WE DONʼT HAVE TO CLEAN UP FIRST
God will accept us just the way we are. We don’t have to clean up our lives to meet him. If we had to change our ways as a prerequisite to meeting him, then salvation would involve our own good works. But the Bible says clearly that salvation is a free gift and that good works has nothing to do with it.
A vivid example is the criminal who was crucified at the same time as Jesus. Hanging on an adjacent cross, he acknowledged that Jesus was God and asked for eternal life. Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’ There was no way the condemned criminal could rectify his life by himself. He simply came to Jesus as a needy sinner, but that was enough for him to receive the gift of eternal life in heaven.
Hereʼs a sampling of what the Bible says on this subject.
New life is a free gift from God; good works is a by-product, not a precondition
Jesus says thief on the cross will be in heaven
I John 1:9
God will forgive if we will confess
Our righteous acts are like filthy rags
For help, see Topic 29.