Good People Do
Go to Heaven
Does this title offend you or surprise you?
Many well-meaning people teach that if we live by the rules found in the Sermon on the Mount and keep the Golden Rule that we will be “good enough” to go to Heaven. They actually believe that if we have enough good deeds on the right side of the scale that God will see each of us as a “good person.” They believe that in the end God will somehow look at each of us as being a “good person” who has done our very best in life to merit salvation and Heaven.
A great multitude of people teach that if we just support our families and give donations to the church and various relief organizations that God will look at each of us as a “good person” and view us as being worthy of entering Heaven when we pass from this life. But is this really what the Bible teaches? We must consider what the book of Romans teaches on this matter of man’s goodness.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
Does this shock you as you read God’s estimate about yourself and all mankind? This is God’s diagnosis of the human heart. From the perspective of the lost human race who “are all under sin” (Rom. 3:9) and who are “all” sinners (Rom. 3:23), God actually says that there are no good people in His sight. This is a different tune than what we so often hear about man today. Man thinks he is basically good but God says he is absolutely bad!
“… there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
We must remember that God is not thinking about those individual deeds of kindness or love that we might view as being good on the surface or from the standpoint of society. God is looking at our overall life as it is viewed under sin’s power and control (Rom. 3:9) and under the condemnation that results from this sin which is spiritual death or hell (Rom. 6:23). God is looking at mankind from the standard of His absolute impeccable or flawless righteousness. From God’s point of view there are no good people because all people are born with a sin nature, which can only produce bad works, even if those works seem to be good on the exterior. People are born possessing a life that is completely opposite of God and His perfect standard of holiness and righteousness.
The works of lost humanity are never done for God’s glory but for man’s own fleshly praise or human merit before God no matter how mankind may rate these works on a human scale. Therefore, in God’s holy sight and perfection there are no good people! In God’s sight there are either absolutely righteous people or absolutely unrighteous people. The conclusion is very clear. None of us are righteous in God’s sight because all of us have sinned. We are absolutely unrighteous in need of God’s imputed righteousness.
This leaves us with the inescapable conclusion that good people do not go to Heaven! Do you know why? It’s because from the perspective of the lost human race and their need for salvation, there are no good people in God’s sight. We must simply understand that there is no person born on earth that is good in God’s eyes. This tells us that good people cannot go to Heaven if there are no good people on earth that can go to Heaven!
So here comes the important question: If there are no good people in the sight of a holy God then how does a bad person like yourself get into Heaven? The answer is simple and very obvious: You must understand that you are a sinner before God’s presence and that you are actually a bad person. You must see yourself as God sees you – an evil person who is separated from a holy God because of your sin. You must understand how bad you are before you can see how much you need Christ as your Savior. Once you understand how bad you are before God only then can you repent (change your mind or attitude) about your own sinfulness before God and your need for Christ.
Jesus said in Luke 13:5:
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (go to hell).”
You need to have this change of mind about your own sinfulness and wickedness before God and then by faith believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him as your personal Savior from the future judgment of hell.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
The Bible teaches that Christ actually bore your sins upon Himself on the cross and rose again from the dead to offer salvation to you today as a living Savior (I Corinthians 15:3-4). If you will call upon the Lord Jesus today, believing that He died bearing all your sins and judgment, only then can you be made right in God’s sight. Faith is a personal response to Jesus Christ believing that He has become your substitute for sin and judgment. Faith is that which reaches out and receives the gift of salvation, which Christ offers through His finished work.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
So the point is this. You can only go to Heaven when you realize how bad you are before a holy God and turn to Him through simple faith in His saving work as presented in the Gospel message. If we want to be realistic, only bad people can go to Heaven! These are those people in the human race of lost mankind who understand how separated and sinful they are before a holy God and who turn to Jesus Christ for His saving grace.
A very religious man called a Pharisee one day entered the temple and began to explain how good he was in comparison to other people in the world.
“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.”
