Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? (Romans 7:24)
While walking in a Florida subdivision, I noticed alongside the sidewalk a four foot snake skin. Snakes cast off their outer garment by a process called molting. Over the years people have tried a similar process to gain access to heaven. That process is called reformation.
The problem with a snake shedding its outer skin is that it is still a snake. All the self-help books on the market won't change what you are on the inside. Reformation will never get you one step closer to God. What, then, is necessary to bridge the gap?
The answer lies in the message given to Nicodemus by Jesus himself. In John 3:3 Jesus says to Nicodemus; "I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God." You may clean up your act -- look better, dress better, talk better, act better, even think better, but without regeneration of your inner man, you are still a poor lost sinner. It's not about what you do, but what Jesus has done for you on the Cross of Calvary. Only through transformation can you ever hope to gain entrance to heaven's glory.