Are you (or do you know someone who is) trying to find acceptance with God apart from Christ? The defense may be, “I’m not so bad. After all, I’ve never murdered anyone,” as if God will accept us because we’ve never committed the act of murder. But which sin is worse, murder or lying? According to Proverbs 6:16,17, lying is the greater violation of the two in the sight of God–because lying leads to murder! We need to remember and remember well, all sin has eternal consequences for those who reject Christ as their Savior.
Perhaps your pursuit of God has taken you down the path of religious rituals. Surely here you will find favor with God! Interestingly, it is in this area that Satan has done his most effective work to blind men to the light of the glorious gospel. He uses religion! If men think their religious service will gain them acceptance with God, he has accomplished his purpose to keep them eternally damned.
Here is a short list of religious practices that men do, hoping to earn their way to heaven: church attendance, water baptism, first communion, confirmation, reciting the Lord’s Prayer, responsive readings, doing the sign of the Cross, confessing and receiving forgiveness of their sins from a priest, etc. Before his conversion to Christ, Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church, visited Rome, where he climbed the steps of Scala Santa on his knees. The Scala Santa is believed to be the stairway the Lord ascended to reach Pilate’s Judgment Hall on the day of His crucifixion. The Catholic Church supposedly had it brought from Jerusalem to Rome.
As a Roman Catholic, at the time, Luther believed such acts of self-sacrifice would increase his chances of entering heaven. But it wasn’t long thereafter, in a monastery at Wittenberg, he saw things in a whole new light. As Luther was reading Romans 1:17, where it states, “The just shall live by faith,” he paused a moment, and then it suddenly dawned on him that salvation was by faith. Up to that point he had tried to earn his salvation through religious observances, but never felt he had done enough. Now, for the first time, he saw that a lost soul is declared eternally righteous by God through faith on the basis of the finished work of Christ. He was delivered from the bondage of his sins and indescribable joy flooded his heart. So dramatic was the change in his life that Luther went on to be the spark that ignited the great Reformation.
If you would like to get to heaven from your current location, simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We want you to know that God loves you and Christ died for your sins (Rom. 5:8). You see, the day Christ died at Calvary, He wasn’t dying for His sins. He knew no sin. Instead, He was dying for the sins of the world–my sins and your sins. God has made a provision for all, but to receive the benefit of this provision you must believe that Christ died personally for you and rose again (I Cor. 15:3,4; I Thes. 4:14). Salvation is in a person, and that person is the Lord Jesus Christ! He alone can save you from your sins! source