I’m sure you have heard it said by someone, or even you have said it yourself, “all good people go to heaven.” It seems to be a common thought and belief in America today, but is this statement true or false?
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Let’s first consider some preconceived notions that hold this belief; First, there is a God who is all-loving and cares for his creation (humans). Second, most people are good people that are entitled to heaven, and there are only a few “bad” people. Third, people are good because they do the right things, and that earns them their ticket into heaven. Fourth, the few that do deserve hell are the ones that are extremely evil.
God is all-loving and cares for his creation.
Most arguments I have heard/read in support of this position believe that since God is all-loving and caring, He won’t turn away people that are sincerely trying to do the right thing. While there is some truth to this statement, such as God’s mercy and grace (see Deuteronomy 4:31 and Daniel 9:9), it’s only capturing one aspect of God. The Lord is also just as we can see in Job 34:12, Psalm 45:6, and Isaiah 30:18, to name a few. Above all, God is completely holy, meaning that even remotely sinful people/acts cannot dwell with him.
Most people are good.
Using the word good in this context generally means that humans are good by nature with some mistakes (sin) sprinkled in here and there. However, we as humans are designed to be evil by nature with some good sprinkled in. As the Bible explains, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Psalm 51:5 uses an even strong tone, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
According to the Bible, people are not good by nature. When we are compared to God’s standards, we all “fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Now, this doesn’t mean people actively engage in doing evil all the time, but we as humans have “fallen” because of our rebellion against God which means we are unable to save ourselves.
Doing the right things and being sincere earns me a spot in heaven.
This is an all too common belief in America today. But when we read the bible, there is nothing that supports our entrance into heaven based on our sincerity or our good deeds outweighing our bad. Paul explains it perfectly in the book of Ephesians;
“You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God’s gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. It isn’t something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 CEV (Emphasis mine)
God’s gift of grace is something He fully demonstrated through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As it says in Ephesians above and in John below, there is only one way into heaven, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father. – John 14:6 CEV
All good people go to heaven, right?
Only God alone is good. Mark 10:18 quotes Jesus as saying, “No one is good – except God alone.” Since no one is considered good when compared to God, the answer is a resounding “No.” Anyone who enters heaven does so based on God’s grace through Jesus Christ and not on good works. No one can claim to be without sin and work their way into heaven. That would be like saying we can jump across the Grand Canyon on our own. Instead, we must humbly submit our lives to God, turn to Christ for our salvation, and turn from our sinful behavior.
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If you haven’t given your life to Christ yet, I urge you to seriously consider it. For the bible tells us that we will not know the time of his return. If he does return and you haven’t given your life to him, the verdict will be an eternity in hell. And not the Hollywood version of hell, but literally spending an eternity in a pit of fire. If you are ready to take the step of faith, please read the prayer below;
Dear heavenly Father, I want to take this moment to submit my life to you. I ask that you forgive me of my sins, which such a gracious gift is given only through your anointed blood on the cross. You died for me, and I accept your gift of love, mercy, grace, peace, and eternal life. With faith, I declare that Jesus Christ now lives in me forever and ever. Amen!
Welcome to the team, friend! The next step is crucial to your salvation; Tell someone the decision you just made. Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Or you can e-mail us here at Paradigm Shift or call/text your family and friends.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes – Romans 1:16 NIV