church this Sunday, someone gave me a question they needed some help with. Although they felt they had the answer, they
were looking for help for a friend of theirs who struggled with it. Knowing that this is an issue many struggle
with, I thought it best to throw out the answer for everyone to digest.
“good people”, like Gandhi, go to heaven even though they have not placed their
trust in Jesus Christ as Savior?
begin here with this…Romans 3:10 states, “There
is no one righteous, not even one.” Paul unequivocally states there is no human
being who meets the qualification God requires: righteousness.
few verses later in Romans 3:23 Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
writes, “all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God”. Who has sinned and fallen short of the glory
of God? All. Every single one of us. “Good” people and “Bad” people—ALL. That means there is nothing we can do to make
ourselves “good enough” so God sits up and declares, “Wow! That’s great!
You get into heaven because you’re good.” It’s the fact that we are all sinners that
proves we need a Savior.
it were possible to be good enough on our own, why did Jesus have to die?
half-brother of our Lord Jesus wrote this in James 2:10–11, “For
whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of
breaking all of it. For he
who said, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘You shall not
murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have
become a lawbreaker.”
me ask you questions about the “good” people we know—even ourselves:
you ever committed adultery?
Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 that if you’ve looked on someone lustfully
you’ve already committed adultery.
you ever murdered?
Jesus said in Matthew 5:22 if you’re
angry with someone you’re subject to judgment and if you call them a fool, you’re
in danger of hell.
100% of us—at some point in our lives—have broken at least two of the
commandments (probably all of them).
Again, James said if you keep part of the law but stumble in one part,
you’re guilty of breaking it all (James 2:10).
Clearly, we have a problem. No
human being is “good” from a Biblical perspective.
“something” to pay our debt to God, heaven is impossible to gain.
was Jesus Himself, in John 14:6, that said, “I am the way and the truth
and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through me.” So…who can get to the Father in Heaven
without Christ? Jesus said, “No
one”. That means even those we consider “good”.
the most famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16. But read what John 3:16-18 says:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only
Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the
world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,
but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not
believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
verse 18 again slowly: “whoever believes in him (Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands
condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one
and only Son”
is why Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8-9:“For it
is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” If we could be good enough and earn our
salvation on our own, it wouldn’t be grace.
And ultimately, we can’t be good enough—that’s why we can’t earn it.
we could be good enough to prove ourselves worthy of heaven, Jesus’ death would
not have been needed. But we do need His
death and resurrection. We are not good
enough on our own. We need heaven’s
mercy. That mercy is only obtainable
through the gift of grace offered in Jesus Christ.
is not in heaven waiting to condemn us.
John 3:18 tells us we already stand condemned unless we accept the grace
God offers. All humanity has a terminal
disease: sin. “The wages of sin if death, but the gift of God is eternal
life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
We could waste our entire lives looking for
another way to heaven but we would end up dying of this terminal disease in the
process. The cure, my friends, is not
found in religion but in a relationship with Jesus Christ.