RE:QUESTA space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith
Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today
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Christian Teaching on Good and Evil Actions
Christians believe that they will receive a reward or punishment depending on how they've behaved. If they are good and treat others well they will be rewarded in the afterlife; if they are evil and treat others poorly, they will be punished in the afterlife.
A person is considered to be good if they have followed God's rules and tried to live a good life, helping people and treating everyone they meet with respect. Conversely, a person is considered to be evil if they have not followed God's rules and lived a life that has been selfish, full of doing bad things and hurting people.
A key teaching in the Bible on this topic is the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. This parable explains the fate of Christians in the afterlife, depending on their actions toward people in need. Those who help others by providing food and clothing are the 'sheep' in the parable. The sheep are rewarded by being sent to heaven. The 'goats' in the parable are the Christians who don't help people in need. The goats are punished in the afterlife by being sent to hell.
Other key verses that support the belief in reward for the good and punishment for the evil include:
'He will pay all people back for what they have done. He will give everlasting life to those who search for glory, honor, and immortality by persisting in doing what is good. But he will bring anger and fury on those who, in selfish pride, refuse to believe the truth and who follow what is wrong.' Romans 2:6-8
'All of us must appear in front of Christ’s judgment seat. Then all people will receive what they deserve for the good or evil they have done while living in their bodies.' 2 Corinthians 5:10