Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Skeptic's Objection

“One need not be a born again Christian to be a good person. In fact, there is an elderly couple who live down the road from me. For several years now my son and I shovel their walks when it snows. My Christian neighbor said to me one day, 'I saw you and your son shoveling out down at Joe's yesterday. My wife and I pray for them often.' I wanted to laugh in his face. I think you know why.”

A Christian is not a “good person.” The reason for this is that no one can be called a good person when we have no clear definition of the word “good.” Is a rapist a good person because he no longer rapes? Or does a thief become a good person when he gives to charity? Some would say “Yes,” and others would say “No.”

The only way to define who is good and who isn’t is to define the word “good.” The dictionary has 58 definitions for the word, but the principle meaning is to be “morally excellent.” In other words to be “good’ means to be morally perfect, in thought, word and in deed. The Bible tells us that only God is good (see Mark 10:17. Even the word is derived from the word “God”). So, once there’s a clear definition, it’s clear that a Christian is not a good person. Neither is a non-Christian.

In the above objection, the person is implying that you don’t have to be a Christian to live a good life. That’s true. Anyone can do the things that Christians do. They can start hospitals, schools, feed the poor, build houses, etc. But that won’t get anyone to Heaven, nor will it save anyone from Hell. This is because salvation has nothing to do with our “good” works. How could it? What could you and I ever do to “earn” everlasting life?

But add to the equation the fact that we are criminals, having violated the Law of a holy God a multitude of times, and it becomes clear that the only way any of us could ever be saved from Hell and enter Heaven, is by the mercy of the Judge. And that’s what the Bible teaches. A Christian is saved by the grace and mercy of God, without works: “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works lest any man boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

So, stop pretending to be good, and realize that doing good will do you no good on Judgment Day. Instead, repent and trust the Savior, and then live a good life--not to impress anyone or bribe God, but out of gratitude to Him for His mercy.