Pr. 14:12: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
Last night, one of our pastors asked, “Can you do the golden rule and still not be a Christian?” The answer is most certainly, “yes.” When my daughter went to Kindergarten at public school, the golden rule was actually one of their class rules. It’s a great rule; however, doing unto others as you’d have them do unto you, isn’t what makes us a believer in Christ, or a Christ follower. It also isn’t what will get us to heaven.
It seems right to be a good person, to treat others fairly, to look after our neighbors and our friends. It seems right to pay your bills on time, look after the environment, rescue pets and whales. Being tolerant of others and making time to volunteer for a good cause seems right as well. “Doing” is not the key, however. Although these things seem right, they do not end in life. We have to believe in Jesus to have eternal life.
Recently, I sat at a dinner table with a friend of mine who serves the Lord with vigor and passion. In fact, the extent of all that he does is almost incomprehensible and his energy level is pretty near unmatched. This man never stops serving, helping, or encouraging. Looking at his schedule alone would wear you out. Interestingly, until about 8 or 9 years ago, he thought serving Christ was rubbish. Over dinner I heard a few stories that brought light to the fact that while he was unsaved, he was the exact same way. He has always been one to help others and serve, but until he was saved, his way was still leading him to death.
No matter how many elderly people he drove to the hospital, renovation jobs he did for those in need, homeless people he fed, bathed, or clothed, or the fact that he once held a dying man on his knees so that man could pray, my friend was unsaved. He thought back to holding his dying friend up on his knees while he prayed, and the knowledge that his own salvation was so lost to him at that moment still causes him to shudder. No matter that he was living the golden rule, and his acts of service seemed right; his way was leading him to death. He absolutely did not believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and eternity in heaven was completely out of his reach.
Should we do unto others as we would have them do unto us? Yes! More importantly, though, we must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came to this earth as our Savior and He will come again to take us home for eternity. If you “do” anything today, do whatever you must to ensure that belief.