Susie Moroney is one of Australia's greatest long distance swimmers, yet even she could not save herself if it came to swimming across the ocean.
Suppose a plane with you, me and Susie Moroney crashed in the middle of the ocean. I (who am not a great sportsman) might swim for an hour and then drown. You might swim for several hours and then drown. Susie might swim for several days and then drown. But none of us will be able to swim back to Australia. Left to our own efforts we will drown.
Being good enough for God is like that. Some people are 'more good' than others. But in the end none of us are good enough for God. The offence to God of people like Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot and Stalin was massive (they were very poor swimmers). The Calcutta mission worker Mother Teresa was a good swimmer. You and I are probably somewhere in between . But in the end none of us is good enough to swim to the shore under our own efforts. None of us is good enough.
Imagine the teenage girl who always does what her parents ask, keeps her room tidy, gets home on time, and even mows the lawn. She is the perfect 'good' daughter, except she never ever speaks to her parents. We arent 'bad' in the Hitler way. But so often we treat God like the teenage girl treated her parents. We do not respect him or relate to him as he wants to be related to. As the girl's parents are angry with the way their daughter treats them, so God is angry with the way we treat him.
The daughter 'believes in her parents existence', she just won't relate to them. Likewise so many people 'believe in God's existence'. Believing in God, and being good are not in the end what God wants from us. He wants us to relate rightly to him, to respect him, speak to him, listen to him, obey him. When we don't do that, God rightly gets angry.
No matter how good at swimming we are we won't be able to swim to Australia. Round the Word Yachtsman Toni Bullimore was in his overturned boat in the Atlantic Ocean expecting to drown when he was rescued by an Australian navy ship on the 9th of January 1997. Bullimore describes the feeling of seeing the ship as one of 'absolute unparalleled elation', a joy so pure that it actually hurt.
Before God we are unable to rescue ourselves. We need to accept God's rescue mission. God so loved us that he send his son into the world - the man Jesus Christ. By dying in our place, Jesus took our punishment and bought forgiveness.
The question for you is not do you believe in God, or are you a good person, but have you accepted God's rescuer - Jesus? by Dominic Steele
© 2002 Christianity.net.au
used with permission