Episode 20

Being Good Isn’t Good Enough

Many Christians feel like they’re sharing their faith by their “good works” . . . but guess what? Being good isn’t good enough! In the episode, Barry challenges you to go into the world and tell everyone about Jesus . . . starting today!

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Show Notes

Many Christians feel like they’re sharing their faith by their “good works” . . . but guess what? Being good isn’t good enough! In the episode, Barry challenges you to go into the world and tell everyone about Jesus . . . starting today!

Host Barry Meguiar is a car guy and businessman who hosted the popular TV show, Car Crazy, on Discovery Networks for 18 years. He loves cars, but he loves Jesus even more! Learn more about Barry at IgniteAmerica.com.

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Episode Transcript

Hi, everybody, welcome back to ignite. Our focus in this session is being good isn’t good enough. And it’s amazing, phenomenal that’s going on today, because most people feel like they’re Christians and they’re sharing their faith because they’re being good. Christians love being good. We have a lot of statistics that we could share with you. Just as a reminder, when I give you stats, you can quote stats all day long, no matter you can have the most bizarre factiod in your mind that you’ve made up. And you can probably find a study that will support that thought, I’d say that the pastors, you know, they can preach with authority saying, This is what this study says you can say before God, that is what you know, there’s two or three other states that don’t agree with it. We are our facts, our statistics are certified, and what we mean by that is, we don’t print our certified stats, unless they’re confirmed with two or three, at least three other major studies. So they all kind of go together. That’s, that’s pretty critical. So you can take it to the bank, when I give you these statistics. And I can tell you that most Christians, most Christians believe that they can earn their way to heaven, the break, it’s against all scripture, but most, most Christians believe that you know that almost half of people who call themselves evangelicals think you can earn your way to heaven. In fact, you have to earn your way to heaven. That’s, that’s for those who call themselves. I don’t know what evangelicals are any more. It used to be those who totally had, you know, commitment to the scriptures and living, living biblical truths in their lives. And now that you interview with Evangelicals, you can’t even believe what they say. I think it’s only 6% of Christians now still hold a biblical worldview. So we’re living in strange times. But here’s a phenomenon in the American church today we are as American Christians. I talk about this a lot in future podcasts because it’s a huge issue. We are really good at knowing, memorizing and quoting Scriptures, and then totally ignoring them, without giving it a second thought. It just amazing. I mean, most of us as Christians, if we can’t quote this scripture, by, by memory, we certainly know it really well. We’ve heard it so many times for by grace, are you saved by faith not of yourselves, lest any man should boast. It’s an Ephesians 2:8-9. For by grace, He said, by faith, not of yourselves, lest any man should boast. If we can earn our way to heaven, if we can earn God’s favor, we would be so puffed up with our own pride. God really loves me because I’ve done this and I’ve done that and boy, you got to really be proud of you there I gave to those people. I helped that little lady today and I, I gave money to the poor today and he all these things you can do feeling really good about yourself. But it’s not about being good folks. You can do all that good and not have anything to do with eternity or pleasing God. We can’t earn our way to heaven. We just, we just can’t it’s it’s so prevalent in the church. And and I suspect that most of you listening me as a whoa, wait a minute, you know, I’m a good person, I have so many people that that are not Christians in my life or car guys. Often telling me if you could earn your way into heaven, you’d be at the front of the line. Because they’re really good people. In fact, I often tell people in church, I have a lot of car guy friends that are living better lives and most of my church friends. The problem is, it’s not about what we do. It’s about what of course Jesus did on the cross. He paid the price for us. We can’t earn that it’s a gift. It’s a gift. Eternal life is a gift. But most Christians know that and yet they’re still trying to earn their way. I’m going to tell you when I, Karen and I were first married, we got burnout, dry. We were volunteering for everything. And we were there several nights a week in addition to the regular services, and we were and we were so dry. Looking back at it over a period of time, we realized it was almost like we were Jewish, and we felt like we needed to do things to earn God’s favor and there’s a lot of Christians at that place right now. Skip ahead to the point of sharing faith. Okay. You know, the statistic is it somewhere around 33-35% of all Christians share their faith. Wow. I mean, I wish that was true. I wish that was true. But the research going