From the very beginning, we see God separating light from darkness (Genesis 1:4). We turn a few pages in God's Book and see God saving righteous Noah and his family while destroying the rest of earth's population with a massive, global disaster (Genesis 7-9). Even as God closes out His revelation to Man, we find all the righteous safely inside the walls of a city while everyone else is outside the walls where there are "dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and liars" (Revelation -15).
As we come to our own 21st Century generation, we see history repeating itself. In Romans 1:28, the apostle Paul tells of men with "depraved" minds whom God gave up on. The word "depraved," is the Greek word "ah-doc-oh-mohn," and has reference to those who just can't tell the difference between right and wrong. There's probably no better description that correctly personifies our very own generation. The reason for this "inability" is either unbelief in, or ignorance of, the Scriptures. The "reason" doesn't really make any difference as there is no "excuse for sin" (John NKJV). God says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). To be saved, we must come to a knowledge of the Truth (1Timothy 2:4). Only Truth sets us free (John ); only obedience to the Truth will purify our souls (1Peter ). Jesus told the religious Sadducees, "You are deceived not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God" (Matthew ). On another occasion, Jesus told some very religious people they could not enter Heaven because what they had done in this life was not according to the will of God (Matthew -23). This particular group of people boasted of all their good works they had done in Jesus' name, but it was to no avail, they were still cast out.
Evidently, because of their ignorance of the Scriptures and the power of God, some people think that if they can just get close to the Truth, they will be ok on Judgment Day. Therefore, they will associate themselves with a religious organization (usually called a church), and think they will slide right past the judgment seat of God without being "tested" by the Word (John ; Romans ; 2Corinthians ). It matters not that they did not "seek the kingdom first," or that they held little regard for the worship assemblies, or that they seldom studied their Bible or attended Bible classes at church. Perhaps it's their "not knowing the power of God" that makes them think that Jesus died on the Cross just so they could live their lives any way they want to, and STILL go to Heaven!
Because "righteousness" is revealed in the Gospel (Romans ), and the Gospel is the Word (
It never ceases to amaze me how people can continue to hear this Truth for years, yet never change their lives, and still think they are in "good standing" with God. If you are living this "lie," it's time to put on the brakes and begin taking your salvation seriously. If you die lost, it won't matter that you ever lived in the first place; in fact, it would have been better that you had never been born (cf. Mark ). Study the Bible; believe it; obey it. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my way" (Psalm 119:105).