Can a good person be lost? It depends. Whenever this question is asked there seems to be an implication that a person can be saved by their works. Jesus said in Matthew 19:17: " . . . there is none good but one, that is, God . . ." In Luke 17, our relationship with, and works for God, are defined in verse 10: " . . . when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."

In Acts 10, we are told about a man that I am sure we would all agree would be a "good" man. In verses 1 and 2 we read, "There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." Now here is a man that is identified by God's word as a devout man that feared God whose emotion is translated into action in the giving of alms to the poor and praying to God. Even with all this, we learn in Acts 11:14 that Cornelius has to send for Peter "Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved." In other words, Cornelius is still lost even though he is a devout man, who gave alms to the poor and prayed (to God) always. How can this be that he (a "good" man) is lost? In Romans 3:23 we are told, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." 

Being good alone won't save us and neither will being ignorant. In Acts 17:30, we are told, " . . . the times of this ignorance God winked at" but then we are told in this same verse "but now commandeth (who? God) all men every where to repent." Why does God command? In the next verse, we are told, "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." We are going to be judged by Jesus our Lord. What is your reaction to verse 31? Do you mock as some did in Acts 17:32 or will you respond as some did by saying, " . . . We will hear thee again of this matter"? There is a third group mentioned in verse 34: "Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed . . ." You need to be in the third group for in that group lays the hope of salvation.

Charles Royal
Decatur AL