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Why Won’t Being a Good Person Get Me to Heaven?

It is a common belief that getting into heaven is as simple as doing the right thing and being a good person. However, scripture tells us that getting into heaven is not the result of works. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast.” While God wants us to live a positive life where we do good by our neighbors, all the good we do in this life won’t get us into heaven. Getting into heaven is a result of true faith in Jesus Christ. The reason why can be found directly in the Bible.

Romans 3:23 tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Ecclesiastes 7:20 reminds us that no righteous man on earth who does good and is free of sin. We are all sinful beings, and the sins that we commit can keep us from heaven unless we place our total faith in Jesus Christ.

Many believe that they will go to heaven simply because they believe in the existence of God. Yet, scripture tells us that even demons know and believe in God, trembling in fear of Him. The Bible assures us that demons will not enter heaven, even with their awareness of God. Simply acknowledging the existence of God is not enough to enter heaven.

We are reminded in the book of Matthew that not everyone will enter heaven. Matthew 7:21-23 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” In eternity many people will try to enter heaven but will be turned away. Instead, they will enter hell. Many Christians have the expectation that will simply enter heaven simply by having the title of believer, but it doesn’t work that way. We can only enter heaven through Jesus Christ. This is God’s way.

Those who trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior will receive salvation without a doubt. When we die, we will stand before God, clothed with Jesus’ righteousness, and without sin. Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved: for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” This is why repentance is so important.

As Christians, we know that one of the first steps we can take against sin is repentance. The importance of repenting is hard to overstate. Mark 1:15 tells us that Jesus’ first public exhortation was to repent. If we want to repent, it requires us to be honest with God and without ourselves. Psalm 32:2 says, “How happy is the man the LORD does not charge with sin, and in whose spirit is no deceit!” You can’t come to God with true repentance in your heart until you’ve first acknowledged your need for forgiveness and reconciliation with Him.

Jesus is the ultimate way to salvation. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). This verse reminds us that Jesus is the only path to salvation. We can’t enter heaven or receive salvation without being clear about this and following Jesus. Too many believers think that they can find their way to God and enter heaven through things like knowledge, achievement, reputation, and holiness. Yet, God teaches us that being saved is the true way. Being saved is deliverance and redemption from sin.

Jesus is the only way to salvation. This is for several reasons. One of the top reasons is that God chose him to be the Savior of the world. Jesus is also the only One to have come down from heaven and returned there (John 3:12). We also know from scripture that Jesus is the only person who lived a perfect life, free of sin (Hebrews 4:15). First John 2:2 reminds us that Jesus is the only sacrifice for sin. Philippians 2:9 reminds us that Jesus is also the only man God has “exalted… to the highest place. Ultimately, Jesus is our access point to God and heaven.

We have a lot to look forward to when we enter heaven. One of the greatest things we can look forward to in heaven is the fact that the struggle with sin will be over for good. The truth is there isn’t one person that doesn’t struggle with sin. In fact, we struggle with sin every day. Revelation 21:27 reminds us, “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.” We don’t have to fear being judged for our sins in heaven because this judgment was taken away by Jesus at the cross. When we enter heaven, our heavenly bodies will sin no more. We also won’t have to be limited by the challenges and limitations we faced when we were in our earthly bodies. Heaven will be such a different place from earth.

One of the greatest gifts we receive from God is grace. Anyone who comes into faith in Jesus Christ can receive eternal life. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” The whoever mentioned in this verse is all-inclusive. We are included in this.