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Heaven: Who Goes There?

How Good Is Good Enough?

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The common assumption that “good people go to heaven” based on their good deeds falls apart under scrutiny. Rather than trying to earn heaven through good works, the message of Jesus is that trusting in him as “the way, the truth and the life” determines one’s destiny, not one’s actions.

  • There is no clear, agreed-upon definition of “good” and no clear threshold of how “good” one must be to get into heaven.
  • The Bible does not provide a list of deeds or rules that guarantee entrance into heaven. In fact, the Bible teaches that no one is righteous or good enough on their own.
  • Jesus taught his followers to be good and do good, yet never implied that being good would get them into heaven. He said the the opposite – that good people don’t go to heaven.
  • Despite that, Jesus still instructed his followers to be good. This suggests he believed people are capable of distinguishing good from evil and acting accordingly.
  • Instead of a list of rules, Jesus offered himself as “the way.” He taught that whoever trusts in him will have eternal life, regardless of their record of good and bad deeds.
  • This perspective allows us to grieve with hope after losing a loved one, rather than relying on wishful thinking or lies. Our status with God rests on Christ, not our own goodness.

Here is an encouraging conclusion:

When we place our trust in Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, we can rest assured of our eternal destiny regardless of our record of good and bad deeds. His grace is sufficient and his love is perfect. We are not saved by our own merits or goodness, but by the mercy and grace offered to us through Christ.

This allows us to grieve with hope after loss, to face life’s challenges with peace, and to enjoy freedom from the weight of attempting to earn our salvation through good works. Our status with God rests securely on Christ, not our own efforts or righteousness.

So turn your eyes upon Jesus, place your trust in him, and find rest for your soul. His love will never let you go.

All content is property of Andy Stanley and North Point Community Church.