No one gets to heaven by being a good person

There is a lie that has infiltrated culture. In fact this lie has become pseudo religion, rather a folklore that doesn’t represent biblical Christianity. Its easy to understand how even Christians who believe in the validityof Scripture can have the wool pulled over their eyes concerning this. The fact is that history has surrounded us with distorted images of what heaven and hell are as well as how to get there. Cartoons feature a little devil with a pitch fork and pointy tail. We envision God as a Zeus like character with white hair checking off our naughty and nice list. We are told good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. We hear sermons about this, we see it on TV, when someone passes away we assume they are in heaven because the alternative is unbearable.

What if I told you that is not true….

Better yet what if the bible told you that is not true…

Romans 3:11-18

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.”

Now, if  no one is seen as righteous, no one can measure up, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). If we honestly believe in the truth of James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” Then we cannot do this on our own. Being good means nothing across the span of one’s life also peppered with dubious sin. Mankind has shown us time after time that someone will rise up through the ranks who appears to be perfect, until the cracks appear and we see the fragility of human nature. In our darkness, scripture says that we are separated from Christ, excluded for the covenant of promise, without hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12)

This is a grim reality

But the beauty is we are not left alone! We find a champion in Christ. We find Grace! We find forgiveness! We put on his perfection in the shadow of our inability and we are saved. Not of ourselves!

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8

Your pile of good works means nothing the sight of a Holy God. It doesn’t matter how many times you give to the poor, how many homes you have built how many soup kitchens you have served in, or how many church services you have attended.

I was listening to someone speak recently and it was a great reminder that the Holy Scriptures, which are God breathed, are there to point you to the truth that God wants you to know.

What a miraculous thing, that at the culmination of God’s Redemption through Israel to the New Testament we find that God takes a break at a seemingly awkward time to focus in on the thief on the cross. Here we are in this epic retelling of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ who is the very image of the invisible God, (Colossians 1:15) and here enters a thief who acknowledges Jesus for who He is and through his bidding recognized salvation in Christ.

He says,  “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23-42-43) 

Why interrupt the retelling of our precious savior’s sacrifice with the words of a thief?

So that you and me can see the very heart of God and what salvation is all about! This man did nothing to deserve salvation. He did no good work, he did not go to church, he was not baptized, he had not completed all of the sacraments. He was nothing…… but he put his trust in the only one who is something! The one and only savior Jesus Christ.

Don’t believe the lie, its been said that God needs but one breath, one instance, to change the path of a man’s eternity. Salvation, and Christianity as a whole, is Christ focused not you focused! If you don’t know Him and you haven’t come face to face with your inadequacies, I beg you to throw out this pull yourself up by the boot straps type of religion you may have been fed. Forget about the reel of good and bad you have been told you will see upon judgment, the check list of weights and measures that somehow validates you,  and seek salvation through the Only one who can say, “today you shall be with me in Paradise.”

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27 thoughts on “No one gets to heaven by being a good person

    • I would ask what makes a person good? Typically people think a good person is someone who does good things. Any person who does good things has also done bad things so people weigh how many good things someone has done to ensure they outweigh the bad and if they are more good then they are a good person. Then based on the quality of the good things and the severity of the bad things one good person could be considered better than another person? But by whose standard are the good and bad acts being weighed whose rules are we playing by? The point
      Is if Christ is are standard and we are to drive to be like Him then we cannot be good in our own power. Scripture says be holy as your father in heaven is holy. I assume by your question you believe that there are no good people in hell, which would mean the opposite would be true that there are no bad people in hell, but the point of the story with the the if on the cross is that this dude was most likely pretty bad. That type of execution was reserved for terrible criminals so here he is and has led a very bad life yet he is saved and did nothing to earn it. My point is being good is great but it’s not what saves you its placing your faith alone in Christ alone for your salvation. Living a good life is an outer working of being Christlike but justification through Christ comes first.

    • Oops kagmi made a mistake in the response I meant to say the opposite would be true there are no bad people in heaven but the point was that the thief was a pretty bad guy and did nothing to earn salvation thanks for the read

  1. haven’t read… but the paradox is to much and i am sorry… But no one gets to heaven by being good… The only salvation you seek is to your soul, you have made your own errors and you have to repair them or accept them. i’m sorry if i am being rude, but life is a choice if we made the bad one… we fucked ourselves and there is no heaven to save us
    Agnain i apologize if in any means i am being rude… but life is hard mate

    • So do you believe there is no after life? I don’t think you are rude more respectful than most if anything I think more people who disagree should be able to dialogue

      • I think there is no proof so we shouldn`t live to it… i think we just need to make ourselves happy without harming anyone. And if there is a heaven then by doing so we would end up there and if there is no heaven… well we enjoyed life without hurting another being, either way it`s kinda a win win situation

