Contrary to what Protestants think, God does not simply pretend that we are just but wants us to be actually righteous.
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering—since indeed God deems it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you…” [2Th 1:5-6; emphasis added]
We must be worthy of God’s Kingdom. That is to say, we must be holy, and more importantly it is to say that we must love God above all things for His own sake, with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Because if we do not love Him all our so-called righteousness is nought but filthy rags.
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. [1 Co. 13:3]
Almsgiving without love is worthless: “I gain nothing.” Even martyrdom is nothing without love. “I gain nothing.”