Saturday, September 8, 2012

Labor Day

Labor Day, the official last day of summer. (Pretend today is Labor Day.  It took me a several days to get all this down.)  Our family labored today.  My husband cleaned our van (even vacuumed the sand from our trip to the beach a month ago).  I attacked the overflowing, outdated condiment filled refrigerator.  My girls "worked" hard at swimming as much as they could in our neighborhood pool, the last day it was opened this year. 

"Labor" Day, it made me think about work.  It reminded me of some conversations with friends I've had over the past few weeks.  I have several friends from other religions.  A few weeks ago, my Hindu friend said, "All religions are the same.  Everyone tries to be a good person."  It was not the appropriate time to tell him what the Bible says about being a good person.  Last week, my Muslim friend had a similar response.  She believes her good works in life must outway her bad works to go to heaven.  When she asked if I do things to please God and commented that Christianity and Islam are the same, "We both try to do good things for God", I had the opportunity to share what the Bible says about good works.

Most people would agree, "good people should go to heaven".  Why wouldn't they?  We live in a society that feels people deserve a reward for being good citizens, showing kindness to their neighbors, and giving to the poor.  Isn't that enough to deserve heaven?
What does the Bible say about being a good person? 

Romans 3:10 says, "as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

"Righteous" means, 'keeps God's commands, innocent, acceptable or "right" before God.'  According to the Bible, no person can consider themselves a "good person".

Isaiah 64:6 says,
6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment ;

In other words, anyone who thinks his or her righteous deeds (good works) will allow us access to a holy (perfect) God, needs to look closer at this verse.  Our sin makes us unclean.  There are many examples of "unclean" in the Bible.  The Bible says that lepers were "unclean".  Not only were lepers not allowed to enter the city, they were not allowed to worship.  Likewise, because we are "unclean", we are not allowed to stand before God.  God cannot allow sin into heaven.  If we try to present God our good deeds, he calls them "filthy", "unclean", "unfit".


Can't wait to hear about the good news?  Here's Hope

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