This is an excerpt from my new book, Crash Course
When I got out of high school I had the bright idea of learning to Rollerblade™. Now if you know me, you know I’m about as coordinated as a giraffe on a skateboard. So I bought some Rollerblades™ and set off for the biggest hill I could find.
The downhill part was cool—all 4.5 seconds of it. But when I ended up in a heap at the bottom of the hill, I realized two things. 1) Pavement really hurts, and 2) As hard as I tried, it just wasn’t in me to Rollerblade™.
I packed up the blades and sold them on E-bay.
A lot of religious people think if they work really hard, they can get to heaven. They think that if they pull a Mother Teresa, God will overlook all of their sin.
There’s a problem with that. Everybody has a different standard of what’s right and what’s wrong. So who’s to say how many good works are enough?
Actually, you’d have to be perfect your entire life. That’s the unreachable standard. The Bible says that our attempts to make God happy with our good works are like “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). That doesn’t mean we should stop doing good things. It means what we try to do falls way short compared to what God expects.
Here’s the deal. Becoming a Christian is not about trying harder. It’s not about digging in and doing better. It’s about realizing how sinful we are and how holy God is. It’s about calling out to God and accepting His gracious gift of forgiveness.