“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the heart.” ~ Proverbs 21:2
Most everyone I talk to who are not church-going people, have this basic belief about themselves, which says, “I am a good person.” They justify themselves (which means to declare ones self as being ‘righteous’) and therefore get themselves off the hook with God. Since that has happened in their own minds, they then have no need to read the Bible, get connected to a local group of Christ-followers, or begin following Christ themselves. Of course they wouldn’t need to! They are good people! They have no need for forgiveness, no need for other people, no need for God to change them for the better, no need for Jesus Christ, who died for their sins and rose from the dead!
Can you think of anyone else in history who said “I am a good person” and therefore had no need to follow Christ?
You know, Adolf Hitler believed he was justified in his actions against his own people. He believed he was saving Germany in the 1930’s and 1940’s from Jewry and therefore doing the world a favor by exterminating them. In his last political testament, written 29 April 1945 shortly before he committed suicide, he wrote:
“In these three decades love and loyalty to my people have guided all my thoughts, actions and my life. They gave me the strength to make the most difficult decisions ever to confront mortal man. In these three decades I have spent my strength and my health…
…I have left no one in doubt that if the people of Europe are once more treated as mere blocks of shares in the hands of these international money and finance conspirators, then the sole responsibility for the massacre must be borne by the true culprits: the Jews. Nor have I left anyone in doubt that this time millions of European children of Aryan descent will starve to death, millions of men will die in battle, and hundreds of thousands of women and children will be burned or bombed to death in our cities without the true culprits being held to account, albeit more humanely.”
Take a look at this picture on the right, which was created in the late 1930’s. The words on the bottom read: “Germany Lives!” Hitler was proclaiming himself to be Germany’s Messiah. Notice the dove at the top? Christians for two millenia have used the dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit and of peace. Notice the masses who are backing their Leader, whose steely eyes are set on the goal of liberating his people and country.
You need to understand that even this guy justified himself and said he was a “good person.” Do you think you are this good? Can you honestly say to God’s face that you are good enough to get to heaven and take part in His eternal life?
As human beings, we can be pretty prideful and stubborn. How audacious of us to say that we, in and of ourselves, are somehow “good enough for God” just by default; just by being alive; just because, “Hey, I don’t kill anyone or want to hurt anyone.” Ouch. There’s a rough eternity waiting for you if this is what you truly believe.
“Goodness” can only come from One source. This doesn’t happen because you are a good person who does anything to gain God’s favor. No human being is good enough on our own to do that (Romans 3:10-23). The Lord Jesus Christ can make a person “good,” and thereby allowing that person access to eternal life, what we know of as heaven. When He died, He gave His life as a “ransom for many” (Matt 20:28). If you trust on His death and resurrection to be a substitute for your death (separation from God in eternal punishment), then this makes you truly a good person, as you have become a new person (2 Corinthians 5:17), one that is capable of entering eternity with God’s favor.
So… think you’re a good person (on your own capabilities)? So did Adolf Hitler. Look at the end result.