Summary: A message that examines the role of good works for those who are saved by grace
Are you good enough? You might want to think that through. You might want to because we’re talking about your eternity here. You also might want to because you never know when someone’s going to do a man on the street interview and ask you that question…
(video about being good enough - 2:40)
Asaph wrote Psalm 73 about a crisis time in his life. He looked at all the wicked people whose lives seemed so cushy and had almost convinced himself that living a good life just doesn’t matter.
…Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
Have you ever felt that way?
You work hard at your job, but the guy who’s a goof-off gets a better raise than you get.
You study hard for a test, but the kid next to you who cheats ends up with a better grade.
And in desperation you say, “What good does it do to be good? What’s the point?”
Joke – 3 boys talking. One says, “My dad’s an attorney. I get $10 a week for being good.” Another says, “My dad’s a doctor. I get $20 a week for being good.” The 3rd on says, “My dad’s a preacher. I’m good for nothing !”
What I’m really talking about is living right. Does it matter, and if it does, how much does it matter?
The world is upside down on this subject, and we need to land on our feet. Is being a Christian just about having a list of things we don’t do? Where does right living fit into our lives in Jesus?
I hope to help us with that this morning, so buckle up, here we go!
Frankly, Church, we do need to fix some things, so here are
3 Mistakes Christians Make:
1. We are the morality police
Now, first, parents, you’re in a different role. You have a position of authority where lovingly enforcing compliance is your job. That’s what keeps your toddler from running out into the street in front of a truck, and it can also keep your teenager from making some lifelong mistakes. That’s your job, Mom and Dad. In your home, you are the police!
But when it comes to forcing people outside of Jesus to follow Him, that has never been the way God worked. Some of the darkest days of Church history were the times when the Church attempted to force people to be part of it.
God has never forced obedience on anyone. He tells you what is right and wrong. He warns about the results of disobedience. He warns that there will be punishment, and then He follows through and He will follow through. But God never forces people to obey Him.
Why would we?
It has never been the role of the Church to force people to live godly lives. It’s our job to teach it and encourage it. It’s our job to pray for and plead with people who are outside the Lord’s will, even to confront and rebuke sin, but it has never been our job to be the morality police of the world. Our job here is to be the messengers of God’s word – to be His ambassadors; to speak on His behalf.
Peter talks about people outside the church…
They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
There’s one God, and you’re not Him. They will give an account to God, not to you.
Another mistake Christians make is being shocked when people who aren’t Christians don’t act like Christians.
2. We should expect non-Christians to act like believers
Why do we act shocked when non-Christian people act like…non-Christians? Yesterday, at the car show, I heard some of the people here using rough language. It’s not what I want to hear, but I also remembered that we want non-believers to be here, don’t we? Don’t we want people who haven’t met Jesus to step through the doors here and learn about Him? I didn’t go to those guys and say, “Hey, we don’t talk that way!” If I insist that they speak just like me before I’ll be a friend to them, I’ll close the door to reaching them.
When Jesus told Zacchaeus He was going to his house, He didn’t say to Zacchaeus, “Now, before I’ll have lunch with you, there have to be some changes.” No, Jesus want and ate with him, and then Zacchaeus changed.
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people--not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.