Man's condition and "being a good person" (Part 3 of the True Jesus/Gospel)
This is part 3 of a series I am writing. I would encourage you to read parts 1 and 2 before reading this one.
The True Gospel, The True Jesus
So now that we see that the Arminian gospel is not true we can dive into the true gospel and the true Christ and see why it is offensive to people.
1. Man's condition-
We have already touched on it so this will be brief but the first part of the gospel that must be understood is man's condition. If we let the bible, both Old and New testament, speak for themselves we will see that man is spiritually dead (Eph 2:1), born a natural enemy of God (Eph 2:2-3), can not and will not seek God (Rom 3:10), can do no good at all before God (Rom 3:12), and is in need of being “born again” by the Holy Spirit to be able to enter God's kingdom (Joh 3:1-10).
The question that may come up here is “how, or why, is man born this way?”. Man is under a curse that started with the fall in the garden. When Adam and Eve chose to follow Satan instead of God they spiritually died (became children of disobedience). In their spiritual death they cursed all of mankind to be born spiritually dead (and eventually physically die) and under God's wrath as well. That is why Paul says, “21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1Cor 15:21-22”.
There is also a subtle hint to this in Genesis. If we look at when Adam was created it says he was created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27) but when Adam has Seth it says “begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image Gen 5:3”. Man still bears some likeness to God but it is horribly marred by sin so now we are born in the image and likeness of Adam; fallen, sinful, and spiritually dead.
2. The Law, Other religions, or “Being a good person”-
Just about every major religion teaches that we gain a “right standing” with a “higher power” or “god” by being a good person. Even the cults and false religions that claim to be Christian (Catholicism, Mormon, 7th day adventists, Orthodox, etc) will tell you that Christ died for your sins but ultimately its a combination of your works and His blood that saves you. Biblical Christianity is the only religion that puts all the onus on God alone and the works that Christ did on our behalf.
When we look at God's standard for goodness, seen in the Law, we should see that perfection is what is demanded if we are to “earn” our way to heaven. Just looking at the Ten Commandments alone, and not all the other laws, we can easily see that we do not have a right standing before God. The problem goes further than that though because before God even wrong intentions are sinful. That is why Jesus said if you look at a woman with lust in your heart you have already committed adultery.
Biblical Christianity outright states that there are no good people and that the law, when used correctly, should show us how sinful we are and how we need a savior. While other religions look to the law, or some other code of conduct, to prove their right standing before God, Christianity looks to the law to show us our failure to live up to God's standard and just how deserving of punishment we are!
The next time a family member or friend states that people go to heaven for “being a good person” ask them what their standard of goodness is. Which sins are okay to commit without punishment and which sins are not okay. When you get down to the basics of it a heaven that is based on good things you have done outweighing the bad leaves you in a constant state of not knowing where you stand with God. Have you done enough good things to offset the bad? It also turns God into nothing more than a person holding scales and seeing if your good outweighs your bad. Even in human courts when someone commits murder we do not ask them for a list of all the good things they have done in their life to see if that murder is outweighed by some good things they have done. We make people serve a proper punishment for their violation of law, how much more will a righteous God punish people for violating His perfect law? How long does a punishment of violating an eternal law last? ETERNITY!
Finally Paul says this in Galatians 2:21, “21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”. Jesus did not die so that good people can do good things and earn their way to heaven. He did not die so that people that follow Allah, Buddha, or any other god or person can just be "good people" and go to heaven. Jesus died to be the only way to heaven. He died because there was no other way for man to be able to be with God for eternity. There is no other religion or philosophy that grants people eternal life. We can not earn it on our own.