Home Christian Lifestyle Matt Walsh: You may not be a ‘decent person’ after all

Matt Walsh: You may not be a ‘decent person’ after all

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Someone recently told me that he doesn’t worry too much about “all that Heaven and Hell stuff” because he knows he’s a “decent person.” He explained that he pays his taxes, follows the law, provides for his family, and that ought to be “good enough” in the end. Now, he may very well be a decent person. I don’t know him well enough to say one way or another. But it strikes me that this kind of attitude is very common, even among Christians, and it’s extremely dangerous.

Of course, the person who relies on his own “decent” nature to get him through the pearly gates is wrong, first and foremost, because that’s not how it works. Heaven is open to us because of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice — a sacrifice made necessary by our sin, not our decency — and only those who love Christ will enter into it. As I’ve written many times, it’s not mere belief, nor is it mere acts of charity that make us eligible for eternal paradise. We must actively, purposefully, willfully love God. To love God is all that matters. Nothing else.

But I’ve said plenty in that vein recently, and I’d wager that a majority of the people reading this would already agree that you can’t win Heaven for yourself by being a decent guy. I’d like, then, to take this in a more challenging direction. I’d like you to consider not only that your decency won’t save you, but that, in fact, you may not be all that decent anyway. I think there are a great many of us in this country who imagine ourselves to be decent and honest, but our decency and honesty are incidental. If we are decent, it’s only because we haven’t had the opportunity or inclination to be very indecent. Or, I should say, our opportunities for indecency, cowardice, dishonesty, malice, faithlessness, etc., are so seemingly small and ordinary that we don’t think they count. We may actually behave like morally bankrupt egomaniacs on a near constant basis, but the circumstances seem so insignificant and the effects so minimal that we give ourselves a pass.

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Also, see  The Narrow Way to the Kingdom of God

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