Let’s look at some of Jesus’ teachings from the Gospel of Matthew first:
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matt 5:21-22)
Whoever is really serious about following Jesus’ teachings to the letter (without considering the context), this is THE kind of standard that He has. So by this standard, how many murders have you committed before?
You have heard that it was said to those of old,‘You shall not commit adultery.’But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matt 5:27-28)
Again, according to the above, how many times have you already commited adultery?
If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. (Matt 18:8-9)
No joke. Jesus actually told us to chop off our hands and pluck out our eyes if any of these members caused us to sin. Again, if we take this very literally (again, without considering the context), we should have a lot of blind and lame Christians around. But do we?
So pray tell me, by such pristine standard, how many of us can claim that when Judgment Day comes, where “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ”, he/she can come away blameless?
Next we come to the passage that my friend wanted me to read:
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
If I have understood him correctly, he believed the difference between the good servant and evil servant was in their actions.
But look carefully, the good servant was said to be “faithful” and it was written we were made righteous by grace through faith (Eph 2:8), not our self efforts. So was he good because of his faith or his good deeds? In any case, there was hardly any mention about the conduct of the good servant.
And look at the evil servant, it was said he would be “appointed the portion of hypocrites.” Now let us search through the Bible and see who did Jesus ever described as hypocrites? Was it the sinners or the legalistic Pharisees?? Read Matthew 23.
Now I think we can all agree our sins are forgiven by putting our faith in Jesus and not through our self-efforts (works). So the difference between the people who will be condemned and those who will be blameless on the Day of Reckoning are based of Whom they have believe, not what they have done!!
That is the reason in many of Paul’s letters, he was always urging them to keep faith, not keep their good conduct (for which most of those churches failed in that aspect anyway).