by Dave Griffiths
Most Americans believe that good people go to heaven. Do good people go to heaven? The logic goes like this; There is a good God, who lives in a good place reserved for good people. Right!
Men and women must do good things and not do certain things in order to ensure a place with a good God. Make sense ? Maybe!
An alternative is, do bad people go to heaven? If ever there’s a time to be sure, it’s now.
On the news, thousands have died due to this virus. Most people think that when you die your soul goes to heaven or hell, and most religions think it depends on how you live your life this side of death. So, be good now, and, whatever…
One fact is the mortality rate for humans is 100%, so we need to be sure we have been good enough. Right ? maybe.
Many think it’s the responsibility of religion to help you be sure of your destination. Apparently, the Bible, Koran, book of Morman, all recount rewards for good behaviour from a good God.
This view appeals to our common sense, it’s good for society, and keeps us all on our best behaviour. Right ? All the experts can’t be wrong ! So many different religions. Is their God right ? They think so. Is your God right ? You probably think so. Is there a formula ? Surely we need a clear definition for what’s good. Everyone knows what’s not good, what’s wrong, steal, murder, lie, break the speed limit, so it’s a good idea not to do that.
Your conscience is an interesting thing. It condemns you when you do bad, but doesn’t do much in the way of assuring you when you do well.
Surely the experts should help you how to earn your way to heaven. They aught to know, but, one expert will tell you that it’s just fine to stone a women to death if they decide she is guilty of adultery. Bit extreme, I think. But they don’t think so. I know what feels right to me, but others see things different.
So what standard does God use? Or does he have a set of rules? Now there’s a point, what about the 10 commandments? Here’s a set of rules God gave to Moses, set in stone, exactly what to do and what not to do. Keep those, and, you will be good and …. well go to heaven?
Actually a lot of people say “I know I’m going to heaven because I keep the 10 commandments”. Fact is, there’s no connection between the 10 commandments and going to heaven. You can check it out in the book of Exodus. They no way guarantee a place in heaven.
In any case, the standard is too high, and I know that I have broken a number of those laws already. I found that out when I read the New Testament :-
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23.
There is no one righteous, not even one. Rom. 3:10.
The wages of sin is death. Rom. 6:23.
What’s more, no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law, rather, through the law we become conscience of sin. Now that really unsettled the religious leaders of the day. When it came to the law, the Pharisees were the best people around. They were good, the best of the best, and yet we read, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5). As good as they were, they weren’t good enough !
If you are looking for a God that lets good people into heaven, stay away from the New Testament. Jesus, however said “I am the way”. He didn’t say He would show us the way, He claimed to be the only way (Jhn.14) and He didn’t say good people. He claimed to be exclusive, so why is there no other option ?
There seems to be no other approach, but all is not as it seems. There is another way, for good and bad people!
The other way is forgiven people go to heaven, and forgiveness is made possible by the sacrificial death of Jesus, the lamb of God who came to be sacrificed for the sins of the whole world. The reason good people don’t go to heaven is because there aren’t any good people, only sinners.
Forgiven people go to heaven, and we can ensure that we are forgiven by accepting Jesus as our Lord, and believing that He is the Saviour of the world.