Spiritual Skeptic

Posted: October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

For the next few weeks the evangablog will be studying different types of skeptics. The first one we are going to investigate is the spiritual skeptic. The spiritual skeptic dismisses the idea that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and presents a broader way, which is obtained through personal achievement and works. They believe that they can work hard enough to make it to heaven on their own, apart from the total grace of God, and they are skeptical of anyone that says otherwise, all the while sounding very religious, very spiritual, and in many cases even using the exact same terminology that you and I use, as is found in the Scriptures.

The question is how do we recognize a spiritual skeptic if they sound very spiritual and religious? Well, if you dig deeper through the spiritual terminology that they are using, you will realize they are defining words differently. For example, the word repent. Many will say that if you repent of your sin, God will forgive you and you will receive eternal life, well that sounds good. It even matches up with 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” However, they leave out the most important part of repentance, Jesus. Look at what John writes two verses before “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” God only forgives and erases sin through the blood of Christ. Defining key words like repent can be extremely important in digging up what they really believe. Don’t be afraid to ask people to clarify what they mean. Listen closely even though they may sound spiritual they will say that they believe good people make it to heaven or maybe give specific qualifications in order to get to heaven.
When talking to a spiritual skeptic, it is very easy to get distracted by other beliefs that they hold. Spiritual skeptics can be Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, et cetera, but we must stay focused on the root of their belief. Rather than arguing every single point with every other belief system, we need to properly identify that we are talking to a spiritual skeptic and then we can make things much easier for ourselves without having to be a scholar of every religion. The main thing is that all four look at Christianity through a spiritual skeptic’s lens and all four claim that one gets to heaven on good works.
The million dollar question is: How Good is Good Enough? It we are supposed to get to heaven based on if we are good enough, then how good is good enough? Can you ever really be sure of your salvation? Most skeptics will say you have to work as hard as you possibly can or try your best. However, our best is never good enough. We are still sinful. The good we do doesn’t erase the bad we have done, we are not perfect, and our best can never be enough. If God is perfect and His heaven is perfect, then His standard for admittance into heaven must be perfect. If God is the righteous, just judge, then He must and will punish sin.
This is where the skeptic worldview falls short. They can’t answer how imperfect people can make it to heaven, that is reserved for the righteous. However, we can! We have a perfect substitute, a holy sacrifice that takes our place for us when we stand before God. God knew that there was no way that we would make it to heaven on our own. So He came down, lived the life that we couldn’t and died the death we deserve. So that if place our faith in Jesus we would have eternal life. What a great God we serve.
  1. Harvey says:

    I want to ask (out of curiosity of what you think / have read in the Bible and learned); if people who are not Christian do good and great things while on earth, things that may help hundreds or thousands or even millions, while also maintaining a “good” moral compass, does the value of all their good works decrease or become unholy, ungodly, or (in the most extreme case) simply not right or admirable? Would God actually bar those who help his people on earth through their good works from a chance at heaven? Also, where does this leave Christians if those who do not have the same religious beliefs as us can be “better” people and have a better set of morals and values garnered through their life experience / religious beliefs? I could be completely off course with all this, but I hope I made sense and thank you for posting this interesting and educational piece!

    • evangenator says:

      Thanks for the comment and questions, hopefully, I will be able to answer them. I would like to start off by saying that I agree that there are many people who are not Christians that do good things for others on earth. However, doing one good thing or even a million good things does not make you inherently good or even deemed worthy to be called a “good person” or a “righteous person.” People do “good things,” ie. helping an old lady carry bags out to her car, fight for someones rights or freedom, putting yourself in harms way to save another, ect; however, they are still not good or righteous because they are still sinful. Even if someone who does good sins even once they are no longer deemed righteous, but are sinful. Someone not being a Christian does not make their good works decrease to become unholy or ungodly, rather it is that own individuals sinfulness that deems that person unholy or ungodly. Because of sin, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE,” (Romans 3:10). Isaiah also comments on this “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away,” (Isaiah 64:6). The fact is that everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike, are sinners our good deeds are shown to be filthy rags because we are all sinful.
      Once you break the law you are considered guilty. In life, when you disobey your parents there is punishment, break the state law there is punishment, when you break the federal law there is punishment. It’s no different with God, when we break His law he must punish sin because He is the righteous, just judge (Psalm 7:11). Without Jesus and His sacrifice we would all get the punishment we deserve, Hell. Paul comments on this idea of our need for Jesus, saying, “a man is not justified by the works of the Law, but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified,” and “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly,” for “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness,” (Galatians 2:16,21 Hebrews 9:22). For anyone to get to heaven, a place of perfection, there punishment must be taken and sin record must be erased through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross. We can not be enter into heaven through our own good works because the good works do not cancel out the sin. Faith in Jesus and what He did on the cross is the only way to be deemed righteous and allowed into heaven. Its not that Christians are better than anyone else, only that those that profess faith in Christ and what He did on the cross and, therefore, have their punishment paid and their sins washed away. Its not that non-Christians are going to Hell for believing in another religion, rather that they still have a punishment to take for their sins. “Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit,” (Psalm 32:2).
      Hopefully, this answered your question and is somewhat helpful!

  2. Harvey says:

    This would then bring up the question: why would God have non-Christian people do good / great things at all? Why would non-Christians have the ability to do amazing things without believing in God? If non-Christians who do good things and also have the ability to be morally good cannot be considered good people because they have not been washed by Jesus’ blood, even if they seek recompense for their “sins” from other sources, then doesn’t that bring up some skepticism? It would seem unfair in a sense for at least some non-Christians to not make it to heaven, and it would also seem a little backwards for some “good” people to not be able to make it to heaven when their are many, many more Christians that aren’t consistently “good” people yet can make it because they have faith in Christ. It would seem that the emphasis on good works and faith should be more equal? Thanks again!

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