Can I be really honest with you? It’s been a while since something challenged me in a major way in the Bible, but this whole thing really challenges me. If I can be blunt, it sucks to know that there are people in the world showing decency and kindness who are against God. They’re not actively against Him, they haven’t declared war on heaven or anything, they probably don’t even realize that they are against Him. If one of those people died right now and they never accepted the incredible free gift of salvation that Jesus was offering to them, then they would go to hell. All the held doors, all the smiles, all the shows of kindness wouldn’t save them from the fires of hell.
That’s a sucky situation. I grieve the idea of anyone going to hell. The deeper I grow in my faith the deeper I am grieved by the idea of someone going to hell, because I grow to understand just how awful it would be to miss out on eternity with God. I hate the idea of people going to hell, and as badly as I despise the evil things some people do, I still hate the idea of them going to hell. But there’s something about these types of people I’m talking about, these “good” people like I used to be, there’s something about their fate that really hits me like a punch in the gut.
Here are some tough things we have to understand. Our best isn’t good enough. I could build orphanages, give away money, sing to old people in the retirement home, but if I’m doing that without having accepted the salvation of Jesus then it’s not going to get me into heaven. And, here’s the part that you really have to get your brain around, it’s probably not having any real lasting impact on the people I think I’m helping. I’m offering worldly help, temporary fixes to permanent problems. Even if I saved a life, what good do those added years mean if I did nothing to help save their eternal soul? And is my power greater than or equal to God’s? Is that orphanage I built as mighty as the refuge of God? Is the money I gave away equal to the riches of God? What are my good deeds when compared to His? I’m not putting down good deeds, as a matter of fact I believe in them strongly, but the deeds of man are temporary whereas with God involved they are eternal.
The unseen deception of being a “good” person is that you don’t fully realize how bad you need God. This is probably going to sound dumb, and it might even be a little insulting to some of you who have gone through tough times in life, but part of me wishes I had hit rock bottom in life. A gang banger who’s seen people killed, maybe even killed people himself, did hard time in prison, that person gets to a point where they probably know they need Jesus. Or what about a drug addict, someone who alienated friends and family as drugs took over their life, someone that overdosed and almost died, that guy gets to a point where he knew he was going to die unless he got Jesus. They hit rock bottom and know there’s no way out without the helping hand of God.
There’s no actual rock bottom for the type of “good” person I’m talking about. There’s that emptiness, the sadness, but it usually passes after a while. It only really got me when it was late at night and I was alone. There’s no “I am dead without Jesus” moment, at least there wasn’t for me over the course of all those years. Did you know that up until the moment the first song started playing on my first day back in church in 2015 I thought I was 100% fine with God? I was praying maybe once a week (and they were weak prayers) and I hadn’t read my Bible in ten years, but I thought I was one hundred percent good. I did not realize that I was lost.
Do you know how insane that is? I look back at that and wonder how I could’ve been so blind. I was coasting through life thinking I was good, or at the very least neutral. I may not have been actively serving God but it’s not like I was against Him or anything. And yet now I study my Bible and I see that’s exactly what I was. I was against God by virtue of not being with Him! And dude, believe me when I tell you, the first second that worship song started I realized quick that I was not okay. God slammed into me like a tidal wave and as He reintroduced Himself to me I was shattered because I realized how far from Him I’d ventured. I realized that I wasn’t with Him anymore, and that I desperately needed to be with Him.
I feel like someone out there is reading this blog today and that I’m speaking right to you. Or more to the point, God is speaking right to you. You are a “good” person, just like I was a “good” person. You work hard at bringing joy to others, you sometimes go above and beyond for people. It makes you feel good, for a time. But you have those moments, just like I had those moments, where there’s an emptiness. A sadness that has no right to exist yet is crushing you under its heel. And just like me, you can’t possibly understand why it’s there, because after all, aren’t you a good person?
Maybe you were with God at one point, like I was, or maybe you’ve never been with Him. Maybe you know of Him but have never actually made Him your lord and king. I want to share something with you right now. Being a good person has nothing on being a God person. God’s goodness surpasses our capacity for goodness. My greatest possible good deed doesn’t even scratch the surface of what God’s goodness and love can do for someone. If you have a heart of goodness, a heart to do kind acts for others, you’re in for a treat when you get yourself on God’s side. He’s going to empower you. He’s going to take your innate desire to do good and He’s going to expand it and empower it in ways you never thought possible. But first you have to get off the fence. First you have to denounce your neutrality. Ten billion good deeds aren’t going to fill that emptiness, and a trillion acts of kindness aren’t going to lift that deep sadness. Jesus completes us.
You’re lost, my dear friend, and I desperately want to help you find your way. God used people to draw me out of the darkness that I didn’t know I was in and I desperately want to do that for you. If there’s even a tiny chance you think God might be talking to you right now, I ask you to please reach out to Him. Close your eyes and ask God, “Am I lost?” You’ll know right away. Find a church and go this Wednesday night. As that praise and worship music hits you’ll know right away.
There’s no neutral with God. Rehoboam did evil simply because he didn’t seek the Lord. The book of James tells us in chapter 4 that being a friend of the world makes us an enemy of God. God wants to bless you, He wants to heal you, He wants to know you, He wants to use you to do mighty things, but first you gotta step out of the darkness and come meet Him and accept this gift He has for you called Jesus.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, I pray right now for people with good hearts. I know what it’s like to try so hard to do good in the world but still go to bed at night unfulfilled. I pray for the unfulfilled tonight, Lord, I pray that you’ll reach out to them right now. Lord, let this be the time that you encounter them, let this be their moment to see you. Break through pride, God, break through that spirit that we have where we want to make it on our own. We weren’t designed to make it on our own, we were designed to have you in our lives, to have the ultimate helper in our corner through life. So many of these people are tired, Lord, they’re tired because they’re trying to do it alone. Give them that beautiful rest that comes from having the savior reign supreme in your life. Give them that unmatchable peace that only comes when Jesus is the king of your life. God, there are a few specific people who were on my heart while I was writing this blog. I lift them up to you right now. I pray in your mighty and powerful name that this is their time, that this is their day, and that you would reveal to them your beauty and your love in a way that shakes them to their core. Nothing matches your love, nothing matches the peace that you bring into our lives. Bless them with these things, Lord, please let it be their time. I want to know that the people I love are with you, that they aren’t against you. You desire that none perish in hell, and I desire that none perish in hell, and your word tells me that when I pray in line with your will then you hear that prayer. So I pray this in full faith, with full expectations. Give them their moment, God, and grant them the wisdom to make the right choice when they encounter you. Be glorified in the outcome. And thank you for loving us enough that you continue to draw people in and set them free. You are the redeemer, and I bow down to you on this day and praise your holy name. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.
Another late blog today, sorry about that friends. The days are busier than ever for me but I’m loving every minute of them. God’s just so incredible that sometimes I struggle to come up with the words to describe Him. He loves us dearly. We are precious to Him.