Think a minute…Imagine this rich, successful young man. He’s well educated and owns a big, beautiful house. He lives and travels first class! Yet even with all his success he still goes to church and is a humble, good person. Of course, he’s not perfect. But he’s definitely no murderer. Adultery? Nothing any red-blooded boy wouldn’t do once in a while. Stealing? Only a little cheating like everyone else does to survive. Honors his father and mother? Definitely. He sends money home all the time.
Sounds like a good person doesn’t he? But do you know what Jesus Christ said to a young man like the one we just talked about? Jesus saw right through this nice, church-going young man. Jesus knew that this man really loved his good life and religious reputation more than he loved Jesus. Yet this man thought he was a Christian and right with God just because he went to church, and was kind to other people. But Jesus said he’s not even close! Harsh words, aren’t they?
Jesus taught that there is absolutely nothing that any person can do, whether it’s going to church or giving money to the poor, that is good enough to reach God’s standard of perfect goodness from the heart. You see, if God can forgive and accept me into heaven just because I’m a good person, then Jesus was either a crazy lunatic, or a liar! Because Jesus Himself said that He, God the Son, He had to die and give His own perfect life to pay the penalty for all our wrongs, so He could forgive us and make us His children.
So friend, just going to church cannot save you and me. Giving money to the poor cannot earn us God’s gift of forgiveness and new life. There is nothing or no one in this world who can make us good enough and acceptable to our perfect Creator…only God the Son Himself. Jesus alone can forgive and save you and me from judgment and hell forever for living our own way, even if we’re religious. That’s why Jesus is our only hope! But after we’ve asked Him to forgive us and take full charge of our life in a daily personal relationship. It’s then because He’s already forgiven and saved us, we’ll only want to spend the rest of our life growing and learning in His family, the church, how to live His right successful way every day. Just Think a Minute…