At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. (Acts 10:1-2 ESV)
The centurion, Cornelius, provides us with an understanding that while people may be good, they are still in need of the gospel. There are plenty of good people that give to charitable organizations, organize fund-raising events, contribute to humanitarian efforts and sacrifice their time to help others that are in need. But they are still in need of the gospel. If all of their efforts, while useful, are done absent of the transforming power of Jesus Christ and trusting in His righteousness to cover their sinfulness, then that individual is lost and in need of Jesus.
We, the church, have a responsibility to not only take the gospel into the dirty, dark and distant alleyways of foreign countries but we are also called to take the good news to the suburban streets and homes of our family, friends, and neighbors. What is our motivation for doing one but not the other? Aren’t both peoples in need of Christ’s righteousness for salvation? Let us remember, that the good people that live next door to us have also sinned against God and are in need of being rescued from the darkness.