Pride hinders man from salvation, perhaps more than anything else, simply because no one wants to be wrong. The fact is that God hates pride as His Word reveals in both the New and the Old Testaments. The Bible says this clearly in 1 John 2:16 - "... the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world," and in Psalm 10:4 as well, "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts."
The Bible also tells us that we should, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-- unless, of course, you fail the test?" (2 Corinthians 13:5) So how many readers have already felt the urge to stop reading this already because of one of three reasons? Because of pride, they usual feel that they're, 1- "not wicked" or 2- in a denomination that their leaders teach them that they are of the "one true church," "that's his interpretation" or simply (as I've heard from many, many people) that "No one can know if they're going to Heaven! God will judge." Or 3rd - "My parents were of this faith, my grandparents were of this faith and my family is of this faith, and I'm not changing!" Whatever the reason, rather then to examine themselves, pride is the underlying reason for hindering them from salvation. No wonder why God refers to pride (a proud look) as the first thing mentioned in "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him..." (Proverbs 6:16,17) Let us see examine each reason that is giving and why pride is the problem.
1) "I'm not wicked" - Maybe you are well liked, popular or a well respected, church going, family oriented citizen, but these are horizontal reasons formed by comparing yourself to others. The Bible, however, tells us that from God's perspective, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one...For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:10,23) "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9) and "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..." (Isaiah 64:6) But you say you haven't done anything really bad like murder or fornication? The Bible says that if you hate someone, you are guilty of murder, or if you lust after someone, then you are guilty of adultery! >From God's perspective we're all guilty of breaking all the commandments! (See also James 2:10,11)
2a) "The one true church" Lot of churches make that claim as well as:
2b) "That's his interpretation" Yet in these churches, they're often times taught how right their church is, assuming that their "religion" is as their priests or preachers are telling them the "gospel truth." But are they? There are many reasons for being deceived, but because of pride (and laziness?) the facts are, as it says in the Bible that, ".... strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:14) Because of pride, many spend a lifetime refusing to investigate what their church teaches. Is it Loyalty? Perhaps, but considering that we are told to "... seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness..." (Matthew 6:33) and that, ".... the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee.." (1 Chronicles 28:9) it doesn't appear that believing false interpretations would count for much of an excuse, when one refuses to take the time to check what their teachers are teaching with the Bible. For instance, the belief that some say: "No one can know if they're going to Heaven! God will judge," is a typical response with this type of mentality. But we can know because that is exactly why John writes (in John 20:31 and 1 John 5:13) so we can know! Furthermore, it is beyond imagination to think that Jesus died and resurrected to Heaven leaving us with a Gospel that no one can know, nor have the ability to find out how one gets to Heaven!
3) "My parents were of this faith, my ...." Since you had no choice to whom you were born, this doesn't automatically make their beliefs to be the correct ones. Certainly you love your parents, but pride can blind you from learning the truth about the inaccuracy of many their beliefs. It's not about who your parents are, but rather are their beliefs correct? We are judged by our beliefs, each individually not as a group. You may not be able to help your ancestors, but on the other hand, if loving your family is your goal, you can still affect your children in a positive way by learning what the Bible does say while you can make a difference in their eternal destiny.
There is only one thing that matters, and that is determining just what is it that you are trusting in to have your sins removed from your soul?" Therefore, examine yourself by checking to see if you're trusting that your sins are removed by something you "do" or something that's already been done by Jesus? The Bible doesn't say that "those whom God believes in will be saved," but rather "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) In fact, Scripture leaves no room for pride by telling us, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) But, on the other hand, look at what did Jesus did! Notice carefully that all these words end with the letters ed, past tense, because Jesus already took care of the sins and even declared from the cross, "It is finished." (John 19:30) That is the message of the Gospel of God's Grace, what He did, not what we do. The Bible says, "With His stripes we are healed," "...the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood," "being now justified by his blood,""...when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high," "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,...But with the precious blood of Christ," "And from Jesus Christ...Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." (Isaiah 53:5, Acts 20:28, Romans 5:9, Hebrews 1:3, 1 Peter 1:18+19, and Revelation 1:5).
Is pride going to hinder you from realizing that you had been basing your salvation upon your merits, instead of Jesus? Is pride going to prevent you from seeing that, although you know that Jesus died at Calvary, you deny Him by trusting in sacraments, penances, masses or purgatory? Is pride going to blind you from seeing the difference from the traditions that the Apostles did, were also spoken in the "past tense," never meant to include future "traditions" developed over the last 2000 years as so many of your religious practices came from? And finally, is pride going to keep you from eternal salvation because you don't want to cause disturbances or deal with the hard choices, simply because you're happy the way you are? If that's the case, consider this, as well, Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Pride! Don't let it be your downfall!