Why Being Good Isn't Good Enough
When you ask most people if they are good, the answer almost always comes back, "Sure. I'm...not perfect but I'm pretty good. Yes! I'm a good person."
Everyone wants to believe that the good things they do or say will be counted in their favor at the end of life. We tend to reason that if our good deeds out weigh the bad then God's scales will tilt in our favor. Others believe that God will only count our good and forgive all our bad. They say, "God is love! He will not send a person to hell just because they have sinned. Everyone sins. No one is perfect!" Part of that is right but a big part is not.
Sure everyone has sinned but God cannot simply dismiss some sins and only count your goodness. Think about this:
Suppose someone in your family was brutally murdered. After a search, they found the person who killed your family member. The court examined the evidence, convicted him and was ready to sentence him. However, as the judge was about to read his sentence, the killer said, "Just a minute! Your honor, I may have killed a person but for most of my life I've been a good person. I was good to my mama, I've been devoted to my wife and supported my children. I've never received a speeding ticket or stolen from anyone. I've only committed this one crime. Surely, you could let me go." What would you say and what do you think the judge would say? He would say, "It's good that you have done those things but you're not on trial for keeping the law. You have broken the law and according to the law, you must be punished."
This story simply illustrates that when the law is broken, we have to face the consequences of breaking the law no matter how many other ones we've kept.
God has a law too. When we break God's law, we are guilty no matter how good we have been in keeping the others. Not sure yet? Let's take a test.
1. Have you ever lied?
If you have told one thing that is untrue, what does that make you? A liar. Right!
2. Have you ever stolen anything? The value is irrelevant.
If so, what does that make you? A thief. Right!
3. Have you ever lusted after a person in your heart?
If yes, what does that make you? An adulterer! Right!
Jesus said, "If you have lusted in your heart for a woman (or a man) you have already committed adultery with her in your heart." (Matthew 5:28)
All of these things come from God's Law the Ten Commandments. So, by your own admission, you are a liar, thief and an adulterer at heart. The Bible clearly teaches that "all adulterers, thieves and liars will not inherit the kingdom of God but will be cast into the lake of fire forever." (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Rev. 21:8).
Does this concern you? Do you think on the Day of Judgment, God will find you guilty or innocent of breaking His law?
You see, all your good works are not good enough because God is not grading on the curve or using other people to measure how good you are. The problem is that you have broken God's law and hence, you are separated from God because God IS perfect. The only standard God will use is Jesus! In John 1:1 & 14 the Bible says, "In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us; we saw His glory, the glory as of the one and only Father who was full of grace and truth." So, God came in the form of flesh (Jesus Christ) to give us his GRACE and reveal to us the TRUTH!
Jesus had to come because we had broken the law of God. The only way for God's justice to be satisfied was for someone to pay the penalty. Look at the picture below.
Jesus paid your penalty when He died on the cross. If your good deeds are good enough to get you into heaven and be forgiven, then Jesus died for nothing! You see, God took care of the problem of your sin. Now, He offers His forgiveness to you as a gift.
How do you receive God's gift?
I'm so glad you asked!
Jesus said, "In order to follow Me, you must deny yourself." One time Jesus told a rich guy that needed to sell all his possessions and come follow Him. The young man thought about it for a moment and said, "No way!" Jesus was making a point: if you want to hold onto your life and also follow Me, then it's not going to work. When Jesus says, "Follow Me." He means that we come to Him with all our heart, ready to follow Him, ready to turn from our sin, confessing that we have broken God's law and believing that Jesus fully paid for our sin. We also confess that Jesus was raised from dead and believe that His resurrection gives us life.
When you turn to Christ to lead your life, He takes it all. This doesn't mean you will never sin or never have fun again. Having fun or even enjoyment in life is not the point. If you come to Jesus just so you will be happy, then you are coming for the wrong reason. Come to Jesus because He is the only one who can forgive your sin.
Right now: turn from your sin, confess Jesus as Savior and Lord, obey His Word! He will never let you down! You can learn more about God through studying the Bible and hearing God's word explained. Find out how and where below.
Please e-mail our pastor, Craig Hamlin, to receive more information!