Note from Randy: In response to a question in a college application form, my seventeen-year-old daughter Angela wrote the following. I asked her if we could print it. Nanci and I praise God that both our daughters, by His grace and to His glory, are walking closely with Him. What Angela says here cuts to the heart of the Bible’s teaching about our need for the Savior.
“I can do this. I don’t need any help. I can make it on my own.”
“Strength comes from within. If you believe in yourself, anything is possible. Trusting in anyone but yourself will get you hurt.”
How many times do I hear those words and get these messages each day? It’s all around us–the lie of the world that tells us that if we believe in ourselves, we will be saved. Saved, by the world’s standards that is. Salvation is defined as feeling content, peaceful, carefree, happy. “Saved” from a life without meaning; “saved” from dependence on others; “saved” from having to feel bad about ourselves.
Men and women today have become so obsessed with their independence that it’s considered normal for them to handle things on their own. Why should they count on God for anything, when in their minds they’ve got it together, and they’ve made it through everything by themselves? Many people have been hurt when they’ve given their trust to other people, so they no longer trust in anything but themselves to get things done. This is selfishness disguised as virtue. That’s what’s so scary about this world-view. People have gotten to the point where, if they even believe there’s a God, they think if they’re good enough, God will accept them into heaven. They don’t need to rely on Him for their salvation. They look at all of the horrible things that people do, and reason that surely they don’t deserve hell as much as those people do. They’re better than that–they deserve heaven. (Wrong.)
We as Christians need to show the world that it’s impossible to make it to heaven by our own power or self-righteousness. Sooner or later, we all have to place faith in that one and only Someone (not something) who can lead us there. Otherwise, we have to rely on our own strength and goodness, and it’s just not nearly enough. Who are we to compete with the holiness of our Creator? Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
People need God in order to be saved from ourselves and the lies the world fills us with. We need to be saved from our independence, saved from ourselves and our sin. The Bible not only tells us that Christ died to give us eternal life, it also says He died to save us from the judgment of God Almighty. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Romans 5:8-9)
Faith in Christ for our salvation is the most important thing we can share with the world, because it will literally mean the difference between heaven and hell-eternity with God, and eternity separated from Him. We are all sinners and deserve to be judged. People today need to humble themselves and be filled with hope based squarely on the reality that Christ alone has paved the way for us, on a path covered with His blood. That path, and that one alone (John 14:6), can and will lead anyone who believes to eternal life.