“Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.”
Don’t All Good People Go to Heaven?
by Mark Karapetyan
A few years ago, during a Q&A session at a local high school, an agitated Christian student stood in line, waited for her turn to speak, and then objected: “Please, DO NOT say that good people will not make it to Heaven. All good people will go to Heaven because God loves all good people from everywhere…it’s all about being good.”
“Good people will go to Heaven and it’s all about being good?” I asked in shock.
“Yes !” she fired back.
“Are you a Christian?” I inquired.
“Of course” she proudly affirmed.
“Where did you get this concept of good people going to Heaven?” I probed.
“The Bible, where else?” she countered.
“Where in the Bible does it say that? Which book and which passage?” I insisted.
“Look, I’m not getting into this right now; all I’m saying is that good people will go to Heaven, PERIOD!” she exclaimed.
“Are you a good person?” I challenged.
“Absolutely !” she assured.
“Well then, allow me to please ask you a few questions” I requested, and then I continued: “Have you ever even once lied, stolen, lusted, or been jealous?”
“Well yea, so have you and everyone else in this room,” she defended.
“I know, I agree, everyone else including myself. We all have done these things. If we go in front of God as liars, thieves, and fornicators, why should God allow us into Heaven? I asked.
“God should allow us in because we are good people” she expressed.
“Liars, thieves, and fornicators are good people?” I grilled.
The young student thought for a few seconds, and then hummed: “I guess they are not…”
It is absolutely stunning to me that millions of people around the world, including many Christians, actually believe that just being good is enough to get anyone into Heaven. They also believe that they themselves are good people, along with some of their friends and most of their family members.
I have news for you:
No one, and I mean, NO ONE, myself included, is “good.” There is NOT a single human being on this planet that is good, not even innocent babies.
Before you take offense, allow me to explain:
The Bible is clear when it says that no human born of a woman is born without a sinful nature. “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5).
Jesus, however, is an exception since He was born of a woman, but without the seed of a man.
The reason there is not a single person in the world who is good is that there is not a single person who hasn’t sinned in one way or another. All humans have sinned whether in thought, word, or deed. In fact, sin is anything that deviates from God’s nature whether in thought, word, or deed.
There isn’t a single human being on earth that hasn’t lied, stolen, lusted or felt jealous. We have all done these “bad” things; it’s impossible not to sin. This brings us to the core of the issue: if we humans cannot stop sinning, how can we escape the penalty for sin, which is eternal damnation?
The only obvious answer to this dilemma is Jesus Christ. His sacrifice on the cross enables those with faith to be with God; we are saved by faith, not by works or “being good.”
To better further my case, let me give an analogy.
Suppose you go to the courthouse and appear in front of the judge because of a speeding ticket you received. You stand up and ask the judge for dismissal of your infraction. The judge looks at you and asks: “Why should I forgive you and dismiss your case?”
You confidently say: “Your honor, you should let me off the hook because I am a good person.”
The judge then smiles and asks you: “In what ways are you a good person?”
You respond by saying: “You know, I help the poor, I feed the hungry, I take care of the homeless, for example. These are good acts, I am a good person. Therefore, I deserve to be forgiven.”
Do you honestly believe that a just judge would buy your answer as a sufficient reason to wipe away your speeding ticket? What does helping the poor, feeding the hungry, and taking care of the homeless have to do with your speeding ticket?
The fact of the matter is that you broke the law, and you must pay for it. No amount of “being good” will pay the penalty.
When you face God one day, He will not be impressed by your ‘goodness’. In fact, God tells us in (Isaiah 64:6) that “our best acts are like filthy rags.” No one can impress God with good works; only through true faith, can we be saved.
Even Jesus Himself assured us that no man is good. In (Luke 18:18), we read the story of the rich, young, ruler who came running to Jesus asking: “Good master, what must I do to inherit the kingdom of God?”
Notice that the young ruler, like us, thought that it was by works, that he could do something to make entry into Heaven possible (“what must I do?”).
Jesus answered: “Why call me good? None is good except for God!”
Many skeptics will use this verse to attack the deity of Jesus and say: “See? Jesus Himself denied being God. Jesus said He is not God.”
Jesus neither denied His deity nor rebuked the young ruler for calling Him good. Notice again that Jesus never said I am not good. On the contrary, Jesus said that only God is good. You call me good when only God is good; I am good, and you call me good, so are you calling me God?
You see, the confusion disappears when we pay close attention to what the words actually mean.
The rich young ruler failed to outsmart Jesus. The Bible says that he left sad when Jesus told him to go sell everything and follow Him because the young ruler realized that although he had devoted himself to keeping the commandments, he had failed to keep the first and greatest of the commandments-love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. How could the young ruler be ‘good’ when he loved his wealth more than God?
If God is not impressed by our good acts and calls them “filthy rags,” and if Jesus says none is good except for God; who are we as humans to declare ourselves good people? Are we good because we helped others twenty times? What about the twenty-one times we didn’t? What about the twenty-two times we lied or stole? What about the twenty-three times we broke God’s law? Are we to assume that we are good just because we do good things? Is that the measure? Good acts = good people? If this equation is accurate, is it also fair to assume that bad acts = bad people?
The crux of the matter is this: being good, or doing good works and acts WILL NOT, in any way, shape, or form secure a place for you in Heaven because there is no such thing as a good person. We all have sinned. When we sin, we become bad.
There is only ONE WAY to the father, and that’s through faith in Jesus Christ.
Buddha once said: “Work out your salvation, don’t depend on others.”
What about his own salvation, how did he work it out? He was a sinner himself. Even gurus need a savior!
Finally, I’ll leave you with this thought. If our goodness can save us, why did God waste Jesus’ life by offering Him to die on the cross?
“Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.”
APOLOGETICS - ARTICLES AND INFORMATION
- What is Apologetics?
- The Lost Truth
- Logic & Reasoning
- Truth & Reality
- Does God Exist?
- The Cosmological Argument
- The Design Argument
- The Moral Argument
- Who is Jesus?
- Satan’s Wish!
- God’s Dilemma!
- Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?
- Does God Answer Prayers?
- When Were The Gospels Written?
- Was Noah's Flood Real?
- Are Miracles Possible?
- The Apostle Peter
- Does Archaeology Support The Bible?
- Science & The Bible
- How Can Jesus be the only Way to Heaven?
- Don’t All World Religions Teach the Same Thing?
- Undesigned Coincidences
- Are All Men Created Equal?
- Is the Bible Really the Word of God?
- Amazing Bible Facts
- The Blind Atheists
- Jesus Meets Einstein
- Did the Gospel Writers Tell the Truth?
- The Evolution Fairytale
- The Day Common Sense Died!
- The Philosophy of Jesus
- The Report (Part 1)
- The Report (Part 2)
- Are All Religions True?
- Are There Contradictions in the Bible?
- Are All Religions True?
- Why Does God Allow Evil & Suffering?
- Bible Prophecy
- New Age Christianity
- The Wager
- When God Cried
- What Happened to America?
- Don’t All Good People Go to Heaven?
- Jesus at the United Nations
- False Teachers
- The Conference
- Jesus & the Woman at the Well
- The Day You face God
- Was Jesus Really Crucified?
- The Blind & the King
- Is Jesus God?
- The Meaning of Life
- Hero & the Fake
- The Insanity of Pluralism
- Who is God?
- The Tree of Good & Evil
- The Confused Agnostic
- Lazarus Come Forth!
- When God Seems Silent
- Case #1101
- The Proposal
- The Prayer
- Roman Catholicism
- Jesus Meets the Pope
- First Century Jesus
- The Patterns of False Religions
- Timid Christianity
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