Do good people go to heaven when they die?

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Answers to Bible Questions

Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible

(Q)  Do good people go to heaven when they die?

 

(A)  From a pure human stand point most people would answer yes to this question. I hear a lot of comments stating that this person or that person is so good and never does anything wrong and surely they will be in heaven with God when they die. But what does God reveal to us in the Bible about this topic? God has a different point of view about “good people” than men do.

THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT NO HUMAN BEING WHO HAS EVER LIVED, OR EVER WILL LIVE IN THE FUTURE, CAN GET TO HEAVEN BY BEING GOOD OR DOING GOOD WORKS. MAN”S GOODNESS OR GOOD WORKS WAS NEVER THE CRITRTIA FOR SALVATION OR GETTING INTO GOD’S HEAVEN.

Talking about unsaved people the book of Ecclesiastes 7:20 has this to say: 20For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. Again in Romans 3:10-12 it says: 10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Contrary to what man thinks about “good people,” God says there is none that doeth good, no, not one. No unsaved person can do anything good in God’s sight. He does not please God, whatsoever he or she may do. Isaiah 64:6: 6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

What profit then is there in being a good person?  Where do we read in the Bible that any person will go to heaven because he or she is a good person or the member of a particular organization or any one of our denominational churches? Is there the slightest indication in the Bible, that the person who earnestly strives to obey the dictates of his conscience, or live a decent, respectable, honourable, peaceable, moral life will go to heaven? Will religion save a sinner?

In Ezekiel and Romans we learn that the good deeds of an unregenerated person displease God. Ezekiel 33:13: 13When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. Romans 4:4: 4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

 In Galatians we learn that if a person can be saved by doing good, even his very, very best, Christ suffered the ignominy and torture of Calvary for naught. Galatians 2:21: 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 3:21-22: 21Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.22But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

These sobering facts, confirmed by our own experience, ought to make us ashamed of ourselves and cause us to confess that we are lost, guilty, condemned and hopeless sinners. Nor can man in any way improve his lot. His good works will not avail to change his sinful condition. To attempt to save himself by good deeds would be like trying to lift himself up by his own bootstraps. His “good works” would be no better than their sinful source-that wicked heart. Remember God calls all our own righteousness “filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6) and even goes so far as to say: “They that are in the flesh CANNOT please God” Romans 8:5-9: 5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

What a hopeless condition! Bad men unable to save themselves. Friend, do you see yourself now as God sees you? Good works done by “good people” will not get anyone to heaven.

But God has good news for bad men. It is only by God’s grace that there should be any good news for the sinner-that God should ever want to have anything to do with him. But God knew that man could never save himself by good works, and from eternity past He planned and purposed the sinner’s salvation through the death and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; I Timothy 1: 15: 15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

The Savior Himself said: “I came not to call the righteous, but SINNERS to repentanceLuke 5:32. And with wondering eyes and hearts we read in Romans 5:8: “But God commendeth. His love toward us, in that while we were yet SINNERS, Christ died for us.”

Oh, the glorious good news that God loves sinners! For those who oppose Him, God gave His own precious Son to die on Calvary’s cross -to suffer God’s wrath in the sinner’s stead. This, for bad men, is truly GOOD NEWS.

Now, because God has finished and completed the work of redemption through the death and resurrection of Christ, salvation is free. The vilest of men can be given a perfectly righteous standing before God through His wonderful grace.

FOR BY GRACE ARE YOU SAVED, THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST;” Ephesians 2:8- 9.

Nobody’s perfect friend. And that means you too are a lost sinner. But God loves you and Christ died for you. You can be saved, right now, if you will believe God’s Word that salvation is free, entirely apart from your good works, and receive His Son, Jesus Christ, as your own and only Savior. Salvation is as free as the air you breathe because Christ, God’s eternal Son, paid the price for your sin on the cross.

Settle it now! Take God’s gift of eternal life this very moment! This is the only way you will ever be in heaven with God!

WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE;” Ephesians 1:7.

Once you believe you receive  forgiveness of all sins, and now you receive new life and a new standing before God; Ephesians 1:6: 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. The believer also has the righteousness of God ,in Him; II Corinthians 5:21: 21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. The believer becomes God’s workmanship; Ephesians 2:10:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The Bible says being saved does make a big difference. A saved man or woman now becomes good in God’s sight. In fact, he is the only person who can be good in God’s sight. Though he will be the first to confess “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing”, Romans 7:18,  yet it should be true of him what Paul said to the Roman believers: “ye also are full of goodness”, Romans 15:14.

The believer has the spiritual resources to be good because he is in Christ and Christ is in Him. The Holy Spirit dwells in him, and the fruit of the Spirit, which includes goodness; Galatians 5: 22- 23, manifests itself as the believer yields to the Lord. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

A believers goodness comes from the righteousness of Christ which now dwells in us because we have been made a new creature in Christ: II Corinthians 5:17-21:  17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Romans 3:20-28 states that our good works or law keeping have nothing to do with our salvation, but because of our belief in Christ we are saved:  20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.27Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Believers are declared righteous or good only because of Christ righteousness which is in us by faith: Philippians 3:9:  9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

No one who does good works or good deeds in an unsaved condition when they die will go to heaven. This is why (no matter how good you think you are) you must believe in Christ Jesus who is your Lord and Saviour now while you are still living. All the goodness in the universe will not ever get anyone to heaven as an unbeliever.

So now we know that only saved people are good people in God’s eyes, and YES, they will go to heaven when they die?

In the fifth paragraph of this article I asked the question “What profit then is there in being a good person?” In Ephesians 2:10  God tells us: 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Yes, as a believer God wants us to do good works. God says we were created to do good works, but doing good works in an unsaved condition will profit you nothing. Again, saved or unsaved, good works have nothing to do with getting to heaven. Good works have (0) effect on salvation.

What then is the point of doing good works? Believers should want to do good works because it is what God created us for and it is pleasing to God when we willingly do them. God will also give out rewards to all believers who do good works to His (GOD’S) glory. I Corinthians 3:9-15 talks about this: 9For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.10According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.12Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;13Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.14If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. All these verses from I Corinthians above are talking about believers. But, will good works profit the unbeliever or the unsaved? I will only say that yes, it might, but the unsaved will still end up in the lake of fire for all eternity, but his eternal punishment may not be as bad as the unbeliever who never did any good works.

Let your good works be done as a believer to God’s glory and you will be eternally rewarded!

Have a “good” day,

Maranatha (Lord come)

John

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