Acts 26.20 records Paul’s message to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do.
One of the knocks on Christianity is how easy it is to be ‘successful’ in the religion, if success is defined as going to heaven. All of the other religions require great effort and sacrifice if the adherent is going to earn their eternal reward but Christianity promotes itself as a free gift only to be received in order to become an eternal member.
While God was definitely clear that human effort can not curry His pardon, otherwise He wouldn’t have needed to come as a sacrifice/punishment for the evil of humanity. He never told people His expectation from them was easy or that He didn’t expect full participation from His adherents.
God’s primary messenger after His time on earth was the Apostle Paul who took his message directly from the mouth of God. That message began with repent.
Repentance begins with admission that our current conduct and thinking is wrong, offensive to God and must be corrected. Repentance then leads to doing and thinking that which God says is correct, true and right.
This occurs by turning to God, opening the Bible and learning God’s ways and desires. It continues by meeting with other Christians for encouragement, instruction and application of the commands and principles found in God’s instruction manual.
The application of God’s commands is the crux of the matter, it is the true fruit of the tree, it is the true demonstration of love for God. God spells love for Him as OBEDIENCE. This Paul says is our proof that we have indeed repented from our sins and turned to God.
Christianity is not an easy belief that guarantees a wonderful eternity. Christianity is easy only in that it cost God everything. Living a Christian life is immensely difficult.
Loving our neighbor as we love our self no matter what our neighbor does to us but especially if they persecute us and malign us, steal from us and speak all kinds of evil against us is religion’s most difficult admonition and exists only in Christianity because that is how God lived with us and how He promises to live through us if we will let Him.
When we live this way, the world truly knows we are Christians by our love.