Think, you who take comfort in some fancied ideas of your own goodness – think, you who wrap up yourselves in the notion, “all must be right, if I keep to my Church,” - think for a moment what a sandy foundation you are building upon! Think how miserably defective your hopes and pleas will look in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment! Whatever people may say of their own goodness while they are strong and healthy, they will find but little to say of it when they are sick and dying. Whatever merit they may see in their own works here in this world, they will discover none in them when they stand before the tribunal of Christ. The light of that great day of judgment will make a wonderful difference in the appearance of all their doings. It will strip off the tinsel, shrivel up the complexion, expose the rottenness of many a deed that is now called good. Their wheat will prove nothing but chaff, their gold will be found nothing but dross. Millions of so-called ‘good works’ will turn out to have been utterly defective and graceless. They passed current here in this world, and were valued among people, but they will prove light and worthless in the balance of God. They will be found to have been like the whitened sepulchers of old – fair and beautiful on the outside – but full of corruption on the inside. Alas, for the person who can look forward to the day of judgment, and lean their soul in the smallest degree on anything of his own now!
~ J.C. Ryle