Contrary to what many people believe, Christianity isn't about doing "good deeds" to make God happy. The Bible says that all of our human effort/righteous deeds are "like filthy rags" to God, because He is so holy, and so pure, that we can't live up to his perfect standard. Trying to force yourself to obey the ten commandments for salvation will not work, because, as Galatians 2:16 says, "...a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ...." And again, Galatians 3:19 says, "What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions...."

As Romans states, the purpose of the law was to reveal sin, and to show mankind how much they weren't able to keep the law on their own. They needed Christ.

The Bible teaches that everyone is deserving of an eternal Hell. We have not lived up to the righteous standards of God's law. All of us have sinned and "fall short of the glory of God." Any time you are filled with hatred, you have sinned. Any time you think lustfully about a man/woman, you have sinned. Jesus talked openly about Hell more than anyone else in the Bible, warning us in His love that a place like that truly does exist. In Matthew 25:46, Jesus says that the wicked "will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

So then, how can anyone be saved? If, no matter what good deed you do, whether it's giving to the poor, or trying to obey the old covenant of ten commandments purely by your own strength, or anything else -- if it will never be good enough, how can you be saved from the judgment that is surely coming? The answer is Jesus.

God knew that we, fallen creatures, could never do it on our own. So God came down in the flesh, as Jesus of Nazareth, lived a perfect life, and bore our sins on the cross, dying in our place, so that through the wrath that was poured out on Him, we would be able to have eternal life with Him forever. On the third day He rose, and He is in Heaven right now, interceding with the Father for believers.

How can we be saved? John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." And Acts 3:19 says, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord...." And again, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

What must you do to be saved?

1) Repent

Repentance simply means a "change of mind." Repentance is marked by sorrow for sins, and wanting to turn away from them. It doesn't mean you try and force yourself to overcome sins. No. It means that you cry out to God for the Holy Spirit to come and change your heart. (And even then, the act of turning away from your sins is not what saves you in and of itself. It's just the result of having received the Holy Spirit.) Confess your sins, confess that you need salvation; ask God for the Holy Spirit and for forgiveness, and tell Him that you want Him to be a part of your life. Truly mean it from your heart, but don't rely on the words themselves to save you -- rely on Jesus!

2) Believe in Jesus Christ

Believing in Jesus is more than just believing that God exists. After all, James 2:19 says, "You believe there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe -- and tremble!" If even the demons believe that there is a God, then what does the Bible truly mean when it says to believe in Jesus? It means that you trust in Jesus; trust in Him alone to save you, and not your works, or your self-righteousness, or any other "holy" thing you think you can do to save yourself. It means to throw yourself on Jesus as the only one who can save you, and to cling to Him as your only means of salvation.

Have you truly repented and believed?