Isn't Christianity just a crutch for weak people? I don't think I need that.
Yes, Christianity is a crutch for weak people, but its being a crutch doesn't make it untrue. People who have broken legs need crutches, and no one is silly enough to call them foolish for using crutches. Well, people with broken hearts need a spiritual crutch, something to get them up and walking again. They're not silly for using the crutch, they're smart!
Fine. Some people need that crutch. But I don't.
Then you're in a class by yourself. I don't think you really believe that. You agreed earlier that you sin, doing what you know you shouldn't and not doing what you know you should. Sure, sometimes you do what's right, and not what's wrong. But not all the time.
When God gave His moral law to the Israelites through Moses, He said that perfect obedience to every part of it was necessary to please Him. »Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them,« God said (Deuteronomy 27:26). The Apostle Paul made the same point when he paraphrased those words: »Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them« (Galatians 3:10). God requires perfection‑and, my friend, no matter how good you are, even you don't believe you're perfect. So you do need this crutch just as much as anyone else does.
Don't my good works count for anything? Won't God accept me if I've lived a good life?
Only if your good works were without exception would they count anything for you. The Bible admits that whoever would live a sinless life would be accepted by God on that basis. If everything you did conformed absolutely to God's law, then you would be accepted on that basis.
But God doesn't just weigh the good against the bad and decide your case that way. God's standard Is perfection. If you fall short of perfection, you fail to satisfy God's requirements. “…..all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," wrote the Apostle Paul (Romans 3:23). It's not a question of how much or how terribly we have sinned; it's merely the fact that we have sinned at all that makes us fall short of God's standards.
But it's not fair for God to require perfection of us!
As our Creator, He can require whatever He pleases, and we aren't in any position to complain about it. But the Bible assures us that God is just‑so perfectly just, in fact, that none can measure up to Him in justice. »The LORD is righteous.... He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail« (Zephaniah 3:5).
God has, in fact, provided the way for us to stand perfectly before Him, to meet the requirements of perfection that He has set up. The way He has provided is for us to believe in Jesus.
That's not fair either. Why should I have to believe in Jesus in order to meet God's requirements?
Why should you have to follow the instructions in assembling a machine to make it work? Why should you have to use the right codes to make a computer work? Are these things unfair? Of course not. You have to follow the instructions and use the right codes because the designer of the machine or the computer designed them to function only with those conditions.
God is your Designer. He has told you what you have to do to »work right,« to meet His requirements. It's not unfair for Him to have told you so, so long as what He demands is possible. He gives you two options: you may either be perfect in yourself, or you may gain your perfection by believing in Jesus. If you don't think the former is possible, you are free to choose the latter. There's nothing unjust about that.
The Bible assures you that you are a sinner who cannot meet God's standards of perfection. It assures you that you cannot earn your way to heaven, that good works have nothing to do with restoring a friendly relationship with God. Friendship with God isn't earned, it is given to us freely by God‑freely except that really Jesus paid for it by giving His life for us.
Look, I know I admitted earlier that I sin. But I’m not all that bad. Really evil people like Hitler I can understand God rejecting, but I’m just not that bad. My sins are small things, they're not serious.
You may not take them seriously, but God does. You see, God doesn't consider how much damage an act causes to you or others, He considers what your sins say about your attitude toward Him. As your Creator, God deserves your absolute obedience. Your disobedience indicates that you don't honor Him as you ought, and that's something much more serious than simply telling a lie or cheating or stealing. That's why James, one of the Apostles, wrote, »....whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said,' Do not commit adultery' also said, 'Do not commit murder«' (James 2: 10‑11).
But I don't disrespect God.
To the extent that you sin, you do. But if you really mean what you say in claiming not to disrespect God, then you should believe and obey Him when He tells you that your only way to come to Him is to believe in Jesus.
Does God really say that?
Earlier, you remember, we saw that Jesus claimed to be God, and that He proved that claim by rising from the dead. Remember what He said? “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me» (John 14:6). This is why the Apostle Peter told people, “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved« (Acts 4:12).
God offers salvation to everyone through Jesus. But He offers it in no other way. »For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes In Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God« (John 3:16‑18).