Romans 4.25 describes that He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God.
Religion is the attempt to make people right with God. Performance is essential for success.
Even the agnostic plays this game by convincing themselves they are essentially good people deserving of heaven if there proves to be a god in the end. Being right with God by the agnostic and the religious is defined as doing more good in life than bad.
But what is good?
The one time God was asked this question He required the person asking to rid himself of all his possessions and follow Him. The point God was making was that good was defined as reckless abandonment of the things that define us and give us security to know God and do His will no matter the personal cost. If this is truly good who then is truly good?
The problem the agnostic has is that they depend upon their own innate sense of goodness to define what is good. What if God doesn’t use their standard? What if God cares nothing at all about what we think is good and cares only for what He defines as good? Is the agnostic still good even if they used the wrong definition of good?
Religion has the same problem. Muslims, Hindus, Siks, Buddhists, Mormons etc., all have definitions of good and all are different. Whose is correct? Will God accept any and all definitions of good? What if He doesn’t?
If there really is a God and if He is really good then doesn’t it only makes sense that He would clearly articulate what He requires for people to enter heaven? Christianity claims it holds the very words of God on record, the Bible being God’s primary vehicle for making Himself known and what He requires.
In this record God says humanity is incapable of being good from birth, that we can never be good enough to get to heaven based upon our performance. Not one person God declares can earn his salvation. Grim news.
Only one chance to get to heaven says God, one way can people become good enough to live forever with God: crying out to God for mercy and trusting Jesus the Savior Who died as punishment for all humanities disobedience to pardon everyone who comes to Him for forgiveness.
Humbly coming to God as poor in Spirit seeking reconciliation and restoration with Him through Jesus is God’s recorded means for getting into heaven.
To those who believe God, who follow His instruction, He pardons and commits to transform from the inside out into ‘good’ people. People He declares good because they have done the one thing that makes them good – come to Jesus for salvation.