Many people, including many Christians--sadly, probably including most Christians, incorrectly believe "I'm sure that if a person lives a good life, God will understand, and God won't send the person to Hell, even if the person didn't accept Jesus.
God wants us to understand that we can't do it without Him. Trying to earn your way into heaven by doing good works is a way of saying "God, I don't need You. I can do it without You." Salvation is a free gift from God. When we accept Jesus, God gives us credit for the perfect, sinless life that Jesus lived.
John 3:16-17  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 5:22-23  Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,  that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
John 10:7-10  Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, YOU WILL BE SAVED.
Luke 6:46 Why do you call me, "Lord, Lord," and do not do what I say?
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
John 8:46a [Jesus speaking] Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?
Romans 3:21-25a  But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.
Ephesians 2:8-9  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God --  not by works, so that no one can boast.
Romans 3:27-28  Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
Romans 4:2-5  If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about -- but not before God.  What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."  Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.  However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
Do as many of the following as you care to:
Participate in your church, temple, kingdom hall, synagogue, mosque, etc.
Do good works
Love your neighbor
Help the needy
Be honest in business
Pray to Jehovah
Pray to Allah, saints, Mary or anyone else you care to
Don't use profanity
Don't take God's name in vain
Don't drink, use drugs, etc.
Bring up your children right
Follow the Ten Commandments
You can do all of that, and everything will be working out fine, but you can still screw it up at the last minute by accepting Jesus, and you'll still wind up in Heaven after all that work!
Just remember--as long as you refuse to accept Jesus . . .
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(c) 1999 by Christian Chapel CME Church
Dallas, Texas USA
Bible quotes from New International Version