I believe there is a “good” that separates people from God, including many professing christians. When people believe in the existence of hell they usually won’t hesitate to put murderers, rapist, and pedophiles there, but I believe there is a “good” that can also be found there. Usually when someone is evil according to societies standards they know they are evil, but it is the person that does good that usually fails to realize they are evil.
For example in Matthew 19:16-22 the rich young ruler proudly lets Jesus know of all his good deeds and how he had kept all of the commandments since his youth. He then boldly asked Jesus, “what lack i yet”, not because he knew his deeds weren’t enough, but because he thought they were enough. We then see Jesus respond telling him to sell all that he has and to give the profit to the poor, to follow Him and that he will have great treasure in heaven. Despite the rich young ruler being rich in good deeds, we see it didn’t matter and his love for his wealth is what kept him from following Jesus.
Many of us can be like the rich young ruler and feel because we have good deeds, go to church, pay tithes, give to the poor, and aren’t murderers or pedophiles, that all of this is good enough in God’s eyes. What we don’t realize is that those “good” things are sometimes the very things we use as an excuse to not surrender our idols to Jesus. In light of God’s holiness Jesus told the rich young ruler that there is none righteous but God. The reality is we aren’t good people with the ability to do evil, but we are evil with the ability to do good. All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory(Romans 3:23). Jesus didn’t die for good people, but He died for bad people to be able to become the righteousness of God(2 Corinthians 5:21).
As we live in a world that wants good without God, I’m not concerned with most christians ability to recognize good done by non christians. I believe we do a great job at celebrating secular culture. My concern is when we settle for good deeds and positivity as a replacement for the gospel, losing our urgency to love and warn people. As a result we become less bold, more vague, and even evasive when it comes to sharing Christ, for the sake of worldly acceptance. Our messages become more motivational and self-centered versus focusing on the Gospel and glory of God. We learn how to pursue and trust God for what we want versus learning how to pursue and trust Him for what He desires. It should grieve the church when professing Christians care more about the praise of men, than they do their souls.
It is true that by our love the world will know we are His disciples(John 13:35), but we must remember our love doesn’t rejoice in evil, but truth(1 Corinthians 13:6). Our good deeds should flow from the Gospel, not be a replacement for it. So my prayer is that we see God’s plan thru the lens of scripture and not pop culture.
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