The problem with this religious man, who was busy comparing himself with others, was that he had forgotten to compare himself with the only true standard for goodness, which is God Himself. This self-righteous man failed to see that he also was a wicked sinner in God’s sight who had offended His holiness! That’s why God says, “There is none righteous” and “There is none that doeth good.” When compared to God’s perfect standard there can be no righteous or good people on earth. We all have sinned and that makes us dreadfully bad before God. For this reason, all the righteous or good things that we think are good are viewed by God as filthy or soiled rags.
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Most people think that the good things which they do are really good, and that God is pleased with them. But this is not the case. If there are no good people on earth then there can be no good things that these people can do! This is because people are already naturally born bad in God’s eyes and they cannot do anything that would please Him.
“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
In God’s sight any outwardly good thing that bad people produce is still bad and is considered by God to be “filthy rags” because it is motivated by an inbred principle of evil inside the human heart. Nevertheless, we read that this deceived “good man” in the temple spoke about himself and all of his “good things” which he thought he had accomplished in life.
Luke 18:9 says:
“And he (Jesus) spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous (good), and despised others.”
Jesus said that this man, who thought he was good, could not be justified (declared righteous) in God’s sight because he mistakenly thought that he was a good person before God. The other man realized that he was bad in God’s sight and was justified (declared righteous) before God.
Luke 18:13-14 reads:
“And the publican (the person who recognized his sinfulness before God), standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified (made right before God) rather than the other…”
You see, God only saves bad people and allows them to go to Heaven. Good people do not go to Heaven! Jesus verifies this to us. Only those people who realize how bad they are before God will turn to Jesus Christ and ask for forgiveness and receive this right standing before God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.
The Bible concludes that good people do not go to Heaven! Actually, only those people who realize that they are bad or evil before God and receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ go to Heaven (Rom. 6:23). You must understand that you are not good but bad and put your faith in Jesus Christ to save you. You must compare yourself to the only perfect standard. This standard is God. And God says that you are a sinner who has offended His perfect righteousness and holiness. Don’t fool yourself by comparing yourself to other people like the Pharisee did. Compare yourself before God’s perfection and you will fall short (Rom. 3:23 – “All have sinned”). You are not a good person. You are a bad and evil person before the presence of the holy and righteous God.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.”
“There is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
I have great news for you today. God can make bad people good in His sight! Bad people can receive a right standing before God through Jesus Christ. When you by faith receive Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior, it’s then that the saving work of Jesus Christ is applied to your own life. This results in God the Father seeing you through the work and perfection of His own Son.
2 Corinthians 5:21
“For he hath made him (Jesus Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we (those who believe on Christ), might be made the righteousness of God in him (in Christ’s own perfection and righteousness).”
Maybe you have realized for the first time that you are a bad person before God’s sight. And you may feel hopelessly lost and on your way to hell. If so, Jesus wants to extend an invitation to you today so that you might be saved by receiving the perfect righteousness of His own Son for your own life. This saving righteousness can be yours through personal belief in Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him (personally responds to Christ in faith) should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Jesus came to save bad people. He did not come to save good people. Do you know why? It’s because everybody is bad!
Jesus said in Luke 5:32:
“I came not to call the righteous (good people), but sinners (bad people) to repentance.”
I have wonderful news for you today. God loves bad people!
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners (bad people), Christ died for us.”
You are bad. You are a lost sinner before God. Therefore, you must repent (change your mind and thinking) about your sinfulness before God, and your lost condition before God, and your own need for His salvation. Then you will be ready to make a personal response of faith in Jesus Christ to bring His salvation into your own heart and life.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Here is a prayer that might help you express your repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for personal salvation. It’s time to talk with God and receive His gift of eternal life and salvation from hell.
“Dear God, I have realized that I am a dreadful sinner in Your sight. I know that I am separated from You. But I thank You for loving me as a sinner and a bad person. And today I want to express by own personal faith in Jesus Christ to become my Savior from hell. I need to be clothed in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ since I have no righteousness. I am a bad person. God, be merciful to me, a sinner, and save my soul today. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
If you have prayed this prayer and received Christ as your Savior, please print your name on this line. Include your address and send this tract to me. I’d like to send you information to help you in your new Christian life.