The Leaven of Works Salvation
If I were to pick the most popular heresy believed throughout Christendom it would be “works salvation.” This is the belief that a person can merit heaven either fully or in part because of his or her good works. The Roman Catholic Church, whose numbers exceed one-and-a-quarter billion followers, is the chief advocate of works salvation. Yet throughout the numerous denominations that make up the rest of the billions who profess to be Christian, that false teaching is either held in total by some individuals or felt to be true even though it’s not the official doctrine of their churches.
“I’m basically a good person,” “I’ve done enough good things to get me in,” and “I believe the scales of my good will outweigh my bad”—these are among the delusions of the heart that permeate the thoughts of many men and women. For the Christian-in-name-only, his self-deception is leading him on a course headed directly for the Lake of Fire—forever. For the immature believer in Jesus, his ignorance (if indeed he is saved) gives him little or no motivation for a fruitful temporal life.
Both need to heed the words found in Isaiah:64:6: “…we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags [before God].” And Ephesians:2:8-10: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [salvation is] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto [not due to!] good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
T. A. McMahon