It's impossible to be good while rejecting Christ because rejecting Christ is a terrible sin.
When a person says I am a good person while rejecting Christ he is contradicting himself.
Let me explain.
We need to remember, Jesus Christ is a person. He's not just an abstract idea - He's a person.
And obviously there is a big difference between rejecting an abstract idea and rejecting a person. For example, we all know someone who rejects math is in an entirely different category than someone who rejects his mom.
It's not in and of itself morally wrong to reject math. You are going to have a hard time getting much done if you reject math; but if a person severs his relationship with math, most of us would just shake our heads and say that's too bad.
But if someone rejected his mom, we'd respond in a completely different way. Rejecting your mom is not something that is morally neutral. There may be some extenuating circumstances where you would be forced to sever ties with your mom, but you wouldn't do that lightly...because your mom is not just an idea, she's a person.
Sometimes when unbelievers reject the gospel they act as if they are just rejecting a way of life. "I hear what you are saying, but that kind of lifestyle is not for me." The reality is however when an unbeliever rejects Jesus he is not merely rejecting a lifestyle, a philosophy, a perspective on life, he is rejecting a person, a person who actually exists.
What's more, when someone rejects Christ he is not merely rejecting another person, he is rejecting the most important person who ever existed.
Most of you wouldn't be too upset if someone came up to you and said they rejected Saddam Hussein. Saddam's committed to doing evil, he's our nation's enemy, and besides that, hopefully most of us don't have a relationship with him.
But certainly you would react in a much different way if someone came up to you and said they rejected their own daughter. Even non-Christians look down upon someone who runs away from his responsibilities to his family. We all feel in our gut that there's is something different between rejecting Saddam and rejecting one's own daughter.
For one, because of who your daughter is in relation to you. The relationship you have with her affects your responsibilities to her.
We don't take a man to court because he is failing to feed starving children he doesn't know and has no relation to in Africa.
But we certainly would take someone to court if he failed to feed his own children.
The writers of Scripture go to great lengths to show taht Jesus is not just some other man who lived and died and went down in the history books. They make it clear that whether a person wants to admit or not, they have a relationship with Him. As a result, rejecting Jesus is not like rejecting Buddha or Mohammed or any other earthly teacher. The responsibility you have to Jesus is different than the responsibility you have to these other men because of who Jesus is in relation to you.
For one thing, when a person rejects Jesus he is rejecting the One who created Him.
You remember when you were children, your mother and father had authority and thus had certain rights in relation to you that no one else had. You may have moaned and whined about that, you may have complained about them telling you when to go to bed, but all your moaning and whining didn't change things, because they were your parents.
Likewise, Jesus as Creator has authority and certain rights in respect to His creation that no one else has. But not only is Jesus the authority over all He has created, he is all the point. Thus, when a person rejects Jesus he is rejecting the very reason He exists. On top of that, when a person rejects Jesus He is rejecting the one who sustains Him.
You've probably all heard stories of sons disowning their parents. Perhaps you've even heard stories where a sons betrays his parents. A son who was given everything, treated wonderfully, using that which he was given as a knife to stab his parents in the back.
Yet when someone rejects Christ, they are doing something much worse than that. They are rejecting someone who has given them more than any other human has ever given them, they are rejecting the one who gives them life.
They are rejecting God Himself.
And God is, as we know, the very definition of beauty, of perfection, of glory, of holiness, of righteousness, of majesty, of all that is good and awesome and right...which measn if a person rejects Jesus, he is at the same time rejecting all of that...spitting in the face of pure beauty, absolute perfection, complete righteousness, sovereign majesty and glory...trampling on all that is good and awesome and right.
When a person rejects Jesus he is committing a great evil...which is why we might say, trying to be good while rejecting Jesus is pretty much a sad, sick joke. I mean saying you are a good person while denying Jesus is a little like murdering your mother and then excusing it by saying you were going to give her a nice funeral. You and I know there is no way you can be doing good at the same time you are murdering your mom. In the same way there is no way a person can be doing real good while rejecting Christ because rejecting Christ is the wrost evil anyone can possibly do.
Strong words I know...but in light of what we say we believe about Jesus, aren't they true?