IS THAT ENOUGH TO GUARANTEE THAT A PERSON IS SAVED FROM SIN?

When we try to have a conversation with someone about the Bible or even directly ask someone to engage in a one-on-one Bible study with us, on occasion we encounter this response: “Thanks, but I’m good.” When one says “I’m good,” he is not claiming to be a person of good character. Rather, the idea is, “I am satisfied with the way things are in my life, so I am not interested in what you are offering.”

The devil has convinced many lost people that they are not in any danger in the spiritual realm. They are satisfied with their current status and see no need to investigate the truth of God or make any changes in their life. Obviously, such a disposition of mind makes our task of teaching the gospel to every person more challenging. It also keeps lost people lost.

There are some good qualities which are not sufficient in God’s sight, and possessing such qualities is no guarantee that a person is saved from sin. What are some things which might cause people to say about themselves, “I’m good?”

“I am a religious person.” That statement does not give a full picture of a person’s status. Remember, Jesus is the sole way, truth, and life, and no person will go to the Father unless it is via Him (John 14:6).

“I take my religious beliefs very seriously. I am sincere.” Doing things from the heart is important (Mark 7:6), but being sincere does not prove a person is saved. Saul of Tarsus was one hundred per cent convinced that persecuting the disciples of Jesus was the right thing to do (Acts 26:9-11), but he was lost at the time he was mistreating them.

“I am very active in my church.” Having zeal is something that God wants to see in His children (Titus 2:14), but having zeal is not evidence that one already is in God’s family. Again, Saul was extremely zealous, more so than his contemporary Jewish brethren (Galatians 1:13,14), yet his zeal did not cleanse him of his sins. He was a lost, zealous man.

“I believe in God.” That is better than denying His existence as the foolish do. The majority of Jews, who definitely believed in God, refused to accept Jesus as the Christ (John 1:11). Those who believe in God but reject Jesus cannot please the Father (John 5:23).

“I pray a lot.” Having a sense of dependence on the Creator and being grateful for His blessings is a good mindset to have. Praying, though, is no guarantee that “I’m good.” Saul of Tarsus prayed before his conversion (Acts 9:11), but he still was lost.

“I read the Bible every day.” The world would be a better place if more people had such a habit! But, learning what God’s word says benefits us only when we put into practice what His truth reveals. Some read the Bible with the intention of criticizing it. Bible reading can be a plus, but God wants us to be doers of what He says and not hearers only (James 1:22).

“I already believe in Jesus.” Wonderful! Know this, though: there were Jewish leaders who, though they believed in Jesus, would not confess Him (John 12:42,43). They were lost believers. How is that possible? Those who refuse to confess Jesus cannot please God (Matthew 10:32,33). Remember this: Jesus said, “. . . if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death” (John 8:51). Not seeing death equals eternal life. According to the Christ, eternal life is for those who keep His word, not just believe in Him.

“I try to practice the Golden Rule.” Every society would be blessed to have a citizenship devoted to Jesus’ marvelous message to treat others like we would want them to treat us (Matthew 7:12). Being a kind, respectful person, however, does not cause a person’s sins to be removed. That happens when people repent and are baptized for the remission of sins. The Bible says so (Acts 2:38).

“I go to church.” It is appropriate to possess a sense of duty to worship the Creator (Psalm 95:6), but having an affiliation with something called “a church” does not prove one is in good standing with the Lord. Jesus shed His blood for His church, of which He is the Founder, Head, and Savior (Acts 20:28; Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 5:23). Any man- established “church” will be uprooted (Matthew 15:13).

All spiritual blessings, including salvation from sin, are found only in the Christ. That is God’s plan (Ephesians 1:3,7). Any person who still is outside of Jesus is still lost in sin. Having some good qualities is not enough. The Lord wants our heart and the submission to His will which comes with it.

— Roger D. Campbell

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