By Adam Faughn
"Work" is a word that many people
do not like to see. We like to think that we can get certain
results without work, but such is not the case.
Only in the dictionary ...
Does "love" come before "work."
Does "trust" come before "work."
Does "growth" come before "work."
Does "heaven" come before "work."
These are just four examples of
things people want to achieve without really working for
them. Obviously, love is is an emotion, but real love takes
a lot of work to build and maintain. We only gain trust from
others when we put forth the work necessary to build that
trust (which usually takes some significant time, too). A
relationship, business, effort, or congregation will not
grow unless there is a great deal of work involved.
But, what about heaven? Can we go
to heaven without working? When we preach that one must be
baptized in order to be saved (cf. Acts 2:38), we are often
told that we are preaching a "works salvation." It is said
that we are preaching that one can earn his or her way into
Nothing could be further from the
truth! God's grace saves, but He still requires us to do
certain things (cf. Philippians 2:12). Most of those who
state we preach works salvation will teach that one must
believe in order to be saved, and some will teach that one
must repent of sins. Are these not works, too? They may not
be quite so obvious outwardly, but they are just as much a
work as is baptism.
And, when we think about it,
baptism is really passive compared to the others. I believe.
I repent. I confess. But, I am baptized. Someone must
The Bible also makes it clear that
we must continue to work for the Lord throughout our life if
we want to be found faithful in the Day of Judgment (cf.
Revelation 2:10). We cannot "pile up" enough good works to
ear heaven, but we must humbly submit to the commands of God
to be found faithful. "Heaven" only comes before "work" int
- Adam Faughn serves as the pulpit minister for the Lebanon
Road Church of Christ in Nashville, TN. He may be
contacted through the congregation’s website at: