…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. Galatians 2:16
I saw a fascinating documentary about the excavation of a newly found tomb in Sakkara Egypt. The amount of work and expense that went into making it was staggering. There was artwork, statues, mummified animals, and all other sorts of items the Egyptians put in their tombs.
The big surprise was that they were able to deduce from the hieroglyphics and inconsistencies in the artwork that there was a little hanky-panky going on. It seems that the guy whose name was on the place stole it from his brother – maybe even killed him – to get himself this really choice tomb.
Why was so much money and energy spent on it? Why did one guy steal it from his brother? These were seen as portals to the afterlife. In fact, the archeologists exploring it pointed out a door-like feature which was supposed to be the actual gateway between the spiritual and earthly realms through which the deceased could pass. Great care was also taken to point out what a good guy the deceased was to make sure the god in question, Anubis I think, would allow him entry.
This is mankind’s greatest failure since the beginning. From the Tower of Babel to Egypt to today people constantly are working to ensure their own salvation, their own portal into eternal life. Even after learning about Jesus and His Gospel of salvation, people just couldn’t leave off earning salvation themselves. The Gnostics came along with the idea that you needed to know hidden knowledge and “learn” your way into heaven.
Of course, it’s all nonsense! We are saved by Jesus’ sacrifice. Period. The only effort we need expend is to simply accept it. Jesus begs us to allow Him to pay for our sins, but so many still think it’s about living a good life or something else.
In response to Jesus’ loving care, we should live good lives. We should be as kind and helpful and forgiving as we possibly can, but those things are not our passport into heaven.
Live a good life. You’ll find that it has its own rewards on earth. As for your reward in heaven? Just say yes to Jesus!!