Monday, 11 February 2019

Do Good Folks Need to Repent?

Many churchgoers automatically assume they're "good people" and they don't need to repent. I know this from personal experience. Until I gave my life to the Lord in 1969, I had never heard of repentance. Naturally, I thought I was all right.

The best example of a religious person being told he had to start all over was when Jesus spoke to Nicodemus. John 3:3 (BBE) says, "Jesus said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, Without a new birth no man is able to see the kingdom of God.'"

Nicodemus was no ordinary ruler of the temple but the chief teacher. A man in his position had to be outwardly blameless. As our lord pointed out in John 3:10 (BBE), "And Jesus, answering, said, 'Are you the teacher of Israel and have no knowledge of these things?'"

At our physical births, we did nothing to cause it. We were just there when it happened. So it is with the spiritual birth. As a result, nobody who hasn't been transformed by repentance and following Christ can understand this truth. Paul wrote about this dichotomy in 1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV). "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

Furthermore, it was the Pharisees who gave Christ the most grief when he ministered on earth. His greatest complaint against them was their blockade of heaven to all who sought it. Look at what he said in Matthew 23:13 (KJV). "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

False ministers are ever present in our midst, attempting to destroy the work of Christ. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:15 (BBE), "Be on the watch for false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inside they are cruel wolves."

But how are these wicked people able to mislead those who are mere churchgoers and not truly followers of Christ? Paul gave the answer in 2 Corinthians 11:14 (KJV). "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."

So we see that there are no "good" people, just those dead in sin and those alive in Christ. I'll be focusing on this division of humanity in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? People need to understand the peril they face by rejecting the gift of salvation in no uncertain terms.

On Thursday, I'll post about the need to repent now rather than when we're old. Many folks figure they'll live for decades when tonight might be their last.

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