This post is for anyone who believes that God will accept you into eternal bliss because you are “basically a good person.” I can’t think of many people who wouldn’t want to be in heaven and live in a world of no trouble and strife after they die. Perhaps the exception would be those who are deluded to think they’d rather be in hell with their friends, who (I hate to inform them) they will never find. When you talk to many people, they are convinced that they are OK with God, or rather that God is OK with them. Their confidence is based on a comparison of their own perceived goodness against the righteousness of other people in the world.
This means that everyone who does desire a future in paradise has achieved the credentials required by God for admittance. On a scale of one to ten, ten being prefect and one being totally immoral, ‘basically good people’ have established that God picks a number and will accept people above that threshold. Amazingly enough, they always see themselves as falling on the higher side of that threshold. Hmmmm…
However, if one does a serious study of the God of the Bible, it soon becomes apparent that there is no such “threshold” or level of goodness. It is either all or nothing. One sin condemns just as quickly as a thousand. God knew this, and established a plan through which people could obtain the total dosage of righteousness needed to be accepted into heaven. That plan involves faith in Jesus as the chosen redeemer.
Any other plan of redemption requires two things. First of all it requires that people earn their redemption on their own merit. They must establish, and then abide by some sort of “law” or ethical code. But all laws, whether it be Mosaic Law, Sharia Law, or any other man-made system of ethical law, each have one inherent flaw. No one can ever live up to it perfectly. So to connect the ability to obey this law to the ability to be with God in heaven, a second thing must happen. One must somehow be able to put blinders on God, so God just doesn’t see the pile of bad things, although the pile isn’t too big for the ‘basically good person.’
In other words, people unwilling to accept God’s plan must create a god of their own, based on a redemption plan of their own. I have often wondered why God did so many miracles in both the days prior to and following the life of Jesus. I believe one of the primary reasons was to establish valid proof, both among his people and to the rest of the world, that He is the one true God. No other god created in the minds of man has done any validated miracles. And certainly any founder of any other religion except Christianity finds the bones of their beloved leader entombed somewhere. Where is the power in that?
So there is bad news and good news for you ‘basically good people.’ The bad news is that the god you have created to accommodate your belief does not exist. Unless you are perfect, you are in serious trouble. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to be perfect. You have to be willing to embrace the promise of God that he is willing to give us all the righteousness we need to be hunky-dory with him. But you must accept and embrace in faith the one who offers us that righteousness. And his name is Jesus.