Title: “Good is Not Good Enough”
Text: Mark 7:6-7
“… This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They worship me in vain…” (Mark 7:6-7)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, didn’t we prophesy n your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23, New English Translation)
One of the things I love about the Bible is that God has made it very plain as to what gets us into “the kingdom of heaven.” It is not by simply “doing good” or “being good”, It is not, as we see in this passage, just being “religious”, even though there are churches that teach this and many people believe it. No, good is not “good enough.” So then, what is it? How do we inherit eternal life? Or, more simply… how do we make it into heaven?
Jesus said very plainly that “not everyone” makes it in. There is a clear line of delineation between those who inherit eternal life and those who don’t… and that line is separated, not by what we do, but by Who we know – it is based on having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
But here’s the thing: GOD WANTS TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH US. He does not want anyone to perish – to live eternity without Him – that is not His desire. His desire is for ALL to trust in the finished work of His Son Jesus on the cross. THAT is the difference between religion and relationship. THAT is how we begin a relationship with Jesus. It was necessary for Jesus to die for us, to pay the punishment for our sin that we should have paid. We should spend eternity in hell because of our sin, but because of God’s love for us and His mercy (withholding what we deserve), He sent Jesus to die for us. You see, only man could pay for his own sin, but only God could defeat death… so, God became man and died the death of deaths FOR US – and then conquered death by rising from the dead. It is because of His death that we are forgiven of our sin, and because of His resurrection that we can live forever!
It is a FREE GIFT from God – “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). And God offers that FREE GIFT to us… because He loves us. “God demonstrated His own love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
But wait a minute… I’ve been an usher in my church for years and have given my tithes and offeringsalmost every Sunday… isn’t that enough?
“No. I never knew you.”
But I have given money and food for people who needed it… I stopped cussin, and I have passed out information about our church… I lived a pretty good life, loved my family, and even was recognized in our community! Isn’t that enough??
“No, because I never knew you.”
Wait, wait, wait… my FATHER was a pastor, my MOTHER was a deaconess, and I was a Sunday School teacher! That’s GOT to be enough… right???
“All of that is true… and good. But GOOD… is not “good enough.” You were acquainted with my teaching and even did some work in My Name… but you never had a relationship with Me. I NEVER KNEW YOU.”
So close… yet, so far. Good… is not good enough… because we simply cannot do enough good to pay our sin debt. That’s why Jesus came… He did, what we could never do on our own. And, since He was the sinless Son of God…
… HIS good, was good enough. And that… is GOOD NEWS!
Maybe you’re reading this and you’ve never understood the good news of the Gospel in those terms… or maybe you have been relying on your own goodness and merit to please God and to get to heaven… whatever the case may be, if you have never had a RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS, yours can start today! You simply have to trust that Jesus came as God in the flesh and died for YOUR sin – He took YOUR sin upon Himself on the cross – so that you might have eternal life. That life can start today… right now… if you simply pray this prayer (the prayer does not sav you, but believing the good news by faith does save you):
God… I know I am a sinner… and without your grace, I am destined to spend eternity without You… separated forever from you in a place that the Bible calls Hell. But Your Word says that I can have eternal life right now by believing in Your Son Jesus… that He came to earth as God in the flesh and died for me… in my place… that I might spend forever with You! BY FAITH, I BELIEVE THAT IS TRUE! Please come into my life and change me, so that I will from now on… and forever… follow You. I believe that You will… and the Bible tells me I am “saved” from Your wrath (hell) and saved for eternity! Thank you, God, for saving me!
Listen… if you prayed that prayer AND YOU MEANT IT, the Bible – GOD’S WORD – says that YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN! YOU WERE BEFORE, HIS CREATION… NOW, YOU ARE HIS CHILD!! 😊 If you prayed that prayer, I want you to do two things for me… please… #1 – Please comment below or post on this page that you just gave your life to Christ, and – you’re gonna see – so many people are going to encourage you!!!! YAY, GOD!! #2 – Send me a direct message in messenger, and I will send you some “next steps” to help you get started in growing this new relationship with the Lord Jesus! We are so happy and so excited for you!!!
Title: “Good is Not Good Enough”