4. If we do not believe in God, and are merely virtuous, doing good and committing no evil, will we be saved by God?
Relevant Words of God:
The standard by which humans judge other humans is based on their behavior; those whose conduct is good are righteous, while those whose conduct is abominable are wicked. The standard by which God judges humans is based on whether their essence submits to Him or not; one who submits to God is a righteous person, while one who does not is an enemy and a wicked person, regardless of whether this person’s behavior is good or bad and regardless of whether their speech is correct or incorrect. Some people wish to use good deeds to obtain a good destination in the future, and some people wish to use fine words to acquire a good destination. Everyone mistakenly believes that God determines people’s outcomes after watching their behavior or after listening to their speech; many people therefore wish to take advantage of this to deceive God into granting them a momentary favor. In the future, the people who will survive in a state of rest will all have endured the day of tribulation and will also have borne witness for God; they will all be people who have fulfilled their duties and who have deliberately submitted to God. Those who merely wish to use the opportunity to do service with the intention of avoiding practicing the truth will not be allowed to remain. God has appropriate standards for the arrangement of the outcome of every individual; He does not simply make these decisions according to one’s words and conduct, nor does He make them based on how one acts during a single period of time. He will absolutely not be lenient with regard to one’s wicked conduct due to their past service for Him, nor will He spare one from death because of any one-time expense for God. No one can evade retribution for their wickedness, and no one can cover up their evil behavior and thereby evade the torments of destruction. If people can truly fulfill their own duty, it means that they are eternally faithful to God and not seeking rewards, regardless of whether they receive blessings or suffer misfortune. If people are faithful to God when they see blessings, but lose their faithfulness when they cannot see any blessings, and if, in the end, they are still unable to bear witness for God or fulfill the duties incumbent upon them, then they will still be objects of destruction despite their having once previously rendered faithful service to God. In short, wicked people cannot survive through eternity, nor can they enter into rest; only the righteous are the masters of rest.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together
I decide the destination of each person not on the basis of age, seniority, amount of suffering, and least of all, the degree to which they invite pity, but according to whether they possess the truth. There is no other choice but this. You must realize that all those who do not follow the will of God shall also be punished. This is an immutable fact. Therefore, all those who are punished are so punished for the righteousness of God and as retribution for their numerous evil acts.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination
Mere behavioral changes are unsustainable; if there is no alteration in people’s life dispositions, then sooner or later, their vicious sides will show themselves. Because the source of the changes in their behavior is fervor, coupled with some work by the Holy Spirit at the time, it is extremely easy for them to become fervent or to exhibit temporary kindness. As the unbelievers say, “Doing one good deed is easy; what’s hard is doing a lifetime of good deeds.” People are incapable of doing good deeds throughout their entire lives. One’s behavior is directed by the life; whatever one’s life is, so is one’s behavior, and only that which is revealed naturally represents the life, as well as one’s nature. Things that are fake cannot last. When God works to save man, it is not to adorn man with good behavior—the purpose of God’s work is to transform people’s dispositions, to make them reborn into new people. Thus, God’s judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinement of man all serve to change his disposition so that he may achieve absolute submission and devotion to God, and come to worship Him normally. This is the aim of God’s work. Behaving well is not the same as submitting to God, much less does it equal being compatible with Christ. Changes in behavior are based on doctrine and born of fervor; they are not based upon true knowledge of God or upon the truth, much less do they rest upon guidance from the Holy Spirit. Even though there are times when some of what people do is directed by the Holy Spirit, this is not an expression of the life, much less is it the same as knowing God; no matter how good a person’s behavior is, it does not prove that they have submitted to God or that they put the truth into practice. Behavioral changes are but a momentary illusion; they are but manifestations of zealousness. They cannot be counted as expressions of the life.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
