Do Good People Go to Heaven? Part I
"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father [God] except through me'"1
Do Good people go to Heaven, and if so, why, and if not, why not?
A Daily Encounter reader asks, "My aunts are of a non-Christian faith and have been good persons all their lives. They are elderly and I'd like to believe that they will be in Heaven. I talked to God about this yesterday. He did not speak directly back to me, but I felt that they would. God is a good and understanding God, and although not all of his children are believers, I think he will use his judgment when it comes to the end times as to who is, and who is not allowed in Heaven."
Dear Friend: Thank you for your email and for your concern about your aunts. First, however, the only way to know and understand God's plan for salvation and who qualifies for heaven is to know what his Word—the Bible—teaches, for God never acts contrary to his Word. Never. Furthermore, the issue is never what we feel or think but always based on what God says in his Word.
Second, sad to say no matter how good we are, our goodness doesn't qualify us for God's heaven. None of us is sinless no matter how good we are and because God is a God of absolute holiness, no sin or sinner can ever survive in his presence any more than a moth can survive in a flame. It just isn't possible.
Third, God is also a God of absolute justice and therefore all sinners—no matter how small—must be judged, otherwise God wouldn't be God. Because God IS God, the just judgment of all sin is death; that is, spiritual death which is actually eternal separation from a holy and just God in the place the Bible calls hell, whatever and wherever that may be.
Fourth, fortunately, God is also a God of absolute love. That's why he sent his Son Jesus to die in our place on the cross to pay the just penalty for all of our sins. If being good, religious, sincere, or being anything else could have qualified us for getting into God's heaven, Jesus would never have had to come to earth to die for our sins.
Fifth, to enter God's heaven we have to be saved or delivered from sin's consequences. That is, we need to be totally forgiven by God and cleansed from our sinfulness. All we need to do is: (1) believe that Jesus is the Son of God, (2) that he died in our place on the cross to pay the just penalty for our sins, (3) repent of [turn from] and confess our sinfulness to God and, (4) ask God for his forgiveness and accept and invite Jesus into our heart and life as our Savior.
For help to do this click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.htm
To be continued.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have made it very clear in your Word, the Bible, what we need to do to have our sins forgiven and how we can become qualified for entering your heaven. And thank you for your love in giving your Son, Jesus, to die for my sins and making forgiveness and eternal life in heaven possible. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. John 14:6(NIV).