Do Good People Go to Heaven? Part II
"Jesus answered and said to him [Nicodemus], 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'"1
Do Good people go to Heaven? If so, why? And if not, why not?
Continuing our two-part series on "Do Good People Go to Heaven?" If ever there were an individual who would have qualified for heaven through his goodness, it would have been Nicodemus, a religious leader of Christ's day.
By all human standards Nicodemus would have been a model citizen—strong in character, a man of integrity, and a sincere religious leader. It was to this good man that Jesus said, "You must be born again." In other words, unless a man/woman is born again he will not even see the kingdom of God/heaven let alone enter it.
"You must be born again," meant that Nicodemus, like everybody else, needed to be born spiritually (as well as physically) if he is to enter God's heaven.
Once, after addressing a group of church workers, the famous evangelist Dwight Moody was confronted by an angry person. "Mr. Moody," she said, "do you mean to tell me that I, an educated woman, taught from childhood in good ways, and all my life interested in the church and doing good, must enter heaven the same way as the worst criminal of our day?"
"No, madam," said Mr. Moody, "I don't. God does. He says everyone who would enter heaven, no matter how good they think they are, or how well educated, or zealous in good works, must be born again [that is, born spiritually]."
The difficult thing to grasp is that our sin has made us spiritually dead to God. This is why we all need to be reborn spiritually. To become a member of the human family, we were born physically. To become a member of God's family, we need to be born spiritually. But how can we do this?
Contrary to what many people think, it isn't by being good or through good works…or religion. It is simply by confessing our sinfulness to God and by believing that his Son, Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and by responding to his call to receive him into our heart and life as personal Lord and Savior.
If you're not sure that you have been born again spiritually, you can be—right now—by sincerely praying a prayer such as the following:
"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and ask for your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus, your Son, died on the cross to pay the consequences and penalty for all my sins. And, dear Jesus, I thank you for doing this for me. Please come into my life as Savior and Lord and help me to become the person you want me to be and to live always for you. Thank you for your forgiveness and the assurance that I will spend eternity with you in heaven forever."
NOTE: For more information read "Born Again People" at: http://www.actsweb.org/art_bornagain1.htm
1. John 3:3(NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.