When Good is not Good Enough

Is being a good person enough for eternal life?

Most of us are familiar with the phrases, “Well, everyone who is good will be in heaven,” or “I’m a good person; I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual,” or “Well, that’s your truth.” How about the idea that at the end of time, Hell will be emptied, because God is all merciful? The idea of “good” not being “good enough” puzzled me as a child and a young man. Is good, good enough for eternal life?

Why Good is Not Good Enough – Although we are children of God and always will be, many of us are no longer children in the physical sense. Looking to 1 Corinthians, we are reminded, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.” [1 Corinthians 13: 11 – 12] As we grow into adulthood, we begin to see the world for what it is and most of us strive become productive members of a society. We live direction centered lives following both laws of the state and those agreed in common with others in a social framework or tapestry which bind us together. If that’s all we desire then we’re pretty well set, yet if eternal life is your ultimate goal, this worldly arrow doesn’t even come close to the target let alone the bulls eye.

If we truly love God or attempt to biblically “win the prize” then we must love God more than anything and above everything – more than our friends, more than our spouses, more than our children and more than ourselves. I remember when I was a child asking my Mom how I could love God more than her? She told me, as I now tell my own child, “you must love God first.” As we know from the Gospel of Mark 12: 29 – 30, “The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength.” Not only must we love God with all that we are, but as the first and all commandments imply, we must abide in His laws,
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. [John 15:4] God’s Law is greater than any worldly law and also must be obeyed first. If there is ever any conflict between God’s law and worldly laws, God’s laws must supersede everything,

Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

[Mark 12:17] Consider abortion for example. Worldly law gives a woman the right to abort her child for whatever reason she chooses, because the world sees only the woman’s body and also sees it as her own. God’s law and the sixth commandment, “thou shalt not kill” rules supremely above worldly law, because God is our creator. We also recognize that man’s law is flawed, because man himself is flawed as we repeat the sins of our first parents and live for ourselves rather than for God. This living for ourselves alone becomes the thread woven in the fabric of our society and we fail to acknowledge God as God Creator and ignore His great sacrifice, “And Christ died for all; that they also who live, may not now live to themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.” [2 Corinthians 5:15]

photo by Fares Hamouche

The idea that we are our everything; that we are ends in ourselves has brought narcissism to its fullest height, but we must not forget the price Jesus paid for us and who we are in God, “your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own? For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body.” [1 Corinthians 6: 19 – 20]

As I mentioned above, many modernists believe that in the end, Hell will be emptied and all will obtain salvation; this idea is not only absurd, but is the heresy Apokatastasis derived from the early desert contemplative, Origen. The belief was condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council in the year 553. Additionally, what would be the point of being a faithful believer were this true? The Lord was very clear for example, of Judas’ sin when he said, “woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born.” [Matthew 26:24] Were this notion correct, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross would have been pointless, as we could live as modernists and progressives, suffer for a time and then be welcomed into eternity which sounds more like the purification of purgatory for the faithful than a universal forgiveness.

As I have commented in earlier posts, Our Most Holy Mother as been warning humanity for over 100 years to change its ways. Sadly, due to the prophesied confusion that would come at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries, most people are so lost and oblivious of Mary’s existence and her warnings. The devil has done his homework and like unclean swine, the masses are driving themselves to the precipice of eternal torment. “How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!  Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”[Matthew 7: 14 – 15]

As Our Lady has told us, God is greatly offended and we must stop offending Him, thus turning from our old ways to become new in Jesus. When we sin and refuse to repent, thus “living” our sinfulness, we jeopardize all that is important and all for which God created us – “To know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.” [Baltimore Catechism, Lesson 1] We, the faithful must live and be the example to draw people to Christ. We cannot live with one foot in the world and the other with Christ, for “No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment?” [Matthew 6: 24 – 25]

Photo by Torsten Dederichs

Let us be strong and unite ourselves to Christ, to cling to Him in the storm which rages about us.

Let us suffer for others redemptively to save souls; let us walk the painful narrow road; let us live for Him selflessly so that others will come to Him through our sacrifices and as God promised in Galatians 6: 9 – 10, “In due time we shall reap, not failing. Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Let us do it now while there is still time.

The more we unite with the Lord, the more in communion we become with Him. In doing so, we begin to see as God sees; we begin to love as God loves and we change into the holy person whom God longs for us to be. “If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend.” [St. Teresa of Avila]

If you’d like to reach me directly, please send an email to petegforchrist@gmail.com

God Love You!

Greg

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Quietly walking within natures limitations. Colourfully doodling in the margins. Discovering spaces to share the stories of Jesus.

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