You purchase a house and take out a mortgage. A common mortgage duration is for 30 years with payments due once per month = 360 payments.
You dutifully pay the first 359 payments in full and on time each month for nearly 30 years. After paying all those payments over all those years, including the interest on the unpaid balance, you’ve paid way more for the house than the original purchase price. You believe your good enough and have done enough to have this house debt free. So you decide to not send in the final payment.
You know what happens? You lose the house.
I’ve heard the line of thinking people have that “I’m a good person” or that “I’ve done a lot more good than I have bad in my life”. Each of these are attempts to justify ourselves as those we deserve the prize God has in store for us. But we are created by a just God, one that requires in the end for all things to be made right and all accounts paid in full.
I’m glad for this and also frightened by this.
Of all the terrible atrocities that happen in this world, I’m comforted to know that God will square all this someday. Things seems unfair here on planet Earth to me at times. Rich people that are self-absorbed jerks, poor people with great character that can’t get basic health care, famous people snubbing their noses at society and acting however they wish and so on….I’m glad to know that God will handle all this in the end.
It’s also frightening to know my own past. I’m no better than those I described above. That’s where Jesus comes in. He paid the price so I don’t have to. As a matter of fact, I don’t have the capacity to do so. It is impossible for me to be righteous on my own so that I could dodge the punishment I deserve. Jesus took the punishment and I am “justified” or made right and holy because of and through him and his actions on the cross.
So, being more “good” than “bad” or paying 359 payments on your 30 year mortgage gets you to the same place. Nowhere. Or somewhere, but not where you want to end up.
Follow Jesus. Trust Him. Surrender your life. Start to do things the way He teaches.
He’ll make all the payments needed to “keep the house”