Merit vs. Mercy


Can I Share something with you that changed my life?

If I were to ask you if you were to die right now do you know if you'd go to Heaven?

If you're like me, you were probably taught something like this.

If you:

  • Obey The 10 Commandments
  • Go to church
  • Be Nice to people
  • Live a "Good Life"

You'd have a pretty good chance to make it to Heaven. Does this sound familiar or were you taught something completely different?

The problem I kept coming back to with this was if I'm required to be a good person, just how good do I have to be to get into Heaven? Is there a level I need to acquire to make it in?

I've looked through scriptures and found how big the ark was that Noah built. I found the schematics for the ark, but I never was able to find how "good" I needed to be to get to Heaven.

If you're anything like me I'm different every day, every hour, sometimes every hour on how "good" I am.

If you go to 15 different churches you'll probably hear 15 different reasons you're going to hell.

  • You're a woman not in a dress, you're going to hell.
  • You've got tattoo's? Hell.
  • Maybe you don't have one, but you wanted one? Hell.

According to religion I'm going to hell 5 or 6 times!

But... That's Religion. God's Word is the final authority – not a preacher, or a priest, or a rabbi, or any other trapping of religion.


If this is what you've been taught all your life, let me share something with you different than what we've been taught.

To make sure we're on the same page we've been taught that

If you:

  • Obey The 10 Commandments
  • Go to church
  • Be Nice to people
  • Live a "Good Life"

You'd have a pretty good chance to make it to Heaven. Right?

So basically, we're trusting in 4 or 5 things to take us to Heaven. We've been taught merit.

This is what God Says about mercy.

  • 1. We're all sinners (Romans 3:23)
  • 2. We've admitted we're sinners, and if we die with that sin on our souls, we'd come short of Heaven and would have to go to hell. (Romans 6:23, Revelations 21:8)

That's the bad news...

Here comes the good news:

  • 3. God himself took on human form to suffer and die for man's sin. (Romans 5:8)

They beat him, pierced his body and then they put him in a tomb. Not for his sins, but for ours.

3 Days later He rose from the Dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) This proved He was who He Said He was – God.

These three things are for us to understand. We must Understand them, the last thing we must do.

Romans 10:13 says, "for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Let's review, the bible says if we:

  • 1. Realize we're sinners
  • 2. Realize that because we're sinners we deserve Hell
  • 3. Jesus is who He said He is, He's God. He died and rose from the grave for our sin
  • 4. If we simply call upon the Lord to trust him to save us, He will.

Believing in Jesus and trusting in Jesus are two completely different things. We see that there is a difference in merit and mercy.

It's not our merit but his mercy!

We're no longer trusting 4 or 5 things WE DO to take us to Heaven but one thing – Jesus Christ.

One of the last things Christ said was Tetelestai, meaning "It is Finished!" All the work is done, all the sins are paid in full.

All we must DO is to trust and follow Jesus.

This is a simple prayer to make it concrete:

Dear Jesus, please come into my heart into my life and save my soul from going to hell. Jesus, I trust you and you alone. Thank you for saving me.


  • Let's be sure – Who did you call upon?
  • What did you ask Him to do?
  • Did Jesus Save you for a little bit or forever?
  • Did He save you because you're good or He's Good?
  • So, if you were to die after praying this prayer, where would you go?
  • How about 5 years from now?

Good! Congratulations! You've made the best decision of your life!

If you've prayed this prayer today, we'd love to celebrate with you and give you a spiritual birth certificate! Click the link and send us your name, the date and time that you prayed the prayer and we'll send you a spiritual birth certificate!

What's next?

Jesus tells us to take your story of what just happened and share it with people you come in contact with.

Harvest Bible Church

(903) 883-8080
4915 Hwy 34S, Greenville, Texas 75402