The other morning, I stopped into a neighborhood bagel bakery to purchase a dozen bagels. As I was purchasing the bagels, I handed the cashier my frequent buyer card which rewards 10 purchases of a dozen bagels with a free dozen, happy that I needed only one more purchase to receive the reward. To my dismay, the cashier handed the card back to me and exclaimed, “We don’t have that program any longer!”
My protest to the cashier to honor this program was of no avail. I was so eager to keep buying bagels at this bakery in anticipation of the future reward, but ultimately, I was disappointed. All of my time, effort, and money was wiped away by this false promise of a reward.
Before Jesus Christ saved me, I viewed my life from a similar perspective. The more good works I did, the more “bagel points” I would be adding to my cosmic ledger of life. Eventually, I would do enough good works, and I would be rewarded with an even greater reward, to go to Heaven. But that is not what God says.
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Isaiah 64:6 (ESV)
Like the defunct bagel rewards program, God tells me that all of my good works and efforts are worthless. I can’t get to heaven by doing acts of kindness, following rules, or donating money. The only answer is coming before Jesus Christ and confessing and repenting of our sins and asking Him to be my Lord and Savior. And when I did this, my reward is an imperishable and eternal salvation. And unlike the bagel rewards, this program will always exist in my lifetime.
This promise is available to everyone. But you have to participate. Don’t waste the opportunity. Come to the Cross and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior by confessing and repenting of your sins.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.