The way to heaven by following the law given at Mount Sinai, is very steep and narrow, and it takes only one wrong step for a man to be dashed to pieces. Stand at the foot and look up at it if you dare.
On its brow of stone there is the black cloud, out of which lightening leaps and the blast of the trumpet sounds loud and long. Do you not see Moses tremble, and will you dare stand unabashed where Moses is fearful and afraid? Look upwards, and give up the thought of climbing those steep crags, for no one has ever striven to clamber up there in the hope of salvation without finding destruction among the terrors of the way! Be wise, give up that deceitful hope of salvation which your pride leads you to choose and your presumption would soon cause you to rue (to feel sorry for).
Suppose you could do some great thing, which I am sure you cannot, and it were possible that you could from now on be perfect, and never sin again in thought, or word, or deed; how would you be able to atone for your past delinquencies? Shall I call for a resurrection in that graveyard of your memory? Let your sin rise up for a moment, and pass in review before you. Ah, the sins of your youth may well frighten you; those midnight sins; those midday sins; those sins against light and knowledge; those sins of body; those sins of soul! You have forgotten them, you say, but God has not. Look at the file! They are all placed there, all registered in God’s daybook, not one forgotten—all to be read against you in the day of the last judgment.
How can future obedience make up for past transgression? The cliff has fallen and though the wave washes up ten thousand times, it cannot set the cliff up again. The day is bright but still there was a night, and the brightest day does not obliterate the fact that once it was dark. The self-righteous man knows that what he is doing cannot satisfy God, for it cannot satisfy himself; and though he may perhaps drug his conscience, there is generally enough left of the divine element within the man to make him feel and know that it is not satisfactory.
To believe what God says, to do what God commands, to take that salvation which God provides—this is man’s highest and best wisdom. Open your bible. It is the pilgrim’s guide, in which God describes the glory yet to be revealed. This is the one message of the Gospel, “believe and live.” Trust in the incarnate savior, whom God appointed to stand in the place of sinners. Trust in Him and you shall be saved.
Excepted from ‘Advice for Seekers‘ by Charles H. Spurgeon