“Human beings are basically good.”
“I’m a good person. Why do I need to be ‘saved’?”
If you ever share the gospel with people or talk about Jesus with people, chances are you’ve heard those sentiments. If you are a follower of Christ and don’t share the gospel or talk about Jesus with people, you have other problems, but never mind that for now.
Here’s something I got from Francis Shaeffer in one of his books…somewhere:
Say there was a “judgment recorder” placed in your head (forgive the physicalist trappings that come along with the illustration. That’s not the point nor is it relevant to the illustration.) that popped on every time you made a judgment. “Why’s that guy cutting in line?” Recorder pops on. “That guy is being so judgmental and intolerant.” Recorder pops on. “Hey, that guy with the fish on his car just cut me off! He could have caused a wreck! Dang hypocritical Christians!” Recorder pops on. “I think religion should be about being nice and helping others, not judging beliefs as right or wrong.” Recorder, ummm, records.
Whether its vocally stated or just thought in the head, whether its stated directly or merely a passive-aggressive feeling, the device records anytime you express a judgment of some sort.
Now, say that recorder is played back when you die, and it is the standard used to evaluate your life. How would you do?
There are many points to this illustration, but one of them is that virtually no one even lives up to their own standards. Not even by a long shot. God doesn’t need to even reference His standards, which are much higher. Your own standards will suffice. Same with me.
I’ll tell you what: my own goodness is destroyed. The rap sheet I have from breaking just my own miniscule standards gives me a rap sheet miles long. What about you? Do you still have confidence in your own goodness?