Get on a treadmill. Push start. Now, I don’t care HOW FAST you run or for HOW LONG – once you step off that treadmill, you haven’t actually traveled anywhere. Not one inch.
This is what it’s like to TRY and earn your own salvation. It’s Treadmill Christianity.
Here’s why I’m saved. Here’s what makes me right with God. Here’s why I can enter Heaven:
“I’m a good person. I go to church. I was baptized. I read my Bible. I pray, fast, & tithe. I haven’t murdered anyone. I haven’t stolen anything. I try to make the world a better place. I pay my taxes. I follow the traffic laws. I help my elderly neighbor. I don’t smoke, drink, curse, rub, or chew. I give a hoot – I don’t pollute. I always return my shopping cart. I don’t gossip… much. I don’t laugh when someone falls… much. I volunteer at the Misison. I sponsor a child with World Vision. Come to think of it; I’m a very good person.”
I, I, I.
Even a lifetime of practicing these good moral behaviors haven’t gotten you one inch closer to Heaven (Isa. 64:6). Just a gerbil on a wheel; panting & tired. None of those things (in and of themselves) redeem you; only Jesus can do that (Acts 16:31).
If you could get to Heaven because of any deed or religious ritual, then there was NO POINT in having Jesus die on the Cross (Gal. 2:21). If you could get to Heaven because of YOU, then you would be able to boast about it (Eph. 2:9). Seriously, imagine that: Boasting before Yahweh?! “Hey Adonai, look at how good I was! Let me in! I deserve it! I earned my place at the table!”
That feeling rising up in you right now and making you feel defensive? Its called pride and God hates it (Prov. 8:13).
Instead, Jesus says “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matt. 11:28.
Are you wearing yourself out on a spiritual treadmill or resting in Jesus?