Many people believe that good people will go to heaven. We hear stories everyday about people giving, feeding others, doing charity work, and performing good deeds. Most of the people we work with would be considered good people, right? I mean unless you are a police officer or work in a prison…now those people are good people that work with bad people. They are upholding the law, and they are keeping the bad people locked up. You know the murders, and thieves…now those are bad people. I mean, you know, most of us have never murdered anyone right? Ultimately, good people go to heaven, and most of us will. Right!, Right?, ?
The question then becomes how good is good enough? Do I have to me mostly good? Maybe as long as I am 70% good and don’t do anything really bad. I bet if I help old people out all the time or saved someone’s life, I am in for sure! But what does the bible say? Surely the bible tells how good we must be to get into heaven. Well, the good news is yes it does! So what is the standard?
Now at this point most people will say that’s a lie because deep down everyone knows that we are not perfect. We are flawed, and imperfect. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, ” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” But why do we have to be born again? We have to take a closer look to see why no one is ever good enough on their own to enter heaven.
Romans 3:10-18 says, 10 as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE ; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD ; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS ; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” 13 “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,” “THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS “; 14 “WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS “; 15 “THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, 16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, 17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.” 18 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”
You may be thinking wow that is pretty heavy stuff, that surely doesn’t sound like me! But it does include you, it includes myself, and everyone else. The verse specifically states “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE.” Jesus pointed this out upon being called Good Teacher by the rich young ruler in Luke 18-19, And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good ? No one is good except God alone.
Maybe you are saying, but I have never murdered anyone, so I am still good. However, during His sermon on the mount Jesus said the if we have ever been angry with someone has committed murder in their heart (Matthew 5:21-22), and that anyone who has looked at another with lust has committed adultery in their heart (Matthew 5:27-28). The problem is sin, we all have sin in our lives. In fact the Law or 10 Commandments were given to us as mirror to show we don’t measure up to the standard. James 2:10-11 says, For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. Romans 4:23 says, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)
At this point the reality is no one is good enough ever on their own to get into heaven. So how can we? The answer is found in Jesus Christ. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” It is through Christ’s death on the cross, burial, and resurrection that we can be saved. You must repent and place your faith in Christ’s work on the cross. Jesus said in Luke 13:5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Romans 3:24-25 tells us those who believe are “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus ; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.” This repentance and faith in His sacrificial death saves us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (Romans 5:9).
Jesus said in John 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” And that is the only way to get into heaven. We cannot work hard enough for it, and we can never earn our way into heaven because in the end we are not good enough. It is by the grace of God that He “demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”