Over the past few days I have been reading The Great Omission by Dallas Willard. I love to read his stuff, and suffer a great deal of conviction when I do.
He offers a challenge that many churches are simply making converts and not disciples. He argues that there is a mistaken concept that you can be a Christian without ever having to step out and become a disciple.
After discussing the rigors of discipleship, says, "But, someone will say, can I not be 'saved'--that is, get into heaven when I die--without any of this? Perhaps you can. God's goodness is so great, I am sure that He will let you in if He can find any basis at all to do so. But you might wish to think about what your life amounts to before you die, about what kind of person you are becoming, and about whether you really would be comfortable for eternity in the presence of One whose company you have not found especially desirable for the few hours and days of your earthly existence. And He is, after all, One who says to you now, 'Follow me!'"
He also offers another very good insight, "Grace is opposed to earning, not effort." Sometimes the dichotomy between works and grace is a false one. You cannot earn your way into heaven. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. Your works will not be a factor in whether you "make it" into heaven.
Your works, however, do determine whether you live a holy life. I know that sounds likes works-theology. I don't mean it that way, but I do remember suffering for years asking God to give me a deeper walk with him. Then I realized that I had to actually wake myself up and discipline myself to read the Bible, pray, etc. The consistency I desired in my devotional time was not going to just magically happen, I had to take responsibility and do something about it.
Check out this blog discussion: The Great Omission