If God isn’t Real, will you still try to be Good?

The Bible tells me to be good and Holy. But what if I don’t believe in God, will I still try to be good?

If I don’t believe in God I can have several reasons to be a good person:

One, being good is good enough in itself. However, I know from experience and from observing many people from different cultures that being good is impossible. Don’t misunderstand me, a person can do good acts, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that such a person is good. For sure, that person will fall short soon in many areas of life. I am not aiming for perfection, but being good means being consistent in his good ways.

Two, being good is great even without its rewards. To be a good person selflessly is a very good thought. However, again this is false. Being good basically means embracing suffering and pain. If suffering and pain are the only things you will get from trying to be good, then why pursue it? No way, if there’s no reward! Looking for a reward is a source of hope in the times of sufferings!

Third, being good attracts good relationships. Love begets love, and this is great incentive. However, even the most satisfying human relationships will never satisfy a human heart. This has been proven again and again. Our hearts is designed for something bigger.

What then, now? Being good is good only if there’s God who is living, loving, and Himself quite Good, or Holy. And that Only God has a Name, His Name is Jehovah, or Yahweh, or Jesus.

Going back to the reasons above, only God can meet the challenges for us to be good:

One, only God can give a person a good heart. The human heart is so corrupt only God can change it.

Genesis 6:5 (KJV) And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Jeremiah 31:33 (KJV) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

So, without God, it is impossible for a person to be good. Very imposible

Two, God gives eternal rewards to those who try to be good. It is God’s Character to reward. And these rewards do not negate the virtue of good deeds, but rather validate their goodness before God, indicating that God values goodness highly.

Ruth 2:12 (KJV) The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Psalms 18:20 (KJV) The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (KJV) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Third, only a relationship with God a man can be satisfied. Human relationships will never be enough, only in God there’s lasting happiness and peace.

Psalms 27:9-10 (KJV) Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

Psalms 16:11 (KJV) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

I affirm therefore with the Apostle Paul that if I do not hope in anything else in the after life for doing good and for being righteous, then I am to be pitied most among all else.

1 Corinthians 15:17-20 (KJV) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

So, I try to live a pleasing life to God because I have this hope of being resurrected and being totally one in Christ Jesus. Amen, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

One Day When We Get to Heaven

One Day, a song from Matt Redman is one of my favourite Christian songs. It speaks of God’s Transcendence and Immanence, His Sovereignty and Intimacy, and our Fulfilment and Perfection in His presence. These things are only realized in their highest fulfilment on heaven when we get to heaven and see Jesus. But right now, what we can do is to wait and hope for the best things that have been prepared for us.

Waiting is often painful, and so is hoping for the things that are seem impossible to get. Well, praise God, we know that God’s promises are true, and God’s holy character puts us in the deepest assurance that whatever He has promised He will fulfill. Then comes the greatest object we are waiting and hoping for – Jesus Himself – our Redeemer, our Salvation. This is indeed the greatest of all waiting and all hoping because the Object is simply beyond known human perfections and aspirations.

Sometimes though, our trust in the Grandest Object becomes dim because of our environments. We desire truly to hope, but the strings of our trust are often cut off during the worst of times. We believe, but our belief becomes lukewarm. We strive hard to remain faithful, but our strength fails us sooner than we think.

But one day all of these will change. One day all troubles and sources of doubt will be swept away. One day all hope will be realised, felt, and seen. Indeed that day will be the full fulfilment of Jesus’ prayer. The prayer was beautifully recorded in John 17, and let us again read some most glorious parts of the said prayer.

20“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. (John 17)