If you think this is a blog about Capitalism (or any other ism for that matter) then think again. Instead I wrote this blog in response to something I have heard various people over the years use as a reason to hold them back from faith in Jesus. It is the idea of God punishing people who from a worldly vantage point seem pretty decent and do a lot of good in the world. To them, these people should not be damned. God should make some allowances for them, given their "good lives and good works". After all, why should God damn them and not others, just because they believe in Jesus.
This is really nothing new. King David lamented about a similar issue as well but from a different point of view. He lamented that he knew he had sinned (he had committed adultery and killer her husband to boot!), and that NOTHING he could give back to God was adequate. In his words, "all the bulls on a thousand hills are all yours!". Meaning, even if I sacrifice 1000 bulls to you, those bulls were all created by God and therefore worthless in payment. It's like being in debt to a bank and then taking out a loan from said bank to pay back the same bank. It's totally futile.
But what about those "good people" and their "good works" ? Surely that must account of something! Right?
To explain how good works don't matter, imagine you work for a company and you as an employee make a vital mistake that costs the company $100,000. You fear losing your job and so you go to the boss and tell him you want to make up for the loss any way you can. He looks at you and says, "Okay! Here is what you are going to do!". He points over to the sign near the entryway that reads "All Employees must work from 8am-5pm Mon-Friday" and tells you "Instead of working from 8-5 you will work from 6am to 6pm every day for 1 year with NO extra pay for those extra 20 hours per week you put in". You thank him profusely for not firing you and allowing you to work off the lost money.
But in God's world things are different. God created us to be perfect. He says, "Be Holy for I the Lord your God am Holy!". His employment sign simply reads: "Be Perfect". Now the problem becomes that there is absolutely no way to go beyond PERFECT. It's absolute. So even if I do SOME good works, those are things I am supposed to do anyway, and I am supposed to do them ALL the time as well. So how can I put in any extra "overtime" good works? The simple answer is this: I can't!
So if everything thing in the world is God's in the first place and I am required to be perfect, clearly this debt cannot be paid from a worldly point of view. It must therefore be paid from out of GOD's OWN POCKET.
That is what God did. As we celebrate Christmas this year let's remember that Jesus came to pay that debt I created and had no way to pay back.