CAN YOU GET TO HEAVEN BY BEING GOOD
Most people have some sort of faith, religious concept they believe in and most religions believe there is life after death and places called Heaven (for the good people) and Hell (for those who are bad) and we all hope to make it into heaven. We need to be good to go to heaven when we die. Most of us are taught that from a very young age. But; can you get to Heaven by being good? Is there any way you can earn your place in Heaven? There are those who believe you can.
Joe is a good person, highly respected in his community. Everyone likes Joe. He is a good husband and father, takes good care of his family. He is loving, kind and generous as he is able. He treats his family and his neighbors with respect. He is involved in his children’s schooling and in scouting. He is an active member of his church and helps with the church youth program. If someone needs help, Joe can be depended upon to pitch in. He will help any way he is capable of helping. Joe truly cares about others and shows it by action not just platitudes of kindness and concern. He is a good and dependable and honest employee and has earned the respect of his boss.
Everybody likes Joe and if you were to ask just about anyone they would say Joe would surely receive a crown and a golden harp and a very special place in heaven when he dies because Joe has earned it.
In truth however, for all the wonderful goodness Joe shows towards others it does not for one second mean Joe is heaven bound when he dies. If this were the case we would be living in a much more peaceful and congenial world because no one wants to go to hell. That possible alternative is not one that is acceptable in anyone’s way of thinking. The Ten Commandments would be accepted as universal law and each man, woman and child would strive to live up to them because the alternative is not acceptable by any human concept. That’s not the way it is, therefore, God sent Jesus.
The Bible tells us that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 but then it says in Romans 6:23 that “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Sin is anything we do, even think, that breaks God’s law. We all do something or think something every day that is bad, sinful. No matter how like Joe we may be, no matter how good we may try to be not a day goes by that we do not sin. We are sinful by nature. We are all born unto sin. There is no good in us that measure up to God’s definition of good or good enough to get us into heaven. We are all bound for hell without Jesus…But, God truly loves us. We are His creation, His children and like every good father He wants what is good for us. He wants us to have happy, fulfilling, healthy, joy filled lives, lives of peace and all sufficiency. We can have that but it is nothing we can earn. It is a gift because God loves us; but a gift is only a gift if we accept it, we have to take the gift and make it our own. Heaven, eternal life is a gift and we cannot earn it. The Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world (that is you and me and everyone else who lives or ever has lived or will live on this planet) that He (God, Jehovah) gave His only begotten Son (Jesus, who already was and didn’t have to do it but chose to leave Heaven to come to Earth and take on humanity because He loves us) that whosoever (that is each and every one of us)believes in Him (believes He is all He says He is and believes and follows His teachings) should not perish but have everlasting life. God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 God left us with a choice. We can accept God’s love gift of eternal life or we can reject it. It is not our gift until we accept it. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” John 14:6 (Also read John, Chapter 10) Romans 10:13 tells us that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved.” But it is up to each of us to make the choice. We have to personally accept the gift, believe and follow Him. No one can do it for us. We cannot get to heaven by being good, there is no other way but Jesus.
There is only one way to eternal life and that is through Jesus, the Christ, no matter what else you may think, do or believe, no matter how good or how evil you may have been in this life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no man comes unto the Father, gets into heaven, and receives eternal life except through Him. You cannot work your way to heaven. You cannot buy your way into heaven. Not one of us can ever be good enough to earn a place in Heaven. The only way is Jesus. And that is the bottom line.