Good people go heaven, Evil people go hell?
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When I tell a non-believer that anyone who believed in Jesus and his finished work will be able to go heaven, they cannot accept it because it is unfair. It doesn’t matter what man thinks. But in the end, all man will be judge by God. So only what God think matters.
The ways of God is different from the ways of the world.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Man’s definition of good person
1) A person whose good deeds outweigh or remove all his bad deeds. Example: A wealth person using underhand methods to force the poor to give up their lands and properties. But use the ill-gotten possessions to build luxurious malls, offices and houses in the name of progress. Benefiting the majority at the cost of the minority. The majority sees him as a good person and believes he will go heaven.
Mark 2: 5-10
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”
But in the bible it is written in Mark 2: 5-10, nobody can forgive sin except God. Man can pronounce a person as good or bad. But ultimately, a person is judge based by God based on God’s standards.
2) A person with good morals, principles, conduct, achievements and heritage. Example: A person with good morals and principles like Kong Zi (Founder of Confucianism), a person of good conduct like Mother Theresa who gave to the poor all her life, a person of great achievements like Steve Jobs who gave the world the IPhone. It is hard for man to imagine anyone of them being condemned by God and thrown into hell. Where they went, I do not know. Only God knows.
So what does the bible says about all this?
Acts 22:3 (Paul’s heritage and achievements)
Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors.
Philippians 3:5 (Paul’s heritage, achievements, conduct and morals)
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
Philippians 3: 7-8 (Paul consider he had gained and achieved as garbage)
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage,that I may gain Christ.
I want to highlight something interesting. Before Paul became a Christian, he was focusing on worldly achievements, human conduct and human effort. Thinking that he is able to win God’s favor with all these. But after God opened his eyes and made Paul understood the ways of God, he said this “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh”.
In a way, God is telling us that Christians can be doing church activities to win God’s favor without Christ. Outwardly it may seems very Christ-like and churchy. But in the sight of God, this is man putting confidence in the flesh.
How does man receive true salvation from God?
At the crucifixion of Jesus, Jesus said to one of the criminals “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Question 1: Why is the criminal crucified? It is because he has committed a crime deserving the death penalty. It is written that he said “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.”
Question 2: What did the criminal do to be saved? He admits that he is a sinner. He believed that Jesus is the Messiah. He believed that Jesus is sinless.
Question 3: Did the criminal do anything to outweigh his bad deeds after he believed in Jesus? The bible says that he died on the cross. So he did not do anything.
Luke 23: 39-43
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Conclusion: There are no good people in heaven, there are no bad people in hell. There are only believers in-Christ in heaven, there are only non-believers in hell. Salvation is like a door that is unlocked and opened by the blood of Jesus. We just need to walk through the door. Anyone who truly knows their fallen helpless state and humble enough can walk through the door of Salvation even great sinners like Adolf Hitler or Osama bin laden.
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.