MY THOUGHTS AND REPLY:
I can't help but think that you believe YOU and what you do or don't do, is what gets you into heaven. In fact, it seems that you put this "rule" as equal to having faith in Christ as to what saves you. When you do that, surely you can see that this is never God's intention.
I suggest a closer look at Galatians and what Paul is trying to tell them then...I believe it would be the same speech he'd have to give you and others who think this way, the same exact speech and yet you have it at your fingertips and supposedly live by its teachings.
Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
YIKES! No law- NONE should be at the level of the fact that Christ came and died for us!
I LOVE verse 17 of the same chapter: But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
What about 3:2-3 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
and v. 5 He therefore that ministereth so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore taht ministereth to you in the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
I'll admit for a CoCer to actually swallow this and accept it is HARD. It has been for me. I just wasn't raised this way. But I think we've gotten it wrong. I love Galatians....it has helped me TRULY realize that I'm free in Christ!!!!! CoC has made me believe for far too long that I had to do things just right or it's over and done with. No wonder I felt I could never say that I KNEW FOR CERTAIN I was going to heaven....there was always that "what if" factor.
We say we're free in Christ but don't live it b/c we truly don't believe it. The folks of Galantians struggled with the same thing and Paul came to teach them them differently.
I believe you love God with all your heart but I also think you and I need to study more and come to understand the absolute brilliance of what Grace means.
CoC is VERY guilty of downplaying grace for fear people won't be baptized. BUT grace is what it's all about. We can't forget that vital part of God's gift to us! Or it was all in vain.
I love you. I am still working on this myself. I still thank God for His grace and then pick up my burdens and wonder if I've done enough. I hate that I'm finding it hard to shake that mentality. It's soooo much to carry.
I hope you pick up the Word and read through Galatians with new eyes.