Many of us would probably appeal to our good works. We’d talk about how we’ve tried to live a good life by treating others well, working hard, and being a responsible citizen of society.
Others of us who would appeal to our religious practices. We’d bring up times when we were baptized, took communion, attended church, prayed, and read the Bible.
Another group again would appeal to our commitment to Jesus. Knowing full well that our good works and religious practices are not enough, we would begin talking about the commitment we made to live for Jesus. We’d explain how we always tried to be faithful. We consistently obeyed the Bible. Everything we did was done with a heart to please God.
Essentially all three of these approaches are about ‘WHAT I HAVE DONE’. They rely upon my good works, my religious practices, or my commitment to Jesus.
But the Bible teaches that there is another way. That Jesus is the one who paid the price for us to get into heaven. He lived the perfect life that we could not live. He died the death that we should have died.
The person who gets into heaven is the person who says: “I am a sinner. My good works, my religious practices, and my commitment to Jesus mean nothing before a Holy God. All that matters is what Jesus did on my behalf. I am not relying upon ‘WHAT I HAVE DONE’. I am trusting solely in the finished work of Christ. I am betting my eternity on ‘WHAT JESUS HAS DONE'”.
(* This extremly helpful opening question is taken from Evangelism Explosion)