Believe it or not, this is one of the commonest responses we receive from people who don’t want to take one of our leaflets. People are perfectly free to refuse of course, but it does make us wonder on what basis so many people think they’re “all right”.
By what measure, on what scale, do they consider themselves to have reached the pass-mark? We all share a similar idea of what’s considered to be a “nice person” – hard-working, decent, good to their neighbours, loves their family and so on. Doubtless these qualities all make that person likeable, but are there any grounds for this scale being a valid measure? Does being pleasant on the outside really give us peace on the inside, or make us right with God?
The God of the Bible has often spoken about this matter. In actual fact His standards are so high that none of us passes muster, not even the “nice” ones! That is because He sees within as well as on the surface, and within all our hearts lie dark areas of unforgiveness, selfishness and independence. So is that it – everyone’s missed the mark, fallen short, written off, end? No, that’s just the bad news, which has to come first because it makes the Gospel of Jesus Christ really GOOD news!
For a long time people were required to try and please God by obeying the Law of Moses. They couldn’t do it. When they failed in one small point, there it was – broken. It doesn’t matter which link in a chain breaks; once one fails the whole is broken. The purpose of this Law was to prove to us all what God knew already – that none of us could make ourselves good enough to live forever by keeping God’s simplest rules. Given what our hearts are like, if we try to make ourselves acceptable to God by our own goodness it’s like paying for something with peanuts where they only accept gold! A better way was needed. So before Jesus lived on earth, a new offer was prepared by God for our benefit and it was implemented by something very precious indeed – the death of the One Person who did make it through this life without giving way to the downward pull of sin and human nature. You may know who that person is – Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and that is why He is called the Saviour of the world. Now the arrangements are different – we become acceptable to God through faith, by trusting in Him, not in our own efforts.
The trouble is, over the years a lot of confusion and clutter has blurred people’s understanding of who Jesus is and why He came. There’s no denying that the institutional church has contributed to this, causing some people to reject the whole lot as worthless or irrelevant.
If you’re someone who thinks this good news has passed its sell-by date, can we ask you to do four things:
- Stop and put those misgivings to one side just for a short time;
- Listen to your conscience (and the Bible) and give an honest answer to the question, “Are you really all right – inside yourself, as well as in God’s sight?”
- Ask Him to show you how the Gospel applies to you now;
- Take to heart what you read in the rest of this article.
When this better way of being put right with God was first made known, loads of people opted in, but there were some vital conditions. First, they had to be honest enough to say that their lives were a mess and they were sick of it. They needed to be willing to do a complete turnaround. Next they had to find out how to get the accumulation of bad stuff cleared off their account, and finally they needed a different power-source to live by in the future, one which works!
All those conditions were met in Jesus Christ, and they still are today – knowing God our Father through Him is the best thing that can ever happen to a person.
Do you sense a need to be “all right”? Do you long to know you’re “all right” rather than just hoping so, fingers crossed? Jesus is the way.