Good People Don’t Go To Heaven


The Biblical principle of Righteousness defines all human beings as incapable of obtaining it. According to the Lord, if a person will be seen as Righteous, his righteousness must come from the Lord.

Psalms 14:3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

When a person places all of his trust in Jesus Christ, he exchanges his unrighteousness for all of Jesus’ Righteousness.

In Isaiah chapter 64, the prophet contrasts the righteousness of God with the righteousness of man.

Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You...

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…

We should understand that from God’s perspective, all human beings are incapable of consistently doing right. It is not that we don’t want to do right, we are simply incapable of performing our righteousness consistently. No matter how hard we try to be good, sooner or later, we are going to fail. The problem is that while we live in these fallen bodies—being descendants of Adam—we do not have the capacity for any long term righteousness.

If we will be righteous and find ourselves acceptable to God, we must receive our righteousness from the work that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. In and of ourselves, there is no good thing that would cause God to accept us or give us eternal life. I realize that this is not a popular concept today. Many people believe that they are basically good, and I would not dispute that all of us have the capacity for good. The problem is that we are not always good, and it is to this certainty that God addresses the issue of our unrighteousness. In order to be seen as truly good, we must be be perfect and without sin.

Matthew 19:16-17 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17  So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Jesus said that the true definition of “good” is someone who always obeys the laws of God. Obviously, none of us have ever achieved perfection in our moral actions. We have observed great men and women with exceptional moral character; but if we truly knew them well, we would also see that they have many faults. We recognize what goodness is; the problem is that we are not always able to do what we should. Jesus said that no one is truly “good” except God. The reason: God always does what is right. Because Jesus always did what is right and never committed any sin, by the example of His life—He is truly good, and therefore, He is God.

People often ask the question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

The premise is incorrect. According to the word of God there are no truly good people. The reason that bad things happen is that we live in a world that has fallen from the perfect creation that God intended. When Adam fell into sin, he became a sinner—someone incapable of perfection. In turn, all of us who are descended from Adam inherit this same tendency towards sin. The fall caused all human beings to become inherently selfish. We tend to think of ourselves and what benefits us, instead of the welfare of others. This does not mean that we are incapable of selfless acts; only that our natural tendency is towards self before other people.

A few practical examples that demonstrate our tendency towards selfishness:

In a conversation that is occurring between a group of people, listen to what is being said. Most often, you will hear people take turns speaking. Often, you will notice those who are in the group start to cut into the conversation before the person has finished speaking. When the next person begins to speak, he will often start his sentence with “I.” He will then talk about himself and seldom comment on what the person before had just said. Women are better at listening and actively participating in the conversation of others, but both men and women tend to focus on their own comments rather than what the person they have been listening to has just said.

“I like this… I went there… My car… My house…” Very seldom will you observe a person simply listening to what others are saying and then respond to what they have spoken, without saying: “I, Me, or My.”

The next time you go to a store or restaurant and park your car, notice what happens as you walk towards the entrance of the building. If someone else is also making their way towards the door at the same moment you are, what is your response? Do you feel the urge to get to the entrance before the other person? Sometimes when we arrive at the door first we will hold it open behind us for the one we vanquished—in order to cover up our selfishness. Very rarely will you see a person rush to the entrance so that they may hold the door open and allow others to go first.

When someone brings out a photo that has a group of people in the picture, including you, who is the first person you look for in the photograph?

These are a few examples of common circumstances that happen to us every day of our life; and most of the time, we are not even aware of how we react. Should we catch ourselves behaving this way, many of us would be embarrassed. We do not set out to be selfish; we just are, because this is our nature as fallen beings.

The primary reason that the world is full of so much pain and suffering is due to the fact that every person on this planet is usually thinking about themselves, before all the other people in the world. I say this not to shame you or make you feel bad about yourself. I am exactly the same way myself. I am constantly aware of my own selfish behavior, and I have to correct myself often. This is the point; we have to catch ourselves in acts of selfishness and correct our behavior, because being selfish is as natural for us as breathing air.

We are, by our very nature, selfish beings. This is the greatest proof of our fallen nature. When God created us, we were not selfish; we were “others oriented.” When Adam fell and disobeyed God, his nature went from others oriented to—“me, myself and I.”

Notice the first thing that happened to Adam after his sin:

Genesis 3:7-8 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Their eyes were opened; and for the first time, they noticed that they were naked. They felt guilt and hid themselves from God. Prior to Adam’s sin, he was not focussed on himself; he was looking at Eve and his relationship with God and all of creation. The fact that immediately after Adam’s sin occurs he becomes self-aware, illustrates the defect, which is in all of us. We are sinners by nature, being self-consumed. This defective nature that we all posses is the cause of all of the pain and suffering that is in the world.

