Good Enough for Heaven?
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have all together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.” Romans 3:10-12 quoted by Paul the apostle from Psalms 14:1-3 and 53:3
But there is the good news of God’s mercy and grace...
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his justice in the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26
A good friend of mine that I have known for years told me once that he is going to heaven because he is a good person.
A relative of mine said that he is going to heaven because he hasn’t done anything wrong.
It’s hard to imagine “good people” being tortured for eternity in hell. After all, these are the people who would give you the shirt off their back. They’ll take you into their homes if you needed a place to stay. They conduct business fairly. They pay their bills and they’ve never been put in jail.
How can people that nice and kind hearted be sent to hell; a place where you will be, not until the end of time, but for eternity where there is NO end of time. It goes on forever. The pain isn’t lessened. It is torture worse than any can imagine. Hollywood horror movies pale in comparison. And this is real! When there is nothing left of your flesh it rejuvenates and the horror is repeated. Over and over forever! There is no pain mental and physical combined that you can experience that would be worse. And you will be well aware of every second of it. How is it that nice people can be put through that?
God provides a way for all of us to be good enough for him. He provides a way to enjoy his perfection and not be put through hell. He also gives us the power to decide.
There is only God’s way.
God himself is absolutely perfect. He wants us to be in heaven with him when our life here is complete. However, since God is perfect, everything in his presence must be perfect.
God also wants us to choose to be with him. We have been given freewill to accept his commands or reject them. We have a choice. Since we are all imperfect and God wants us with Him in heaven, he provides a way for us to be made perfect by way of a sacrifice of something perfect in our place.
Let’s go all the way to the beginning. It is my belief that Adam and Eve brought sin into the world by thinking they could improve on God’s way. God told them what to do and what not to do. Then satan came and offered them “hidden knowledge”. He told them that he knew better than God. So they accepted satan’s temptation by accepting the fruit that God warned them not to eat. They thought another way was better than God’s way.
God gave the Israelites a whole list of sacrifices and rituals and duties to perform. If they did them perfectly he would give them the right to be in heaven. God told them what to do and what not to do. But they thought their way was better than God’s way. Further, since man is imperfect, the sacrifices and rituals were also imperfect and would never be perfect.
God shows us that only way to have a blessed life is to rely on him. The only way to a blessed eternal life is also to rely on him.
All of man’s ways have not worked to bring him the perfection necessary to enter heaven. Man cannot rely on man’s ways because his ways will never be perfect. By thinking that you will go to heaven because you are good, you are not only deceiving yourself but you are relying on yourself and thereby setting yourself up as your own god. You are saying that your way is better than God’s. Are you better than God?
So that only leaves God’s way. God’s way demands a perfect living sacrifice of which there are not, have never been, and will never be any except the one that God provided for us. Even if we could find something that we think is perfect to sacrifice, God would see its imperfections because everything we do is not perfect. It would NEVER be right because we aren’t right!
So God sent his son Jesus to be that one perfect sacrifice. We could never ever do right. But Jesus always does right. We are always corrupt. Jesus is never corrupt. Jesus is the one and only perfect sacrifice! He was tortured on earth and died on the cross once...
...so that we would not have to be tortured in hell repeatedly forever. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is acceptable to God in our place. But there is one thing that we must all do...
You and I must all accept that sacrifice!!! God accepts it yet he gives you the freewill to either accept it or reject it. Not accepting it is rejecting it. By accepting it you too will be accepted by God!
“Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!’” Mark 9:7
So what does God's Son say?
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me i will never drive away. For I have come from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:35-40
Psalms 14:1-3 and 53:3