Who is good enough to go to Heaven? The answer may surprise you: No one! Yet, there are people in Heaven. How were they accepted? To find the answer, let’s examine some of the Bible’s core truths.
The Bible uses the word “holy” to describe both God and His home, Heaven. “Holy” carries the idea of separated, set apart, and cut off. It speaks of God’s infinite and absolute purity and goodness.
“God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all,” declares 1 John 1:5. God doesn’t compromise when He deals with sin and He cannot tolerate evil in His presence (Psalm 145:17; Habakkuk 1:13). He is separate and cut off from everything sinful and evil.
Heaven is God’s “holy habitation” (Deuteronomy 26:15). It reflects God’s holiness. Revelation 21:27 says of Heaven: “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful…”
Have you ever had an impure thought? Even one impure thought would keep you out of Heaven because God cannot dwell with any sin at all. Have you ever done what is shameful or deceitful? Even one “small” sin would bar you from entering Heaven because no part of God is unholy.
Scripture is clear that no human being can ever be good enough to attain God’s perfect standard of righteousness. We have “all…sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
In God’s eyes, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;” (Isaiah 64:6). We inherited this tendency to sin from our first parents, Adam and Eve, when they rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3; Romans 5:19).
If we only sinned with our words and deeds, perhaps we could try harder and become “better”. Unfortunately, sin taints us at our deepest level, in our heart (Jeremiah 17:9). Both the Old and New Testaments affirm the importance of our heart: sin in our heart leads to sin in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.
God’s holiness and humanity’s sinfulness are totally incompatible. Sin in any form is a serious offense against the Holy God. The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). This is a debt that no human being can pay, and live.
In light of these truths, there is absolutely no possibility that “everyone goes to Heaven”. There is also no possibility that we can work our way to Heaven through good works or religious rituals. “All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6).
The Holy God cannot and will not compromise with sin. He cannot allow us into Heaven the way we are. There is only one way we can become “good enough” to go to Heaven: God had to pay the penalty for our sins Himself so that we no longer owed Him a “sin debt”. And, He must do a major spiritual transformation in us.
Amazingly, God has provided a way to do just that! In His mercy and compassion, God has provided eternal salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. God sent His sinless Son from Heaven to die on the cross for the sins of mankind. Christ atoned for (paid for) our sins with His own blood. He took the punishment that should have been ours.
Three days later, God raised Jesus from the dead. After showing Himself to hundreds of eyewitnesses, Christ ascended to Heaven and sat down at the right hand of God (1 Corinthians 15:6; Ephesians 1:20). He is there now, interceding for us.
The only door to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
How do you receive God’s salvation? You must recognize that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. You must repent (turn from sin) and accept the shed blood of Christ as God’s remedy for sin. You must confess that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.
When you humble yourself before God and submit to His authority, God will give you eternal salvation. Through His own power, He will wash away your sins and break the power of sin over your life. He will declare you “not guilty”. He will give you a new heart that is responsive to Him.
God will unite you with Christ and credit you with Christ’s perfect righteousness. He will give you His Holy Spirit to help you live a righteous life. God will adopt you as His child.
This is how you will be “good enough” to go to Heaven: not through your own goodness, but by being united with Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God. Romans 5:19 says, “For as through the one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One [Jesus] the many will be made righteous.
When you receive Christ, you undergo a miraculous transformation and God calls you “righteous”. As you continue to live life on a daily basis, God wants to continue transforming you to become more like the Savior who bought you. You will be transformed as you renew your mind with Scripture, stay connected with God in prayer, submit to the Holy Spirit’s authority, and obey God’s Word.
When you die, God will complete the transformation He began in you when you turned to Christ (Philippians 1:6). You will be like Him, perfectly fit for Heaven (1 John 3:2).
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
1 John 3:2-3
2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Do you have assurance that you will go to Heaven when you die? Read “How Can I Know God?” today.
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