This is a very controversial topic in Christianity today. “Good” people and “bad” people. Take Mother Theresa and Adolf Hitler… which was a good person and which was a bad person? I think we’d all agree that Theresa was a good person and Hitler was a bad person. But very few people follow that up with … according to worldly standards. I think this is a key statement. The thing is God does not judge us according to worldly standards. And I’m going to show you why that is a very good thing!
Romans 3:10 (NIV) states: “There is no one righteous, not even one.” So, does that mean we are all bad people? YES! Let me explain. We are all born with a sin nature. ..
But, I’ve never killed anyone, I’ve never stolen, I’ve never cheated on my wife….
Have you ever harbored hate in your heart for another person… ever? Jesus says you are just as guilty as a murderer (Matt. 5:22). Have you ever looked upon another with lust… ever? Jesus says you are just as guilty as an adulterer (Matt. 5:28). Have you ever lied about anything… ever? Of course you have! Now, according to Biblical standards – what are you? You are a self-admitted liar, adulterer, and murderer! According to God’s standards, are you guilty or not guilty? You are guilty. There is no one righteous, not even one.
But, I’ve done so much good. Sure, I’ve made mistakes, but surely God will look at all the good I’ve done…
It doesn’t even work that way by worldly standards does it? A criminal is brought before a court and had killed someone in a fit of rage. But, what if he had spent 30 years of doing good for others, surely the judge will take that into account?? Nope. It doesn’t work that way. A good judge judges based on crimes committed. The person is either guilty or not guilty… and we’ve already determined that we are guilty, so we deserve our due punishment!
But, eternal damnation in hell is a bit much for a few poor choices, isn’t it…
YES it is! God doesn’t wish anyone to go to hell. That’s why he provided a way out. If we accept His son, Jesus can step in as our lawyer and tell the judge that He has already paid our fine and send us on our way. But without that lawyer we are defenseless. To remain a good judge, God cannot let the guilty go free, and there are only two options for eternity.
Repeating our main verse here: “There is no one righteous, not even one”. Am I really saying that all people are bad people? Yes! And, it’s a very rough position to take as a counselor-in-training, but it is a Biblical position and I’m not alone in that thinking even in some secular psychology. We come to this position by looking at God’s standards, not the world’s standards. As much as we want to call people “good”, it’s not Biblical… and if the buck stops there, then it’s settled. Makes you think twice about the age old question “why do bad things happen to good people”, doesn’t it?
The bottom line is – there are no good people. The real distinctions we should be making is forgiven versus unforgiven people. Think about it this way. Can Mother Theresa be in Hell? Could Adolf Hitler be in Heaven? The correct answer is YES to both. We can’t know the actual status of the heart, and the difference between forgiven/unforgiven has little to do with the actual worldly deeds of the individual. Isn’t that reassuring?? There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and nothing you can do to make God love you less. Thank God that He does not judge us based on our deeds… we’d all fail.