If you were to ask 20 random people this question you would likely get 20 answers with “Yes, I think I am a pretty good person.” The question is compared to what or better yet to whom? So what about you? Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Do you believe you are a better person than others who do wicked things? And that God will not judge you because you do more good then bad?
Is it a fair assessment to compare our goodness to the relative badness of others as if we are guiltless? DO we each have our own level of what we feel is good or bad? Do each of us have our own truth or is there an absolute truth that we should be comparing ourselves with?
What would be the absolute truth though? It cannot be truth that we have created for ourselves because that would not be a fair assessment to base our goodness or badness with. There must be an absolute truth about goodness and badness. Good and evil. Being a good person and being an evil person.
God gave us this standard in the Ten Commandments. It is the absolute truth. God is perfectly Holy and Just. And He gave us an absolute truth that we can use to test whether we are good or evil. This absolute truth is called The Law of Moses, which includes The Ten Commandments. We must use God’s standard for this test. Not human standards. Comparing ourselves to other people is not a valid test. We must compare ourselves to God Himself because as the creator of all there is no other standard that would be fair to use.
The Life or Death Test
Let’s take an honest test to find out if you and I are good people. And this test is ABSOLUTE. That means, it is not graded on a scale of percentages. God is PERFECTLY HOLY and a 50% is not a pass. In fact, if you get a 99% pass (I doubt it though!) and fail on just one point, you have utterly failed the entire test according to James 2:10. This is a private self test. Just Be honest with yourself.
Ok let’s go…
1. Have you EVER lied before?
Well.. be honest have you? Yes? Then what does that make you? It makes you a liar right? By telling a lie to another you have broken the ninth commandment of God.
2. Have you ever committed adultery?
And remember that Christ said that those that even look at another with lust has committed adultery in their hearts, even though the physical act was never committed. (Matthew 5:27-28) So again, have you ever committed adultery in this light? Well, be honest. Yes? Then what does that make you? It makes you an adulterer right? By doing so you have broken the seventh commandment of God.
3. Have you ever stolen anything?
Have you found money and kept it? Have you taken something that belongs to another and never returned it? Have you taken stationary item from work for personal use? If so, what does that make you? It makes you a thief right?
4. Have you ever used the Lord’s name in vain?
Did you ever hurt yourself and screamed out “God!” or “Jesus Christ!” ? Did you ever used God’s name as a cuss word? If so, you have broken the third commandment of God.
5. Have you ever looked at things that others have and wish you had them?
Do you see someone with a nice car and wish you had that? Did you ever see someone’s house and thought I wish I had that? If so, you have broken the tenth commandment of God.
6. Have You Ever Worked On A Saturday?
Saturday is the Lord’s Sabbath Day and He commands we REST on that day.
Okay, lets pause the test at this point. I have only asked you six questions. Don’t you feel like it is pointless to go on? I mean if you fail on just one point you have already failed the test of being a good person based on God’s standard of Holiness.
News Flash! We All Fail This Test!
I could go on and on with this self test but it is enough with just the 6 questions above to show you that you have broken at least ONE of the ten commandments of God. (Truthfully, most!) Now, here is a scriptural truth that will makes this an even worse situation and it shows clearly that failing one point makes you a complete failure in being ‘a good person’:
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.” (James 2:10-11 KJV)
So if you have lied you are guilty. And because God is so Holy He MUST punish you for you sins. You are a person bound for the Wrath of a Holy God and headed for punishment for your sins.
Paul tells us in Romans that “…ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; “ (Romans 8:23 KJV) This is what the Ten Commandments are all about. They are a mirror showing us just how terribly sinful we all are. Without this absolute truth of the Law of God Almighty, we would not even recognize our sinful ways as being evil and bad.
“For no one is put right in God’s sight by doing what the Law requires; what the Law does is to make man know that he has sinned.” (Romans 3:20 KJV)
This I am afraid is the state of every human being. Everyday is just more sins being added onto our record and one day we will find ourselves in the court room of God Almighty who is perfectly JUST and we will be sentenced. God is perfectly Holy and perfectly JUST. He MUST punish sin. And what is he penalty for sin? It is VERY severe! In fact it is called the Second death, an eternal separation from the love of God in a place the Bible calls the lake of fire. A placement of severe punishment.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. “ (Romans 6:23 KJV)
The word ‘death’ in this passage of Scripture is not talking about a physical death only. It is talking of a spiritual death as well because if we look at the original Greek the word for death here is hánatos which is derived from 2348, thnḗskō, “to die”) – physical or spiritual death and figuratively separation from the life (salvation) of God forever by dying without first experiencing death to self to receive His gift of salvation.
But wait! Isn’t God perfectly loving as well? Does not the Bible say that God is perfect in His mercy and love? Well YES! But not in a wishy washy sort of way like we humans live and think. God must be true to His own Holiness. God NEVER changes and is perfectly Holy and perfectly just. He loves us yet He must also judge sin and He is so Holy that just one sin and we are doomed to eternal death in a place called hell. (Romans 6:23)
That is, if you think that God will just give you a pass without punishment you are wrong. He must be perfectly just. You will NEVER hear God say, “Oh you have less sins then this other person and you did mostly good deeds so you can enter heaven for all eternity and live forever.” NEVER. Yes, God is full of love and mercy but He must punish our sin because He is also perfectly just. He will not and CANNOT go against His own perfect character.