What do your good deeds count for? Can they take the place of a heart that worships God? You cannot receive God’s blessing simply by doing some good deeds, and God will not avenge the wrongs against you just because you have been victimized and oppressed. Those who believe in God yet do not know God, but who do good deeds—are they all not also chastised? You merely believe in God, merely want God to redress and revenge the wrongs against you, and you want God to give you your day, a day when you can finally hold your head high. But you refuse to pay attention to the truth and nor do you thirst to live out the truth. Much less are you able to escape this hard, empty life. Instead, while living your life in the flesh and your life of sin, you look expectantly to God to right your grievances and part the fog of your existence. But is this possible? If you possess the truth, you can follow God. If you have living out, you can be a manifestation of God’s word. If you have life, you can enjoy God’s blessing. Those who possess the truth can enjoy God’s blessing. God ensures redress for those who love Him wholeheartedly and who endure hardships and sufferings, but not for those who only love themselves and who have fallen prey to Satan’s deceptions. How can there be goodness in those who do not love the truth? How can there be righteousness in those who only love the flesh? Are not righteousness and goodness both spoken of only in reference to the truth? Are they not reserved for those who wholeheartedly love God? Those who do not love the truth and who are but putrid corpses—do not all these people harbor evil? Those unable to live out the truth—are they not all enemies of the truth?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only the Perfected Can Live a Meaningful Life
Is it so easy to be perfected before God as a saint or a righteous person? It is a true statement that “there are no righteous upon this earth, the righteous are not in this world.” When you come before God, consider what you are wearing, consider your every word and action, your every thought and idea, and even the dreams that you dream every day—they are all for your own sake. Is this not the true state of affairs? “Righteousness” does not mean giving alms to others, it does not mean loving your neighbor as yourself, and it does not mean refraining from quarrels and disputes or robbing and stealing. Righteousness means taking God’s commission as your duty and obeying God’s orchestrations and arrangements as your heaven-sent vocation, regardless of time or place, just like all that was done by the Lord Jesus. This is the righteousness of which God has spoken. That Lot could be called righteous is because he saved the two angels sent by God without considering his own gain and loss; it can only be said that what he did at that time may be called righteous, but he cannot be called a righteous man. It was only because Lot had seen God that he gave his two daughters in exchange for the angels, but not all of his behavior in the past stood for righteousness. And so I say “there are no righteous upon this earth.” Even among those who are in the stream of recovery, no one can be called righteous. No matter how good your actions, no matter how you appear to glorify the name of God, neither hitting and cursing others, nor robbing and plundering from others, you still cannot be called righteous, for this is what a normal person is capable of having. What is key right now is that you do not know God. It can only be said that at present you have a little bit of normal humanity, but no elements of the righteousness spoken of by God, and so nothing that you do is capable of proving that you know God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Wicked Will Surely Be Punished
You may be exceptionally amiable and devoted toward your relatives, friends, wife (or husband), sons and daughters, and parents, and never take advantage of others, but if you are incapable of compatibility with Christ, if you are unable to interact in harmony with Him, then even if you expend your all in relief to your neighbors or take meticulous care of your father, mother, and members of your household, I would say that you are still wicked, and moreover one full of cunning tricks. Do not think yourself compatible with Christ simply because you get along with others or do a few good deeds. Do you think that your charitable intent can finagle the blessings of Heaven? Do you think that doing a few good deeds is a substitute for your obedience? Not one of you is able to accept being dealt with and pruned, and you all find it difficult to embrace the normal humanity of Christ, notwithstanding which you are constantly trumpeting your obedience to God. Such faith as yours will bring down a fitting retribution.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Are Incompatible With Christ Are Surely Opponents of God
Nowadays, those who seek and those who do not are two entirely different types of people, whose destinations are also very different. Those who pursue knowledge of the truth and practice the truth are the ones to whom God will bring salvation. Those who do not know the true way are demons and enemies; they are the descendants of the archangel and will be objects of destruction. Even those who are pious believers of a vague God—are they not also demons? People who possess good consciences but do not accept the true way are demons; their essence is one of resistance to God. Those who do not accept the true way are those who resist God, and even if such people endure many hardships, they will still be destroyed. All those who are unwilling to relinquish the world, who cannot bear to part with their parents, and who cannot bear to rid themselves of their own enjoyments of the flesh are disobedient to God, and all will be objects of destruction. Anyone who does not believe in God incarnate is demonic and, moreover, will be destroyed.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together