s grace at my website, rickwarren.org. When you’re there, click on the “Know God” tab. There are a video and a guide explaining what it means to trust your life to Jesus. Let me know if you pray along with the prayer today by writing me at email@example.com.
Talk It Over
- What reaction did you have when you read, “You don’t have a chance of getting into Heaven by your own effort”? Was that good news or bad news?
- Why is it hard to accept that God’s grace is free?
- Why do some people think it would be easier to earn their way to God?
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit rickwarren.org
The secret to being happy no matter what is looking at every experience and circumstance you face from God’s viewpoint. When you go through difficult times joy becomes a choice you make minute by minute. Written by Pastor Rick’s wife, Kay Warren, this Devotional book is the perfect tool to help you stay focused on God’s word and see things from His perspective. Each devotion begins with a much-needed encouragement from Scripture, followed by Kay's wise words on how to live with joy. Each devotion ends with a short prayer to help bring you closer to the source of all joy—our loving God.
This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
You can also listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.