in behind the top line? What what do you think it is sharing your faith? Most of them feel that being good is sharing their faith being good and doing good things. And it goes back to this you know this saying actions speak louder than words. I mean, we’ve heard that all of our lives it’s a live in the pit of hell, drum. I gotta tell you that statement gets me so upset because it is at the heart of almost every Christian I know. Actions don’t speak louder than words you nobody’s gonna get saved by you being good you’re being good doesn’t get you or anybody else saved it doesn’t, it doesn’t actions don’t speak louder. Faith comes by hearing and by the hearing, by the faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, okay? Actions don’t speak louder than your words actions speak before you words. Okay, here’s where this you bring everything into where you realize everything you say and do all day long is moving people closer or further away from God. People are watching you, we’re a city set on hill. If you’re a Christian, and people would know it, your city set on a hill, your witness, they’re watching you, and everything you do and say moves people closer or further away from God. If here’s the bottom line, if your actions don’t match your words, it doesn’t matter how eloquent you are, and how much Scripture you’ve memorized, it really doesn’t matter. You have no credibility. Nobody’s gonna listen to you. You’re not gonna change lives. Okay? It’s just, it’s all about you. Oh, but when your actions match your words. It doesn’t matter. If you’re eloquent or not eloquent. It really doesn’t matter how well you speak. You’re just speaking on behalf of God. I often tell the story of Bob, one of my great friends very one of my college friends. And he’s got a bit older than me and was not all that fancy the way he taught you to go to a farm boy. And I can tell you, I don’t know anybody I’ve ever met that I wanted to be closer to. And everybody wanted to you know why? Because God lived in him, and you watch everything he did. You just watch him and everything he did matched his words, this guy knew God. And that’s why we need to live live our lives. Actions speak before you words, but they don’t speak louder than words. Your words have power. Only if your actions supportive them. Okay, you get the point. So I’ve often with people, there were the friend that they’ve known for a lot of years. And that friend walks away and I turn to my friend and say, So are they Christian? And I’m amazed how often viewers say, um, I don’t know. I don’t know, you know, I can determine that about 30 seconds. The easiest way to do it is not that not absolutely conclusive, but the easy way to do it is when you’re talking to somebody and you’ve just met them. And you mentioned something about your pastor or your church or church friend or a bible said just in passing. If they’re a Christian, they will always always always say oh, you’re a Christian, you’re a Christian, where do you go to church? What when they say nothing, it tells you they’re not a Christian. And so now you you you’ve qualified them. And you know where your job was cut up and where you need to go next. When you say I don’t know if they’re Christian, what you’re really basically say is, I don’t care. There’s there’s an incredible video that I’ve mentioned several times by Penn Jillette, Penn Jillette dnd the Bible. Penn Jillette is extremely talented, very bright guy has the magic show of Penn and Teller Show in Las Vegas and at the end, he tells a story, you go there, just YouTube it or whatever, it’s search or Penn Jillette and the Bible and he talks about how this man came up to the end of a service and at end of service and one of his shows, and talk to you for a few moments as to how much you respect him and he gave a Bible and Penn Jillette said one of the most powerful faith sharing imperatives I’ve ever heard. He said, You know, I don’t mind proselytization might surprise you. The fact that matter is if you thought I was going to hell, how much would you have to hate me to not tell me? How much would you have to hate me to not tell me? How much you have to hate your friends to not tell them? You’re not hating your friends? I know, but you’re not loving on him are you? We were talking about this in our ministry group a couple of years ago, trying to figure out why, why? Why are people not sharing their faith? Everybody’s lost around us, we have this good news, and we didn’t share with them. Mike Kennedy, who’s been with me for almost 40 years, critical member of our team, he said, Barry, I’ve thought about a lot and I come to the conclusion, they don’t care. It’s true. If you’re, if you don’t know if the people in your life are Christians, or the way to heaven, it’s because you don’t care. Because if you care, you’re gonna find out, and you’re gonna do everything you can to get them to heaven, you follow me? Follow my point. I know being good, feels good. And it brings you glory. I mean, I’m amazed. I go, I get these calls for supporting ministries all the time and come to our event. And we’re gonna be at this resort, and we’re gonna play golf, and we’re gonna go here, we’re gonna go on a ship, and we’re gonna do all these wonderful things. And, and if you do this, we’ll