“I am as good as they are.”
Having worked as an evangelist with local congregations for almost 20 years, I have heard many reasons for people not following God. One of those is seen in the first sentence of this article. It is a sad commentary on an individual who claims to follow God, if this is said to be the obstacle standing in the way of someone’s obedience.
Yet, I have to wonder if the individual who makes such a statement as the reason for their not becoming or not being faithful really understands God. It is true that the church is made up of the people; however, it is the body of Christ. “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col. 1:18).
The church is not like a country club that you can join. In fact, you cannot join the church – you must be added by the Lord. “Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). If one refused to obey, they are refusing God.
It is true that there are individuals who are hard to “like.” Some do not always act like they should, or talk like they should. They may not even set a good example for others to follow. Still this should not keep anyone from obeying God’s will. Failure to obey the gospel will lead to the damnation of the soul.
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thess. 1:7-9). On the Day of Judgment, this excuse will not be acceptable to God.
Would it not be better to sit in a building here on the earth with someone who fails to meet God’s standards, and to work with them to try and get them repent, than to spend eternity lost with the same person? Remember what happened in the Garden of Eden? When God questioned Adam as to why he had sinned, he pointed to the woman. When the woman was asked about the sin, she pointed to the serpent. Notice the results: both Adam and Eve were cast from the garden. Their excuses were not enough.
It may be that those who use others as their excuse feel morally superior to those Christians who do not act as they ought to be acting. All that is deception: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:22-25).
We all will give account as to how we live not how others live. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).
We must all remember to look at the entire picture, not just one section. God gave his Son to die that we can have eternal life. Our failure to obey is just that – a failure. It will cause us to hear those words, “Depart I never knew you.”
Sadder even still is that most who offer these excuses are “good” people who have such an influence on others. Our influence is like the ripples from a stone thrown in water, it continues on and on.
If you are one who uses others as a “reason” not to obey God, please reconsider your position – turn and obey God.