I get the biggest kick out of people who say, “The key to life is that you try to do the right thing and be a good person. Just follow the golden rule and God will reward you in the here and the hereafter.” At least, I would, if it wasn’t so heartbreaking.
Come on, folks, do we really believe that life is just about getting our good deeds to outweigh the bad ones? As if we can ever be good enough to displace our sin? As if everyone had a pair of scales and as long as “goodness” outweighs “badness”, we’re doing all right? Do you see how absurd that is?
Probably not, so let’s consider an example. Take Hitler, probably the most hated man in the history of the world. What if instead of committing suicide, he committed to community service? How long would it take him to work off his genocide? His machinations and greed? 100 years? 1000 years? 10,000,000 years? Would all the philanthropy in the world ever make up for a single, solitary death he caused? Would it ever heal the families he hurt? Would it ever repay the wives of his brainwashed soldiers, or the rape victims of those self-same animalized men? Would it ever be enough for the mother who held her baby to her breast in the gas chambers and watched it die as she herself slipped away behind to be able to say, “Eh, no big”?
So how come we try to “make up” for yelling at our mothers by doing extra chores around the house? How come we say, “I know I shouldn’t have looked with lust at that bank teller, so I’ll give extra to charity”? How can we justify betraying a dear friend with kind words and a free movie?
Don’t presume to tell me that “well, those are just small sins, so we can outweigh them with doing good things”. You know that’s not true. You could work side-by-side with Hitler in the soup kitchen for eternity and not have gained any more ground for your sin of calling your brother “fool” in anger than Hitler would have gained on his mass-exterminations.
You can never make the wrongs you’ve done right. NEVER. You are dead in your trespasses, a child of iniquity. The people you’ve hurt, the wrongs you’ve committed cry out for justice against you. Every evil look you’ve ever cast, every curse you’ve ever muttered under your breath, every lustful eye you’ve ever pointed, every betrayal of a dear friend that you’ve committed, they mark you as one under God’s wrath for your evilness, condemned to the grave for eternity. I hope you know that.
No, I’m not going to give you the Gospel. If you aren’t convicted already it won’t matter what I say, you’ll just go your merry way, secure in your sins, no matter what I tell you. You’ll just bop your way along, convinced that deep down you “really are a good person” and sparing no expense to justify yourself in your sin. But you’re only fooling yourself.
You are not a good person.
You never were.
If, on the other hand, you are in mourning over your iniquity and need the Gospel to give rest to your broken heart, open up your Bible and read the book of Romans. Yes, all of it. Failing that, at least talk to your pastor, who has been called to preach the Gospel to ones such as you. Don’t waste your time with something trivial designed to make you forget your troubles and your condition as a sinner so you can stomach yourself another day. Seek the hope that is in Jesus Christ.
Do it now.