Good people don’t go to heaven. Saved people go to heaven.
There are no good people. Romans 3:11-12 says, ““There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good, not even one.” Someone may respond by saying, well, it’s a relative term. People who are good , relative to others go to heaven. There’s a certain level of goodness that gets you into heaven.
Nope. Any “goodness” we have is a derived goodness. It is derived from God, through His Son, Jesus. He makes us ‘good’. It is true that some people are more moral than others, more kind than others, more caring then others, and so on and so on. However, even this goodness is derived form God, a gift from God. This relative level of morality, kindness and compassion is given by God, even to unbelievers. However, when someone agrees to act by faith and accept Jesus to be their Savior and Lord, His goodness begins to develop and work in us.
We think by being good by our definition of good, God is compelled, even required to let us into heaven. “If that person didn’t make it into heaven no one will.” Heaven is God’s reward for those who submit to Him. Heaven is holy an NO unclean thing can enter there. So how do we get in? Through Jesus. He forgives us and He takes the full wrath of God and the full punishment of sin on Himself.
There is another extreme people often take when considering this. ‘All I have to do is believe in Jesus.’ What exactly do we mean when we say that? Believe He exists? Believe He did live on earth some 2000 years ago? Believe He did die on a cross, for the sins of the world?
The belief must be something beyond all of those things. It must be a surrender to Him as our only hope and as our Lord – which means absolute authority – so we must surrender to His authority in our lives. Are we really doing that? Is He really the authority in our lives?
“I thought we weren’t saved by our works.” We’re not, but we are saved unto good works. Can one honestly say they have surrendered to Jesus as Lord and continue in a willful life of sin and disobedience to Him? That’s not believing in Jesus. That is simply an acknowledgement of his existence. Its not even an acknowledgement of who He really is.