I’m Not Exactly A Christian, But I’m a Very Good Person

goodI believe in God and am a very spiritual person. Even though I don’t go to church I am focused on helping other people and being a positive influence.

Many of us have heard someone say something like this. Recently, a lady said it to me.  Probably some who are reading this article would even nod their heads in agreement and say that this describes them perfectly.  So, what’s the big deal?  How can living a life like this not be a good thing?  Who would object to someone being kind and good?

Well, I certainly don’t have any objections to anyone being kind and good.  However, it’s not me whom anyone should be seeking to please.  Instead, the question should be asked, “does God have any problems with this kind of life?”  The answer to that question may be surprising to some.

During the early part of the 1st century, Jesus of Nazereth was sentenced to death by the Roman outpost in Jerusalem.  Days later the resurrection of Jesus was seen and documented by numerous witnesses.  In his first public sermon, Peter declared that as a result of His resurrection, God had made Jesus “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).  In other words, Peter was saying that God made Jesus the King.  In a way, a new government had been established.  God had ordained a new system. A kingdom had been introduced and Jesus became the head of that kingdom.

Here in the West it’s hard to think in terms of having a king and livng in a kingdom. So, let me provide a westernized illustration to help with the point I want to make.  Let’s say that you are in the military and a new U.S. President is elected. You didn’t vote for this President and you don’t like him.  Therefore, you decide that he’s “not your President.”  Later, the President orders that the military be involved in a particular operation.  Since you don’t respect the President you decide not to follow the order. You inform your superiors that you won’t be going along on the operation and will just remain at base.  What do you think would happen?  Well, you would probably be told that you don’t have a choice since you have been sworn into the military.  If you still refuse, then you would likely be arrested and charged for dereliction of duty and possibly even dessertion.  The objection that you didn’t vote for the President or don’t agree with him won’t go very far.  Regardless of how you would feel about the President, you would be wrong to disobey him since by being in the military you are automatically under his command.

In the same sense if God is the creator and author of the universe and has established a kingdom – or government – to live by, then it would follow that we have an obligation to live in accordance with that system.

Well, you say, Jesus is the King and I’m not disobeying Him by helping others and being kind.  Is there a problem?

There might be.

In Acts 2, after Peter preached his sermon in which he announced that Jesus was the King, his listeners asked what they were supposed to do.  Peter’s response was that they were to “repent and let everyone of you be baptized” (vs. 38).  Of the three thousand who heard Peter that day I’m sure that there were many who were probably very good people.  They believed in God. They probably kept the law.  They were spiritual.  In fact, they were in Jersualem that day because they wanted to please God by observing the Jewish Passover.  I’m sure many were concerned about the poor and even tried to positvely influcence others.  Yet, Peter didn’t seem satisfied.  He simply commanded them all to repent of their sins and then be baptized into Jesus.  He didn’t make a distinction between those who lived good lives and those who didn’t.  This is what they all were called to do.

Do you see the problem now?

Certainly being good and kind and spiritual doesn’t go against the kingdom that God has established.  However, failing to turn from your sins and being baptized as a follower of Jesus does.  You can’t claim to be working with God when you aren’t doing what He commands.  You can’t live in a kingdom and expect to pick your own rules.  You can’t be a good soldier and not follow the President’s orders.

Now that you know what God expects from you, what will you do?





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