If being focused and working hard is what it takes, Tiger Woods has a solid track record. The world’s most famous golfer has worked hard during his career to ensure he maintains his superstar status. The first ever billionaire athlete has earned the outstanding distinction of being a ‘golfing phenomenon’.
At 33, Tiger Woods has won the Masters tournament four times; the PGA tournament four times and has walked off the course the big winner in three U.S. Open Championships.
Eldrick Tont (Tiger) Woods started swinging golf clubs before he could even walk and by the time he reached two, he appeared on television putting along side of Comedian Bob Hope. By the age of three he was shooting scores that many adults would feel were quite respectable. (1)
Golfing is no hobby or pass-time for this pro. He works out two to three hours a day, five to six days a week. He takes golfing seriously and that’s why he is where he is today. It is a part of his belief system. Personal effort and giving it all you got is what it takes to get what you want in life.
In an interview last year Tiger Woods explained his focus and commitment this way:
“In the Buddhist religion you have to work for it yourself, internally, in order to achieve anything in life and set up the next life,” he said. “It is all about what you do, and you get out of life what you put into it. So you are going to have to work your butt off in every aspect of your life. That is one of the things that people see in what I do on the course.” (2)
Tiger Woods believes in life after death – the next life he calls it. Like achieving golfing superstar status through sheer determination and hard work, he thinks a similar approach will help him for the next life. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to believe that.
It wouldn’t surprise me if seventy five percent of the people reading this story hold a similar view about the next life. Many so-called ‘christian’ churches teach that ‘good works’ are an essential part of the formula of obtaining eternal life and gaining heaven. Their members think this way: Give it your best and you’ll have a good chance of winning. Do the best you can and God will reward you with Heaven. Do as many good things as you possibly can and you will have a reasonably good chance of gaining favor with God.
Hard work may bring you good golfing scores. Diligent effort may secure you a university scholarship. Giving it all you’ve got may help you climb the corporate ladder but there is no such multi-rung ladder to Heaven.
There is only one rung on God’s ladder to heaven: the single step of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Saviour.
Here is what the Bible says about our personal efforts and whether or not they help us secure favor with God and an eventual home in Heaven:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:8)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24)
The concept of gaining eternal life and Heaven by personal effort and good works contradicts the fundamental theme of the Bible. Such thinking rudely and blatantly belittles and denies the beautiful story of redemption and what Christ accomplished when He died for sin on the Cross.
If you are exerting considerable effort climbing a multi-wrung ladder towards Heaven, get off it today.
The Bible teaches that eternal life is not a reward – it is a gift. You do not secure it by your good works, you receive it by placing your faith and trust in Christ alone. Christ plus nothing else.
Receive the free gift today and become an immediate possessor of eternal life.