Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
Learn to do good... The assumption that people are inherently good is false. If people are naturally good, then why would we need instruction on what good is and how to do it? The truth is that people are not inherently good.
Enough time has gone by in “civilized” society to perpetuate such a false assumption. The truth is that people whose lives are changed because of God are good. Jesus in our hearts is what makes us good again. Romans 3:12-25 explains how: No one does good, not a single one. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies. Snake venom drips from their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don’t know where to find peace. They have no fear of God at all.... For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.
It doesn’t seem to make sense to be righteous and good without physically doing something. But we’re made righteous and good by knowing Jesus and what he’s done, then we do righteous and good things.
So Believers, who because of Jesus are righteous and good, have been affecting the world for centuries. They have brought about decency and morality to everyone by being happening to be in influential places. To see what life is like with no influence of Believers watch the movie Apocalypto. Be warned it is VERY violent and the people do VERY awful things in that movie. You know why? Because it’s a perfect picture of what No one does good, not a single one looks like. Treating others the way you want to be treated spread with the Gospel (See Matthew 7:12); it is not man’s default setting.
When the Good News spread like wildfire, it affected society, and even the unbelievers’ lives enjoyed a new moral structure. That is why the lie of the Enemy that people are inherently good continues to spread; people simply don’t remember what life was like before Christianity spread. Reality is that people inherently want to rip each other apart and take what isn’t theirs, but God has shown EVERYONE a better way through Jesus.
Fun fact: Over the last few decades we have been rapidly watching common morality decline, but this is exciting news because Jesus said his return will be like it was in Noah’s day (Matthew 24:37). And the days of Noah were... evil! (Hence, the Flood - Genesis 6:5-7.)
Thank you for making my heart good, for showing me good things to do and for keeping me safe in these changing times. Thank you for the soon return of your Son, Jesus, in whose name I pray according to your good will. Amen.