Eternity is Easy!

…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!!

4 thoughts on “Eternity is Easy!

  1. Good post, Jeffery!
    I feel the need to emphasize that it’s super important to back up our doctrinal ideologies with scripture.
    So correct me if I’m wrong, but the verse you are using to support that fact that salvation is by faith alone is Romans 3:28 and Romans 5:1 which state respectively:
    “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.”
    and,
    “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…”

    These verses are great and true. But it’s really important to read on, especially in the former verse:
    “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”
    Why is this so important? Because it backs up what James said in James 2:24 which states:
    “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

    I think that it’s really important to present the later verses as well, because a legalistic-type person might look at the latter verse and say, “See! We are saved by works!” And an atheist (or anyone out to discredit the Bible) might say, “See! Contradiction!”

    But there’s an important distinction between the concept of salvation by faith and being justified in our salvation by faith; and that is that one bears the fruit of one’s belief.
    That is, we show our belief by what we do.

    So are we saved by faith? 100%. Even in the first half of the Bible, Abraham BELIEVED God (that is to say, had faith) and it was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3). But how did he show his belief? Obviously, by what he did.

    So we uphold the Law and live righteous lives, again, not because it saves us, but because we know that it is the proof of our belief.

    God Bless you, brother!

    • First, let me thank you for your comments! A lot of thought went into it, and I am very appreciative that you took the effort to engage with me.

      The verses in Romans you mentioned were among those I considered before selecting Galatians 2:16. I was looking for a verse that makes the distinction that salvation is through faith, not works “lest any man should boast.” I just couldn’t find it!!

      Your points on the importance of works are absolutely correct. I was hoping my short comment at the end would make that point: “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.” But I should have developed it further as you have done. I was really focused on salvation not being a DYI “project.” But you are right – faith without works is dead. Works don’t gain salvation, but they do bolster and feed the faith that accomplishes it. I might even say that works are the proof to others and even ourselves that our faith is real. Like you, I think James is a precious piece!

      Thank you again for really tackling this topic!

Your ideas are important too!

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