Are people basically good? When I was a kid, I used to think so. But then my life experiences didn’t confirm that belief, because I saw so many people doing bad things.
You might be surprised to know, however, that most Americans believe people are basically good. In his book What Americans Believe, researcher George Barna revealed that 84 percent of non-Christians agree with the statement that people are basically good.
That shouldn’t be too surprising. But what is somewhat surprising is that 77 percent of self-described Christians think the same thing.
So, are people basically good? Here’s what I think. (You might be surprised.) My answer is yes and no. There are good people. There are people who do good things. Some people are good neighbors and good citizens. They’re kind and considerate.
There are people who have done good things, have made great sacrifices, or have done something heroic on behalf of others. In fact, I’ve met some nonbelievers who are nicer than some Christians. But being nice is not what gets us to Heaven, of course.
Maybe this is a better way to frame the question: Are we good enough to get to Heaven on our own merit? The answer is a resounding no. No one is good enough to reach God’s very high standards. We all fall short of them.
In the Book of Romans, the apostle Paul systematically shows us that everyone falls short. In fact, if we learn nothing else from the first chapter of Romans, we discover that we’re all sinful. The bad news is that we’re sinners. The good news is there’s a Savior.
Our salvation is not earned. Rather, it is given to us as a gift from God. The immoral person needs Jesus. And the moral person needs Jesus. Everyone needs Jesus.
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Beyond Valor - Book
Deep reflection on the fundamental Christian messages of love, compassion, charity, and self-sacrifice are part of Henry “Red” Erwin’s story, as told by his grandson, Jon Erwin .Support today!