When you realize this and you know that you stand before God guilty, what do you think will happen when you die? Are you going to be standing at the judgement throne of the Lord God and just tell Him what a ‘good person’ you are? Or are you headed for hell with the devil and his angels?
Know this: Everyone has an appointment with God
You can decide to meet with Him at this appointment as a sinner to be judged to eternal death or as a son or daughter to be accepted into God’s house, a place called The New Jerusalem and Heaven, for life everlasting.
The Apostle Paul makes this clear when he writes:
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17: 30-31 KJV)
And do not believe that we are reincarnated at death to come back according to our deeds and that we keep coming back until we are sinless. Look around you, has that happened to anyone yet? Hebrews makes it very clear that “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27)
And there is no such thing as purgatory! The Bible is very clear…. 1st death, 2nd judgement. — no second chances after death! A place called purgatory is not found anywhere in Scripture. It is a complete fable created by man – not God.
At our appointed time of death we will give an account to God for our lives and what we did here on Earth!
“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12 KJV)
Doesn’t that worry you? If not, it should. God is perfectly loving, yes that is true. But God is also perfectly just and Holy. He has a Holy hatred for sin. (Isaiah 59:2) And what are we humans doing? Sinning! What are we all called? Sinners! That is not a good at all for us is it?
It is established that according to God’s Word, all of us are sinners. Even when we think we are “good”. And we cannot make up for our sins with good deeds. If you think that good deeds can save you from the Wrath of God and judgement of God for your sin, you are very wrong. The Bible says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 KJV)
Thus far I have discussed the first part of Romans 6:23 and that as sinners the wages we earn, where we are headed is physical AND spiritual eternal death and separation from God in a place called hell. That is very bad news for anyone that does not continue in Romans 23:6 to the second part to see how we can escape this eternal punishment for our sins. And what is the solution to not ending up in this situation? “…BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
One very important word in that Scripture is the word “but”. As a sinner we are bound for an eternal death where the unbeliever and unsaved (called the wicked) will be resurrected at the last day; the second resurrection. Their name will not be found in the book of life because they never accepted Christ as Savior from their sins. Such a person will then be cast into the lake of fire where they will perish. BUT there is a way for a person to escape such a judgement. God made a way for us to escape His own wrath and judgement. God is perfectly Holy and just so the penalty for our sin must be paid… Death forever and separation from God. But He loves us so much that He sent His Only Begotten Son to suffer the penalty in our place so that we could be forgiven and saved from His own Holy Wrath and judgement.
“ For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV)
We see here again that the wicked and unsaved will perish. So the unsaved will perish and be eternally separated from God. Without accepting the forgiveness provided through Christ’s atonement for our sins, our sin would remain and the wages of sin is an eternal death.
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:5-21 KJV)
Being born again is called being baptized by the Holy Spirit. The work of salvation is already completed by Christ when he said on the cross, “It is finished.” He paid our penalty for our sins. But God will not force anyone to love Him or want to know Him. He did not create us as robots. He gives us a choice. Believe and be with Him forever in heaven or remain as you are a sinner unto the final judgement. Come to the judgement throne with your own self righteousness in pride, or come humble having asked Christ to save you. What more can God do? How much more can He demonstrate His love for us?
How patient is our God?! While we were His enemy and full of sin against God..it is then He became human (Jesus the Christ) and suffered and died for us and took upon Himself our deserved punishment for our sins. Jesus NEVER sinned and was perfectly just in the eyes of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). So you see, God has met His own perfectness and Holiness. He is perfectly JUST because the punishment for our sins was carried out (on Jesus), yet His perfect love and mercy was also carried out by providing us a way to gain salvation from our sinful nature (by asking for forgiveness through Jesus’ act of atonement).
“ But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12 KJV)
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20 KJV)
Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and accept Him into your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to indwell in you and help you learn all truth. Avoid sinning as much as possible (you will still sin but keep trying). Understand that it is not turning from your sin that will save you. It is fully the work of Christ without your efforts or works. All your sins (past/ present /future) are forgiven 100% because Christ paid your penalty already but we are to try our best to not sin and we should turn from our sinful ways.
God says to all of humankind,
“ I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” (Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV)
Know the truth that you are a sinner. You have broken God’s commandments. You stand judged at death. Thank God for allowing His Son, Jesus the Christ, to come down to Earth as a human through a virgin birth. That Jesus never sinned and yet He gave His life as a ransom for your life. Thank God that Jesus came and stands as your defender against God’s own wrath against the sins you have committed.
Thank Jesus that He stands up for you and says to the Father; “I have died and taken the punishment for this person’s sins. The sin debt has been paid in full. Accept Him and see this person’s sin no more. (Hebrews 10:17). Give to this person my own righteousness before God. (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus, forgive me of my sins and in your mercy grant me eternal life.
If you truly repented of your sins (that is changed your mind about your sins and accepted Christ) and you asked Jesus to forgive you your sins and asked Him to come into your life as your personal Saviour, then you have become what the Bible calls “born again”. And the following scriptures apply to you personally:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV)
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:4-5 KJV)
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12 KJV)
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14 KJV)
“ For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV)
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20 KJV)