There is only one reason: reconciliation. The relationship that exists between man and God is broken and cannot be repaired by good works (Eph 2:9) despite what many believe. Even our purest and most “noble” deeds are like “filthy rags” in God’s sight (Isa 64:6). John Calvin addressed this difference in perceptions well when he wrote:
“And since nothing appears within us or around us that is not tainted with very great impurity, so long as we keep our mind within the confines of human pollution, anything which is in some small degree less defiled delights us as if it were most pure: just as an eye, to which nothing but black had been previously presented, deems an object of a whitish, or even of a brownish hue, to be perfectly white.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1 c. 2 s. 1).
Good works are indeed necessary for the Christian but they do not save. It is our belief in Christ that restores our relationship with God and it is from this spring of belief that our good works flow (Rom 4:1-5). One must not only believe in the existence of God, or even the identity of Christ for that matter, because even the demons believe that (Jas 2:19, Mk 5:7) yet they remain condemned. No, that type of belief is merely factual, not spiritual. The spiritual belief that saves people is the sober and deeply rooted acknowledgement in our heart that Jesus is the sinless Son of God and that he came to earth and through His atoning death reconciled us to God which saves us from the eternal death that we deserve. He wants to have a relationship with us. True saving faith is an internal confidence that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.
Simply put, the decision to believe in Jesus Christ is the only decision that matters during our brief stay on earth; all others are trivial in comparison. Then, after we trust and believe in Him, He is faithful to mature and develop us. It is during this maturation process, commonly referred to as the sanctification process, that we are moved by the Holy Spirit to do good works. Then once the relationship has been restored with God our good works which were previously seen by God as “filthy rags” are now transformed into deeds of honor that bring glory to Christ. These deeds don’t save us but are instead the works that God has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10) which spring forth from gratitude not obligation.
Believing in Jesus is like removing the cover from a deep desert well. After you have drunk deeply from its water and know that it is good, you can rest. You must draw more life-giving water daily through study and prayer or your will again become parched. The man who knows where this water is will never thirst. He pitches his tents in the shade and lives restfully in the shadow of the well all the days of his life.
Uncover the well of Christ and drink deeply of His goodness. All else will fall into place if you only cast your problems at the foot of the cross and believe in Him. Jesus is a faithful friend who will never leave your side. He will cry tears of joy with you when your children are born and cry tears of grief with you when they die. Believe in Him now and your life will be forever transformed. God may not present another opportunity to you so take hold of this offer now while you have the opportunity. Death approaches swiftly and with death; judgment. Don’t trade the happiness of heaven for the horrors of hell.
There is always someone available at GCF to help you with this decision. If you have questions, need more information or would like to just talk to someone, we’re always here to help you.