Friday, September 26, 2014

Good people go to heaven, right?

What makes something good to God?
When is good, good enough?
What does doing good get us?

If doing good is a good thing, does it get us to heaven?

One of the Pennsylvania coal miners related a conversation between himself and another trapped miner during an emotional interview that aired with Stone Phillips

 of Dateline NBC, shortly after their rescue. 
This young miner said that he asked an older veteran during the ordeal, “Will I go to heaven. . . cause I know the Bible says you’ve got to be baptized to go to heaven, 
and I haven’t been baptized.”

His co-worker and friend, in an attempt to comfort the concerned man, responded,  “All good people go to heaven,” and then he stressed, “. . . no matter what.”

Apparently this young man had read Mark 16:16.

First of all let's look at what God calls good.

God knows what is good.
He defines good.

And God saw the light, that it was good:
and God divided the light from the darkness.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men

So, good people go to heaven, right?

-it’s one of the most ancient and popular assumptions in the world. 
So why did Jesus turn this ideology upside down?

"If you’re like most people, you believe that once you die, your soul goes somewhere. The logic flows something like this: There is a good God who lives in a good place reserved for good people. Obviously, the criterion for making it to this place is to be and do good. Each religion has its own variations on the definition of “good,” but generally, men and women must do certain things and not do certain things to get to this good place.

The logic behind this assumption seems fair, doesn’t it? After all, if you do well in school, you move to the next grade. If you do well on the job, you receive raises and promotions. Being rewarded for your efforts is part of our human experience and expectation. So it only seems fair that if you do well in this life, you should go to heaven, right?" (Andy Stanley)

Deuteronomy 6:17-18 (KJV)

 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. 

 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee,  and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers. 


Micah 6:7-9 (KJV)

 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 

 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, act with fairness, honesty, and integrity  and to love mercy, to fill our hearts with compassion and kindness toward one another and to walk humbly with thy God?  

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

Galatians 6:9-11 (KJV)

 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 

 10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

But the question remains:
Is good, good enough?
Will I make it to heaven by doing good?

The rich young ruler asked Jesus the same question
in Matthew 19:16
"What good thing must I do to have eternal life?"
Jesus said to him, "There is none good, but God."
You do not earn a way to heaven.
Secondly he said to, "Keep the commandments."
Third he said, "To sell all you have and give to the poor."
And the rich man walked away sorrowful because that was not he answer he wanted to hear. He had the money to "buy" any good thing. But money and good deeds were not the answer.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9) 


"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and receiving of the Holy Ghost." (Titus 3:5)

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Matthew 7:22-23

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, 
Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, 
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which 
is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, 

Ye must be born again.
John 3:5-7

Do all "good" people go to heaven?
Since no one is good as defined by God, the answer is, "No."
 Those who enter heaven do so not on the basis of merit,
but on the basis of God's grace as bestowed by Jesus Christ.

If we could "work" our way to heaven,
then we wouldn't have needed a Savior.
And the death at the cross was in vain.
It's not enough to "do good."

For we have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) 
is like filthy rags or a polluted garment (Isaiah 64:6)

Clearly the scriptures tell us God wants us to do good
but doing good does not earn us salvation.

We must know God.
We must receive salvation.

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