What is a good person? How does one define good? Someone who is nice? Kind? Giving? Have you ever heard it said that if you’re a good person, you will go to Heaven? By what or whose standard of measure do we know if someone is good? There’s only one way to know, and that is to go to the scriptures. The bible tells us that no one is righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10), that the whole world is held accountable to God, that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment (Isaiah 64:6). We are all guilty of having sinful hearts. In short, there are no good people. As I stated in my previous blog, we all fall under the Federal Headship of Adam as the first male, so we are all born with a sinful nature. We are not born good.
Second, we live in a fallen world. When Adam and Eve gave in to sin, man, woman, animals and the earth were cursed as a result of that sin. This world is a sinful place and is where Satan reigns. It is not heaven. Jesus said in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus promised us trouble. He didn’t say, “You may have trouble.” He said, “You will have trouble.”
Third, God gave us free will. When He did that, He gave us the right to choose good or evil. If He were to remove our wrong choices that would harm people because He would also be removing our ability to make good choices. To do this would be evil in itself. We would be robots and our love for God would not be genuine, it would be forced. God can’t make love Him nor does He want to. This must be of our own free will. Therefore, He must allow us to make bad choices as well as good in order to let consequences happen naturally and to preserve our free will. Natural consequences produce genuine love for God by seeing the good that God does as a result of our choices good or bad. This glorifies God and our love for Him is genuine because we see His work in that situation. As opposed to God rescuing us all the time and making Himself undeniably apparent, requiring no faith on our part whatsoever.
When bad things happen to loved ones, it is heartbreaking. The trials, tragedies and temptations we face are difficult. Sometimes, pastoral counseling is what we need. We are not in Heaven, yet. But John 16:33 is encouraging and one day, we will overcome the world too. Oh how I look forward to that!