Bad News – Part 2

Several weeks ago I wrote Bad News – Part 1. Then, I took a side excursion into the topic of infant baptism. Well, I have more bad news for you.

Nothing you can do will prevent you from going to hell.

“But I’m a good person!”

No, you’re not.

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
— Mark 10:17-22

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”
— Matthew 5:21-22

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
— Matthew 5:27-28

Or as David said, “They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:3). And, as Paul said, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20).

No, you’re not a good person. At least, not good enough to avoid hell.

Your religion will not save you.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
— Matthew 23:23-28

“For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
— Hosea 6,6

And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”
— 1 Samuel 15:22

All of the religious acts, rituals, sacrifices, and hardship endured in the name of religion will not save you. God’s standard is impossibly high for man to earn his way into God’s kingdom.

Church will not save you.

Churches are full of false converts and hypocrites (Do not think I say this as an excuse for those who don’t want to go to be with the church. We are commanded to not forsake the assembling of the church.). Churches are full of the unconverted too.

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
— Matthew 12:24-30

Who knows, the person sitting next to you in church may be saved. Or they may be a weed. We can’t know for certain until harvest time.

“But I’ve been going to church with my family since I was a baby.”

Well, the church’s moral teachings are valuable. For a while in this country, it was to a man’s advantage to be seen going to church. But God has no grand-children. To see what I mean, check out Ezekiel 18. “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4). “If a man is righteous . . . he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 18:5-9). “If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though he himself did none of these things), . . . He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself.” (Ezekiel 18:10-13). And finally, ““Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: . . . he shall not die for his father’s iniquity; he shall surely live.” (Ezekiel 18:14-17).

More next time . . . .

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