Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On Being "Good Enough"

I found this website the other day and I think it's really great. The aim of this website is to give answers to some of the common misconceptions and concerns regarding Christianity. "I can't believe in a God that would send people to hell" "I'm not that bad of a person, why do I need God?" "How do I know which religion is right?"

It appeals both to those who already believe in God but still have a lot of questions and to those who don't believe in God at all. However, it tends to deal much more with ideas and known truths than it does with specific controversies and hard evidence. What I like so much about this particular site is that all the questions it covers are really common things you hear from Christians and non-Christians alike; questions that are preventing people from having complete confidence in their faith.

I was talking to one of my close friends about God and all He has done in my life. When turning the conversation around and focusing on my friends life however, I heard things like "I don't consider myself a bad person" or "I'll focus on God later in my life, I just want to have fun now" or "I don't want to stop doing the things I'm doing" or "I don't need to change really, why do I need God?". When we originally had this conversation, I was so focused on telling my friend how much my life had changed by coming to Christ that I completely lost sight of what is truly important. I neglected to remind him of what Jesus died for: our salvation. I didn't warn him that it is really eternity at stake and that we are never just "good enough". We need God. That's why He sent His only son Jesus to save us. Here is what that website says in respond to the statement that "I am good enough":

How good do you have to be to get to Heaven? God is holy, and requires holiness. Holiness is purity. Even though you may think you are good enough, even one sin disqualifies you from being in the presence of God. You could never be good enough. That is why you need Jesus.

The Bible says that there is none good enough. "There is none who does good, there is not even one," (Rom. 3:12). Goodness is measured by God's standard - not yours.

To say that you are good enough means that Christ did not have to die. But He did die to save sinners. The Bible says if righteousness can come by good deeds, then Christ didn't need to die (Gal. 2:21); but He did, so being good isn't enough.

I pray that I am given the opportunity to reach out to that friend again. When I spoke to him, he told me that he just wasn't ready to accept God; that he was lacking that motivation to change his life and turn to Him. He is a believer in God and in Jesus, but there are still so many things he is unsure about. That is understandable, everyone has questions and wants to know more as I have said in my previous posts.

My suggestion? Pray. Pray to God that He can help guide you and open your eyes to all He has done for you. Lay it all out on the table. Tell Him your fears and concerns, that you have so many doubts and questions that are getting in the way of your faith. Ask Him to help you. He is so incredibly willing and is ready to give help to those that ask. So pray to Him.

When I told another friend about my attempt to reach out to my friend, he had this to say:

The only recommendation I have for future conversations is: never forget about Gods judgment on sin. Sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in "Jesus can change your life", which is totally true! But we forget that the most powerful reason Jesus went to the cross was to save us from the ultimate judgment of God on mankind. Jesus came to save us from Hell and purchase eternity for us in heaven as forgiven children of God. When we focus 100 percent on "Jesus can make your life better now" it can result in "well, my life is pretty good right now thanks", or people who accept Christ and then make half hearted attempts at living for him because they don't realize eternity is at stake.

People just don't realize the urgency of it all. They live their lives being "good enough" and thinking that's okay. We can NEVER be "good enough" on our own. We just can't. So I urge you to check out the website and pray to God about it today.

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