Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
Are you good enough to get into heaven? This is a major issue for both Christians and non-Christians alike. No one wants to be left out of heaven and no one wants to go to hell. This is usually summed up as “How can a loving God condemn people to hell?” We don’t think it fair that a good person should not be allowed into heaven. So what about the person who gives to charity, feeds the poor, is respectful to their parents and does good in the community? Shouldn’t they be allowed into heaven?
The real issue is not how good a person is, it is about sin. When the young man asked Jesus, “Good teacher, how can I get into heaven?” The first thing Jesus said was why do you call me good; no one is good except for God. No matter how good we try to be, we will sin. It is our nature. We just cannot help it. We like to think of ourselves as good but if we really look at our actions we will find sin everywhere. Think about it. Have you ever taken anything that did not belong to you, a pencil or maybe more change then was due you? If so, you are a thief. Ever lied? Be careful with you answer, you don’t want to lie. How about looked at someone lustfully, according to Jesus you are an adulterer. We take God’s name in vain, we lie, we covet, and we just cannot help but sin. So, no one is good enough to get into God’s presence. That is the real issue, not getting into heaven but being in God’s presence. You see God cannot have sin in His presence, it must be atoned for. Fortunately it already has been. We cannot earn our way in but we can get a free pass to heaven. It is called grace and I need plenty of it.
Finally, God does not condemn anyone to hell. Everyone in hell will have freely chosen to go there. A loving God will not force Himself on anyone. Those who chose to live without Him on earth will be allowed to live without Him for all eternity. C.S. Lewis puts it best, “there are two kinds of people. Those who say to God They will be done and those to whom God says your will be done.”
People go to heaven because they made the right choice to go. People go the hell because they chose to ignore all the evidence God put before them and chose to live their lives without Him. God will honor that choice, not because He wants to but because His nature requires Him to.
Have a blessed day,