Too Good To Be Saved :: By Grant Phillips

Is it possible to be too good to be saved? According to Jesus, the Savior, it is certainly possible. When Jesus was upon the earth headed toward the cross of Calvary, many in that day were too good to be saved. Some were Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes. Others were folks like the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-27 and Luke 18:18-27), and then the lawyer in Luke 10:25-30. Let us not forget those who were chief priests and elders. And what about the Herodians mentioned in Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12-13-17 and Luke 20:20-26? Not all, but most of these mentioned, and others, thought they were too good for anything Jesus had to offer. For that matter, they accused Him of being a blasphemer, and eventually crucified Him.

Do we dare omit the faceless crowd that stood before Pilate and cried out, “Crucify Him!” and “His blood is on us and on our children!”

All of these people thought they were good enough. They went to Sunday school and church every time the doors were open. They paid their tithes. They said their prayers at night (Now I lay me down to sleep….). They paid their bills. They kept all the Ten Commandments … well maybe most … Uh some … well a couple … maybe. They were good people, for crying out loud! They weren’t sinners like those prostitutes and tax collectors. They don’t murder, steal, drink, smoke, chew or run around with those who do.

For Pete’s sake! These folks were preachers well known in the media, respected community leaders, Bible teachers, seminary professors, and well-educated for the most part. They were attorneys, politicians, doctors, celebrities; even many were just average hard-working folks; farmers, plumbers, electricians, fishermen, etc., who raised respectable families who contributed to the community and were known by all for their good deeds. Some were even on the cover of the most popular magazines of the day. Yes, good, respectable folks!

I am not attempting to provide a list of people in certain categories that are too good to be saved. It isn’t about the lists. It is about the heart. From the lips of most you will hear, “I’m sure my goodwill outweighs any bad. The scales will balance. Besides, God is a loving God and would not send anyone to hell, if there is such a place.”

Now let’s hear what Jesus has to say about it:

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23).

If the eye is blind, there can be nothing but darkness inside. Jesus is saying that if we can see the Truth, seeing ourselves as God sees us and our need for Him to save us, then we can be saved; but if we think we’re ‘good enough,’ we’ll never see that need, and we will remain in darkness and lost forever.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).

Only God knows just how many people call themselves Christians, but are actually Christians-in-name-only. They are no more a Christian than the car that sits in their driveway. Far too many think their soul is like a townhouse. Jesus can live on one side and Satan on the other. Actually, most think they can let Jesus live in a small room in the back of the house while the rest of the house is for their pleasure. Sorry, but the Holy Spirit of God cannot and will not set up housekeeping with “mammon.” (Jesus is not talking only of ‘money,’ by the way. He is referring to anything we put above Him.) Again, it can’t be done. It won’t be done. It is either God or mammon, but it can’t be both.

“When Jesus heard that, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance’” (Matthew 9:12-13) – (Hosea 6:6).

All Jesus is saying here is that those who know they are sinners and call out to Him to be healed, He will heal/save them. All those who think they’re special and don’t need a Physician will die in their sins.

Would Jesus identify us with the Pharisee or the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14?

Jesus is also stressing that He doesn’t want our works. He wants His works done in us. He wants our heart.

“Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, ‘How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance’” (Mark 2:15-17).

It is clear that even Jesus can’t help a person if that person doesn’t think he needs help, but those who know they are sick may call out to Him, and He will heal them.

“And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.’ Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains’” (John (9:39-41).

When Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world…” He is speaking of the judgment He will endure on the cross for us. He came into this world to go to the cross for us.

The Pharisees were blind. They were blind to their need to be saved. Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and all are sinners. However, we must see that we are sinners and need to be saved, then we can be saved by calling upon Him.

Finally, the apostle Paul said:

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).

Much of this can be clarified by a quote from Dr. J. Vernon McGee:

“I believe it is easier to reach a godless atheist than a hypocritical churchgoer. The godless atheist may respond when he hears the Gospel for the first time, but the hypocritical churchgoer has heard the Gospel again and again and has become hardened to it. That is the real tragedy.”

That was exactly the problem with the Pharisees. They had become hardened to the Gospel. Many today have become hardened to the Gospel. But those who know their life is in shambles, and hear the Gospel, will more likely call out to Jesus to be saved.

Jesus came to save sinners, and until we recognize that we are sinners, we will remain blind. The apostle Paul, through the Holy Spirit, has some very good advice.

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of people are going through life walking arm and arm with Satan toward hell. Any second their foot could slip into that eternal abyss. They think they see, but Jesus says they are blind. Jesus came to save sinners. Don’t allow Satan to steal your most precious possession … your eternal soul. Call out to God and ask Him to open your eyes, then put your hand in His.

How about it? Are you too good to be saved?

Grant Phillips


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