Mark Alan Williams
Who Needs Jesus, I’m A Good Person
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Back in the early 1980’s when I was starting a new church, I went to hundreds of houses to invite people to our church. Part of my approach was to first ask people if I could ask a personal spiritual question. If they said “yes” then I would ask, “If you were to die today and stand before the Lord who said ‘Why should I allow you into my heaven?’ How would you respond?”
CC Image courtesy of Janet Hudson on Flickr
Do you know what the majority of people said, no matter their background, church affiliation or lack of it?
By far, the number one answer was “Because I have been a good person.” Some variations were answers like, “I’ve kept the 10 commandments” or “I never deliberately hurt anyone” or “My good outweighs my bad.”
So what’s the problem with these answers? Well, they are the exact opposite of the message of Jesus in the Bible!
If people would listen, I would gently point out to them that the Bible says things like,
“We are all dirty with sin. Even our good works are not pure. They are like bloodstained rags.” (Isaiah 64:6 ERV)
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
Sadly, many don’t want to hear the message of these verses. Why? Probably both because of pride and the fact that salvation works the exact opposite of our human economy which is built on earning instead of being given.
Who needs Jesus?
Being good enough for heaven reminds me of the story of the father who wanted to teach his children the value of purity. He baked a batch of delicious looking fudge nut brownies. The house smelled wonderful when his children came home. He displayed them beautifully on a plate and brought them out for dessert after dinner.
But before allowing the kids to serve themselves, he made an announcement; “While these brownies look wonderful, probably taste wonderful, you might enjoy them and go out after dinner never thinking anything is wrong. However, I want you to know that while these brownies are probably 99% pure, as I was making them I added a little bit of dog poop in the mix.”
Do you think any of the children would eat the brownies?
Of course this is an odd story, however, in a similar way, we might think we are so good we deserve to be in heaven, and maybe we are 99% pure. But the problem is that for heaven to be a place of perfection, it has to be 100% pure.
What do we need for heaven? We need a purifier—a way to become 100% pure.
What do we need for heaven? We need a purifier—a way to become 100% pure | CLICK TO TWEET
Jesus is that purifier!
Being the God-man Jesus died on the cross for the sins of all who call upon His name for salvation.
Why the crucifixion? Because Jesus did what we could not do for ourselves.
Why the crucifixion? Because Jesus did what we could not do for ourselves. | CLICK TO TWEET
This is why Scripture says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” (Titus 3:5 KJV)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
This is the “crucial” difference between Christianity and all other religions. Other religions are “DO” — do this, offer that, serve here, give this. True Christianity is “DONE” — Jesus paid the price on the cross for us!
That is what His life was all about: God the Son dying on the cross for our sins in our place and then rising again 3 days later to overcome death and sin in the process.
If there was some other way by which we could be “good enough,” then why would He have allowed Himself to endure the horror of crucifixion?
Who needs Jesus? We ALL do! There is no other way to enter heaven. As Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father but by me.” (John 14:6)
We receive this gift through calling on the Lord Jesus in faith. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
For more help calling on the name of the Lord please see my SALVATION page.
Finally, sometimes people wonder, “If salvation is that simple, then why not just mumble a prayer for salvation and go on living life as usual?”
The answer is that while we are not saved by what we do, if we truly make the choice to follow Christ, our lives will bear the fruit of that choice. We serve Christ, not to be saved, but because we are saved.
Here are some of my articles on the resurrection that you might find helpful:
The 3 Best Explanations Why Jesus’ Resurrection Never Happened