I can be good without going to church

This was by far the most common response from our recent survey.  There’s certainly a lot of truth in that statement.  We all know people who are very nice who don’t go to church.  We’ve at least heard of, if not know personally, people who aren’t nice , who do go to church.  Given that there are nicer people who don’t go to church than do, why would I go to church?  Especially if I’m a good person already?

This only makes sense if church is about making people good.  What if church is about something different?  If that was the case, then this reason wouldn’t make sense.  It’s like saying, ‘I don’t go to the supermarket because I can watch movies at home.’

It’s interesting to see what happens when Jesus meets a good person.  In Mark 10:17-27 Jesus meets the quintessential good bloke.  He’s never broken most of the 10 commandments (v19-20).  He calls Jesus a good person and expects that Jesus will say the same back to him.  What Jesus points out instead is that he has devoted himself to wealth instead of to God (v21-22). Jesus uses this as a teaching point to his disciples – if even a good bloke can’t get into heaven by his own good works, what hope do the rest of you have? (v23-25). But then he delivers the most wonderful news of all – even good people and bad people can get into heaven: “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Getting right with God is what the Bible calls salvation.  God gives salvation as a gift.  Salvation is impossible for us to do, but it’s not only possible with God, he will happily give it to anyone who asks, free of charge.  Do you have salvation?

Church isn’t about making people good, it’s about getting right with God. Want to hear more? Listen to the talk here.