The most common way to hell?

by J.C. Ryle

There are two ways by which a man may lose his own soul--

1. He may lose his soul by living and dying without any religion
at all. He may live and die like a beast--prayerless, godless,
graceless, faithless. This is a sure way to hell.

2. He may also lose his soul by taking up some "useless kind
of religion". He may live and die contenting himself with a false
Christianity, resting on a baseless hope. This probably is the
most common way to hell
that there is today.

Let me tell you what I mean by 'useless kinds of religion".

A religion is entirely useless in which Jesus Christ is not the
principle object and does not fill the principal place.

There are too many calling themselves Christians
who practically know nothing about Christ.

Their religion consists in a few vague notions and empty
expressions. They trust they are no worse than many others.
They keep to their church; they try to do their duty; they do
nobody any harm; they hope God will be merciful to them;
they trust the Almighty will pardon their sins and take them
to heaven when they die.
This is about the whole of their religion.

I warn you plainly that such religion will never take you to
heaven. It may do very well in the eyes of man; it may pass
muster very decently at the church meeting, in the place of
business, or in the streets.

But it will never comfort you; it will never satisfy
your conscience; it will never save your soul.
Neither will it meet the approval of Almighty God.

I warn you plainly that all notions and theories about God
being merciful apart from Christ and except through Christ,
are baseless delusions and empty fancies.

Such theories are purely an idol of man's invention.
They are all of the earth; they never come down from heaven.
The God of heaven has sealed and appointed Christ as the only
Savior and way of Life; and all who would be saved must be
content to be saved by Him, or they will never be saved at all.