Even the best of us are in trouble....

The Vineyard Dear Friends, One of the most common questions I get asked at our home bible studies for the campers is, “What happens to the people that really are good but never have the chance to hear about Jesus Christ”? Many of them point out that some folks are REALLY nice but have not placed their trust in Jesus. What happens to them? It’s a great question! a. God loves that soul infinitely more than any of us. b. There really are people that might appear to be really, really good when you compare them to me, or to a corrupt politician, or to a vain movie star or to a drug dealer. ….but: a. Compared to God’s perfect holiness, they are filthy and corrupt through and through. b. That’s why God sent Jesus. Solomon spoke 4000 years ago, “There is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins…..” Are we better today than the folks of Solomon’s time? I don’t think so, and in some ways, some of us might be worse. In fact, 2000 years after Solomon spoke, Saint John said, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” This idea of being sin-free on our own is not a modern idea we just came upon. Throughout history people have argued that mankind kind is basically good—but that’s based upon a comparison of a really, really extreme example of BAD (e.g. Hitler, a rapist ,a serial murderer) and a really, really poor example of a good person (like a billionaire that gives way his money or a good-hearted person that helps folks disadvantaged.) The only example of good is God, and the only representation we have of God is Jesus Christ. Compared to HIM, we’re all in a desperate situation. But something does change when a person comes to God and He opens their eyes to just how dirty, corrupt and off target they are. It produces the gift of tears, because it is then, and only then, that you can contritely say, “Against you, and only you, have I sinned”. It’s both sobering and heart breaking to be brought to the realization of how unlike God we really are and how totally dependent we are upon His mercy. No man or woman that God has allowed to see himself or herself as they really are is inclined to judge another soul, but rather to on his or her breast and say, “Forgive me—-because if I am judged outside of your renewing work in my life I would be far worse than they are”. We’re all in need of a Savior——even the best of us. Warmly, Dean Barley The Vineyard Dean@VineyardCamp.com 336 351 2070 919 360 8493 (Mobile)

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