Bad things happen to all of us because we live in a fallen world where selfish people do whatever they want to do, with little or no thought for how their actions will affect other people. There are many who are genuinely evil; and by their evil actions, they hurt and kill others. We suffer at the hands of evil people because this is the way that the world is, without God. If the people who live on this planet were seeking God and His righteousness, submitting themselves to His authority, our world would be far different from what we see today.

I am always amazed when Americans ask why God would allow so much destruction, suffering, and death, such as the recent massive superstorm “Sandy,” or the attack on New York on 9/11. Why would we expect God to protect us when we have repeatedly told Him that we don’t want Him in our public schools, our government, or our personal lives? Our children cannot pray in school. The ten commandments have been systematically removed from all government buildings. We kill millions of unborn children each year for the sake of convenience or as an irresponsible form of birth control.[1] We allow people to live perverse lifestyles that deteriorate and diminish all of us as human beings because we don’t want to be seen as intolerant.

Only one in ten of all abortions performed world-wide are done to save the life of the mother or in the case of a rape.[2] The other nine children are murdered for the sake of convenience, because of the selfishness and sinful acts of human beings.

Our nation and the world, in general, is facing a crisis of morality that has caused God to pull back from blessing us as a people. The Lord is allowing us to suffer the consequences for our own choices in rejecting Him and His law for our lives.

People who are sincerely trying to lead good lives become victims of the bad behavior of others who live lives of sin and are not really concerned with how their actions affect other people.

All of us have the capacity for goodness, but this does not make us good people. The fact is—because of our fallen nature, we have a greater tendency towards evil or wrongful actions than towards good. In order to rightly be defined as “good,” we must be perfect and always good in every way. Since this is impossible for all of us, we suffer due to our own sins as well as the sins of others.

We should understand that good people don’t go to heaven; saved people go to heaven.

When a person comes to God’s Messiah and admits that he is a sinner—someone who has broken the law of God—and he is ready to repent from his sins and trust the Lord as his Savior, God grants that person the atoning work that Jesus accomplished on the cross. When Jesus died as the Savior of the world, He was paying the debt that all people owe for their sins. Jesus took the penalty of sin for all of us so that when we receive Him, our sins are eliminated as if they never occurred. It is at this point that we become “good people,” having obtained our righteousness from Jesus Christ.

You might not agree with this principle, but it is nevertheless what God has established, as our Creator, by His word. These are the requirements that He has set forth for any human being who wants to be saved and obtain eternal life.

We can either choose to accept these truths and obey God’s command, or we can deny the facts and refuse to do what God requires. If we willingly reject the only way that God has provided for us to be saved, there remains no possibility that God can save us. We will find ourselves at the Great White Throne judgement of Revelation Chapter 21, where “no other place was found for them.” Those who stubbornly refused to accept God’s plan of salvation and chose instead to try and be righteous by their own works will find that they have no hope of eternal life. All those who are observed at the Great White Throne are determined by God as insufficient in their own definition of righteousness, and are cast alive into the Lake of Fire.

Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.(those who have rejected Christ) 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works (not according to the works Jesus did for us), by the things which were written in the books. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life (those who rejected Christ) was cast into the lake of fire.

The correct view of our present position before God, demands that we acknowledge our incompleteness and great need for the Lord’s righteousness. We do not have the capacity (from God’s view) to be righteous under any circumstances or by any works we may try to perform. According to the word of God, only what Jesus has done for us is acceptable to God. From the moment that we confess our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us—because of what Jesus has done at the cross, God declares us “righteous” and totally acceptable to Him.

Colossians 2:10 and you are complete in Jesus, who is the head of all principality and power.

God promised that He would send us a Savior, who will not only take away all of our sins, but will also give us perfect righteousness in the sight of God.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King (the Messiah) shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. …Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

One of the ancient names of God from the Old Testament is; “Jehovah-Tsidqenuw, “the Lord, our righteousness.”

There are 16 names for the Lord found in the Old Testament. All of these designations can be attached to the Messiah, for He (Jesus) is the LORD, Jehovah, as identified in the Old Testament scriptures.

Number 7 in this list is The Lord, our Righteousness, which is the subject of Jeremiah 23:5-6.[3]

1. Jehovah-Elohiym—the Eternal Creator.[4]
2. Adonai-Jehovah—the Lord, our Sovereign; Master Jehovah.[5]
3. Jehovah-Jireh—the Lord will see or provide.[6]
4. Jehovah-Nissi—the Lord, our banner.[7]
5. Jehovah-Rapha—the Lord, our healer.[8]
6. Jehovah-Shalom—the Lord, our peace.[9]
7. Jehovah-Tsidqenuw—the Lord, our righteousness.[10]
8. Jehovah-Mekaddishkem—the Lord, our sanctifier.[11]
9. Jehovah-Sabaoth—the Lord of hosts.[12]
10. Jehovah-Shammah—the Lord is present.[13]
11. Jehovah-Elyown—the Lord Most High.[14]
12. Jehovah-Rohi—the Lord, my Shepherd.[15]
13. Jehovah-Hoseenu—the Lord, our Maker.[16]
14. Jehovah-Eloheenu—the Lord, our God.[17]
15. Jehovah-Eloheka—the Lord, your God.
16. Jehovah-Elohay—the Lord, my God.[18]

According to this prophecy from Jeremiah, the Lord will raise up “a Branch” from the line of David, who will be called “THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

An additional reference to the Messiah as The Branch is found in Prophecy 180, from Isaiah 11:1.

