A reward only comes for a good deed. Grace is given, not because of something you have done, it is given because of something Jesus has done.
Grace always upsets religious people. Why? Because then all the things they do (and tell others to do) don’t matter anymore—suddenly they are no better than you and they have no power over you.
Our own efforts can never get us to heaven. The problem with religion is that you will never be good enough through your own efforts to make it to heaven. No matter how good you are, your personal best is not good enough.
Once, two men had a jumping contest. One was an Olympic champion of the long jump who was in perfect shape. The other was a fat man who huffed and puffed just walking. They decided to have a contest to determine who could jump across the Grand Canyon.
The obese man could barely run. He waddled up to the edge of the cliff, leaned forward, and managed to jump two feet. He fell to his death at the bottom of the canyon.
Next, the champion long jumper warmed up and ran as fast as he could at the gaping canyon. He jumped over thirty feet…but, unfortunately, he ended up at the same place as the first man: the bottom of the canyon.
No matter how good we are, it is impossible for us to make it to heaven through our own works. The world’s most religious man and the world’s worst sinner both end up in the pits of hell without accepting Christ’s help. You are not justified by your works, you are justified by Christ’s work on the cross.