“There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
“Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Destruction and misery are in their ways;
And the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10 – 18
“I don’t really ______, yeah I got my ways you know, but I try to do right. Hopefully when my time comes, I did enough and he’ll let me in.”
If you’ve ever had a discussion with a “religious” person, you may have made that statement or one like it. The problem with statements like this is that it relies on you to do something to get you right with God. Let’s put it to the test. Mother Theresa, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jr. I believe we can agree that these were all good people. I think we can also agree that they’ve probably done more for their fellow man than either of us will ever do. So how do you compare to them. Secret: I didn’t do so well either. But that’s only a comparison based on standards that we think noble. What happens when you compare us, or them for that matter, with perfection. None come close. Think about the ten commandments. Have you ever broken even one?
By now it should be obvious what the opening verse was saying, there is no one good. No, not one. We’re reminded in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” There is nothing that you or I could do to work our way to heaven. There is no hope in being good enough to get there. The only “hope” in that way of thinking is that you may live just a few years longer, so you could somehow delay and inevitable trip south. Think about this, “If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing).” Galatians 5:4 But Now I will show you wherein your true hope should lie. “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. v5” True hope of being right with God is based on faith alone in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. The only way that God extends His grace to us is through faith Eph. 2:8-9. You may be a good person in the sight of your fellow man, but God has set the standard far above anything that a human could achieve, that we might depend solely on Him. He demands perfection because He is perfect. We cannot attain perfection therefore a price must be paid, Romans 6:23. He requires justice because He is just.
He offers a way out though, John 3:16-17. His Son, Jesus. He died that we might live. If we would only believe. Look at what He says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” THERE IS NO OTHER WAY. We are not good enough.
There is nothing in this life worth eternal damnation, complete and utter isolation from the One that created you. Consider this if you have kids. Picture for a moment that you are at an NFL football game, and you and your six year-old go to get a hot dog, and use the restroom. Now imagine that you get separated. Can you feel the torment, not yours, your child’s. Alone in a crowd. People rushing by, nearly knocking him over. He’s frozen in fear, for lack of his parents. That multiplied countless times over, in addition to physical, conscious pain and suffering, F-O-R-E-V-E-R. No description could be placed into words to describe the hell that we face as sinners. But we don’t have to. He has provided a sacrifice to take our place. What could be worth denying that sacrifice to face that sentence? Nothing. If we would only turn from our wicked ways. 1 John 2:15 – “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Remember this also, that what you do does not affect you only. If you have kids, they will follow you. Would you have them go through this? I urge you, with all that is within me, aspire for more than this world has to offer.