put your name on the building. And there’s all these things. And so hey, you know, so I mean, I spend a lot of time with people that tell me how much they’re giving, you know I did this, I just, I love that ministry so much. I love God, I love that ministry so much. So I just gave him $100,000. I just gave him $500,000 that I just gave him a million dollars. I gave him $10,000. But they they’re very proud of what they’ve given and they’re ready and they’ve been favored. They’ve been invited to dinners, they get to hear somebody speak. And that’s, that’s the role that happens and it’s intoxicating, you get caught up. And now you’re choosing where to give based on hey, we get to go back to so and so pleace you know, you gotta go. Or you basically say you got to give some more money, so you get to go. I’m not saying those programs are bad. But I say beware. Because we’re stewards of our time. And we’re stewards of our monies. And you need to look for ROI. When you invest in a ministry the question is, what’s the ROI, how many souls are being saved? In order to feed people, clothe people do all kinds of whatever things are, but there’s no salvation messenger. That’s all you’re doing you’re just making a well feed and better dressed on the way to hell. Or run out of time, folks, our focus needs to be on moving everybody every day, closer to Jesus. You know, you can gain favor with your pastor, when you fund something particularly that’s, that’s a hot button for your pastor. And while I’m talking about those of the larger money and give to the big things, but it’s actually even your own church, where all of a sudden you’re you’re supporting things to the church, and the pastor is paying you more attention and he may even say this during, during a sermon? You know, and and Bob and I are out to lunch the other day and we’re talking about this great plan and you don’t see you get favor, all the people are looking at just saying wow, it has nothing to do with your own salvation. It has to do the trick of giving money to your paster. One of the maybe the biggest certainly one of the biggest givers the Christian causes passed away last year. Nobody dared ever asked him about his own salvation. Because he did so much good and he often said he was doing the good because God told you to do the good. It’s alright just thank God for this person and it was just he was so wonderful and he’s so godly. But what are his close friends came to him just before he died and because he felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to do that, and found that he was not settled in his own life. He’d been given all kinds of money away and he was was proud of all the money to give it away. But he he’d never settled the issue in his own life. You don’t want to give to a big giver and ask him if they’re saved, you’re just presuming you don’t want to offend them they might stop giving. You follow on and say this whole thing can be corrupted so easily on the smallest of scales, sit down to if you don’t have very much money, but you but you sacrifice and you gave and sacrifice is great. Obedience is better. It’s there’s there’s a passage in Matthew chapter six, I think really says it all. Watch out. Don’t do your good deeds publicly to be admired by others for you will lose the reward from your Father in Heaven, I don’t want to lose my reward you want to reward here. You want to you want the accolades, everybody here, wow, look at what he’s doing. Look at what you’re doing. Feel real good about that greatly honored in your church and your ministry or maybe on a national scale. You want your reward here or in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as a hypocrites, do hypocrites do blowing trumpets in the synagogues or streets to call attention to their acts of charity. Hey, guess what I did. I hear it all the time. I have lunch with somebody and they’re quick to tell me all the stuff they’re giving to and doing. I think that is he a Christian? I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they’ll ever get. When you give to someone in need don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Just basically just keep it quiet. Give your gifts in private, and your Father who sees everything will reward you in heaven. Wow. Life is not about being good. It doesn’t get you or anyone else into heaven, life is about God’s purpose. It’s about God’s purpose. And, and, and he didn’t say go into the world and be a good person. He didn’t he didn’t even say go to the world and pray or go into the world and read your Bible. Go into your world and fund all these projects Go into the world and tell people about Jesus. That’s what we’re about, folks. When we get to heaven, the only thing it’s gonna matter is how many people are in heaven because of your influence. Okay. The only thing is going to matter a hundred years from now is how many people are in heaven because of your influence? And the way things going right now with the rapture coming soon. Maybe a lot sooner than that. I suspect that it is anyway, folks, I just want to remind you every day your focus needs to be to move everybody every day, closer to Jesus, please, please please, for your good in God’s glory. See you next time.

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