The prediction of Isaiah 11:1 describes the Messiah as coming from a “Branch” in David’s line. The Hebrew word for Branch is Netzer, from which the word “Nazarene” could be inferred. This is a Hebrew play on words that seems to imply that the Messiah will come from the line of David and He will be referred to as The Nazarene. Seventeen times in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as: “Jesus of Nazareth.”

John 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

The importance of this title is understood by the opinions of the Jews during this period of history, who did not believe that anything good could come from Nazareth. The Roman soldiers stationed in Nazareth were constantly exercising their authority and oppressing the citizens of this region—which resulted in the people hating and despising their rulership. We can see how despised Nazareth had become by the statement of Nathaniel when he is told by Phillip that the Messiah has been found and He is called Jesus of Nazareth.

John 1:46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

The Messiah will be a Branch from the root of David. Later, in the New Testament, Jesus called Himself—the Vine, with all those who follow Him designated as—the branches.

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

It is interesting that the four gospels present Jesus in different aspects of His work and ministry.

Matthew presents Jesus as The King.[19]
Mark presents Jesus as The Servant.[20]
Luke presents Jesus as The Man.[21]
John presents Jesus as God.[22]

An additional name given to the Messiah in this 291st prophecy of Jeremiah is “THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

As previously discussed in the text of this prophecy, the righteousness that all human beings have, in and of themselves, is not acceptable to God. Jesus came to be The LORD, our righteousness. When we place all of our trust in the completed work of Jesus Christ, His righteousness becomes our righteousness. Our sins become His sins. An exchange takes place in regard to these two important points that will forever determine our standing and state before God. When our sins are removed and the righteousness of Jesus is placed to our account, we are perfect in the sight of God and fit for heaven.

See the new book by Robert Clifton Robinson: “Only Perfect People God To Heavenat

[1] A 2004 study by the Guttmacher Institute reported that women listed the following amongst their reasons for choosing to have an abortion:[47]
74% Having a baby would dramatically change my life
73% Cannot afford a baby now
48% Do not want to be a single mother or having relationship problems
38% Have completed my childbearing
32% Not ready for a(nother) child
25% Do not want people to know I had sex or got pregnant
22% Do not feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child
14% Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion
13% Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus
12% Concerns about my health
6% Parents want me to have an abortion
1% Was a victim of rape
less than 0.5% Became pregnant as a result of incest.
[2] A detailed study from 27 different nations, including the United States:
25.9% Want to postpone childbearing.
21.3% Cannot afford a baby
14.1% Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy
12.2% Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy
10.8% Having a child will disrupt education or job
7.9% Want no (more) children
3.3% Risk to fetal health
2.8% Risk to maternal health
2.1% Other
Total: 98.3% of all abortions are for convenience or as a method of birth control.
1.Bankole, Akinrinola; Singh, Susheela; Haas, Taylor (1998). “Reasons Why Women Have Induced Abortions: Evidence from 27 Countries”. International Family Planning Perspectives 24 (3): 117–27, 152.
2.Finer, Lawrence B.; Frohwirth, Lori F.; Dauphinee, Lindsay A.; Singh, Susheela; Moore, Ann M. (September 2005). “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives”. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 37 (3): 110–8.
[3] From Dake’s Study Bible, list compiled by the author.
[4] Gen. 2:4-25
[5] Gen. 15:2, 8
[6] Gen. 22:8-14
[7] Ex. 17:15
[8] Ex. 15:26
[9] Judg. 6:24
[10] Jer. 23:6; 33:16
[11] Ex. 31:13; Lev. 20:8; 21:8; 22:9, 16, 32; Ezek. 20:12
[12] 1 Sam. 1:3; etc., 284 times
[13] Ezek. 48:35
[14] Ps. 7:17; 47:2; 97:9
[15] Ps. 23:1
[16] Ps. 95:6
[17] Ps. 99:5, 8, 9
[18] Zech. 14:5
[19] Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5 and 33:15
[20] Isaiah 42:1, 49:6, 50:10, 52:13, Ezekiel 34:23-24, and Zechariah 3:8
[21] Zechariah 6:12
[22] Isaiah 4:2, as well as the Aramaic Targum of Jonathan, Page 63

Categories: An all sufficient sacrifice, No one is "good", Salvation through Jesus, The only way to heaven, Why evil exists

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