      • You’re talking about the possibility of heaven being real but not the possibility of hell being real. It’s win/lose if heaven and hell is real. And while there may be no definitive proof that there is or isn’t a heaven and hell I will say this: if you are right that there’s no God, no heaven, no hell that when we all die there’s no gain and no loss then it’s not that big of a deal. But if I am right. If Christianity is true that there is God and there is a heaven and hell and there is a righteousness through Christ and Christ alone then just being good doesn’t cut it. There is so much to gain and so much more to lose

      • This is a duality automaticly if hheaven is real then hell also the ying and the yan, you can`t beleive in god without beleiving in satan… and christianity like most religions preach hope,love and compassion live this way if you are a beleiver or not and you come back to my response just before… live that way and you live a happy life and if there is nothing well fuck it you enjoyed life and if there is a heaven well you just got the bonus level 😉

      • Well we shall see in the mean time I really am enjoying my life in Christ I have found unspeakable peace which there are many other benefits but there is nothing like peace

      • I do pray you find it mine is more like an outer peace I suppose because it is doesn’t originate nor is it sustained by me and not the cheesy peace associated to getting rich and never being lonely or sad like many Christians support, more like peace when everything else is crappy

    • Hi Thank you for the comment. No I am not saying an atheist could get to heaven by being good, what I am saying is that merely being good does not get you into heaven however it is ones faith in the justification freely offered to you in Christ Jesus. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

      • I believe as john 3:16 says “for God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son and whosoever believes in him shall not perish yet have everlasting life.

      • I believe that if you do not believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior you are most likely going to hell. I can never be 100 percent sure of the intentions of ones heart in fact the bible warns against trying to estimate on earth who goes to heaven and who goes to hell because that is not mine to decide but Christ. but this is what the scripture says of Jesus “I am the way the truth and the light…no man will come into the father unless they go through me

      • It is horrible I lament over it often probably not as often as I should seeing the gravity of it. That’s why we have the great commission for Christians Jesus left us with “Go therefore and and make disciples” it says into all nations subsequently Christian missionaries have gone to speed the gospel message of salvation through Jesus and at the same time continue to be one of the top sources of humanitarian relief it all comes from the drive to introduce Jesus but like anything there are always some Christians that are distort the gospel message such as any thing else and misrepresent us. Those tend to be on tv more often 😉 but a wise man once told me for every counterfeit there is a real thing

      • I think the gospel message offered more hope than other religions. Think about it, for atheism there is nothingness waiting, for Hindu you have to work and work to achieve nervana not everyone is promised to get to that point so everyone else tools through eternity of reincarnation, Buddhism if I can re all my world religion classes correctly has a distinct non theistic bent where the end goal is to dissolve into nothingness and everything at the same time, and for Muslims not only does one have to work and work pray 5 times a day facing east and memorize the Koran but even after they do that for them God is not gracious and merciful but fickle and can decide in a whim if they are in or out, they are mutually exclusive and do not even care to proselytize infidels, the list goes on like this. Christianity is the only region where God is not the pie in the sky waiting for you to appease him and then he can give s thumbs up and a thumb down, however it is the only religion in which God became flesh to suffer and die on our behalf and as mind blowing as that is it gets even better you do not have to do anything to receive it but just believe. We believe that sin left a chasm between God and man sin necessities the penalty of death

      • Think about before you were born.

        Any pain? Any torture?

        No?

        I’ll take that over eternal torture. Nice try in contorting your way out of condoning the idea of massive human suffering.

        Such a disgusting concept.

      • I’m not contorting you act as is Christianity is the only mutually exclusive belief system and that’s not the case. Even so Romans one says that the proof of God is made clear in everything around us it all screams out the truth of divinity so it says that the people are left without excuse. If life is an outcome of choices the majority of the population is fully aware of Hod and salvation so it’s in their Court. Do dine I don’t think is the right works for any future suffering because I am not the one inflicting or causing yet I am aware of it. And it’s the awareness that prompts me to minister to others if a building is burning down and someone rushes to get everyone out that makes them compassionate if they simply don’t care that makes them disgusting

      • You’re aware and support and condone it.
        Every religion says everything screams out it exists. Yours isn’t the first.

        I often winder if hell were real, whether Christians would still support it if we could open it up and show them the suffering going on. It’s a disgusting belief that has led to untold amounts of mental torture.

      • But Jesus Christ came as our mediator to take on that sun for us and serve out our sentence for us so we get what we don’t deserve not what we do deserve which would be death. That’s what this blog post is all about good work doesn’t cut it because salvation is free in Jesus Christ

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