More often than not, we ascribe goodness to people who (according to our perception) have lived a quiet and a respectable life. So we hear statements like: “he is a good man’, ‘he/she loves all manner of people’, he/she tries to live at peace with all,” and the like. But I want us to draw our attention to the fact that just being a good man or woman is simply not good enough to inherit the coming Kingdom of God on earth.
The Bible teaches us that God knows the hearts of men and it is only God who sees what is done in secret. I do not intend to condem anyone and it is normal to ascribe goodness to people we believe have lived exemplary lives. The question is, did such people really lived a life pleasing to God? “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12, NIV).
Cornelius is described as a good and righteous man who did a lot to help the poor and needy, widows and so on. In spite of these, the Bible tells us that he lacked one thing. He needed Apostle Peter to come to his house and to explain to him and his entire family the good news of peace through Jesus Christ who is Lord of all. And to testify that Jesus is the one whom God has appointed as judge of the living and the dead and that all must put their trust and hope in him (Acts 10).
It is indeed refreshing to do good unto others as the Lord Jesus has commanded, especially those who follow him to show kindness to all manner of people, and to live at peace with others as far as they can. We should not forget that by doing good to others we are fulfilling one aspect of the Lord’s command.
We must strive to get to know him personally and live our lives daily doing his will or obeying his commandments. King Solomon exhorts us that the conclusion of the matter is to “fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
May the good Lord continue to strengthen us to do his will, in our wilderness journey, at all times so that when our master Jesus Christ returns to establish God’s kingdom on earth we shall be found worthy of being with him eternally.
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