Am I Good Enough To Get Into Heaven?

The short answer to our title's query is "No!". None of us are good enough to get into Heaven. We can see this just from a rendering of Mk 10:18:

Mk 10:18 = [18] And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

So, this being the case, shall we take the sarcastic advice of Paul in 1Cor 15:32 and "eat, drink, and be merry - for tomorrow we die"?

Many people are just like this. We have all heard sayings like: "You only go around once in life, so grab all the gusto you can" "He who dies with the most toys wins", "Life is short, play hard", "Survival of the fittest", etc.

But no, I think most everyone here today believes, or at least hopes for, some sort of reward after this life. A poll of common Americans puts the number at about 80% or more that believe in some sort of life after death. And again, I think most people here today believe in God and believe in His holy word the Bible. But unfortunately, I think some of us still worry if we are good enough to make it to Heaven.

I want to focus in on 4 main questions this morning:

1) Why don't "good" people go to Heaven?
2) Why did God make us this way?
3) What are our options?
4) How can I know that I am going to Heaven?

Why don't "good" people go to Heaven?

Again, the short answer is that there are no "good" people!

Now we know the word "good" can be, and is, used in many different forms. But in it's highest form it means the complete absence of evil. From the Bible we learn that only God is good in this degree:

Deut 32:4 = [4] He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Rms 3:23 = [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

God is "good" in its highest form - "perfect good" if you will. God is "holy". He is the embodiment and origin of true goodness. This level of goodness cannot be achieved by mortal man.

1Cor 15:50 = [50] Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Words such as good, holy, glorious, righteous, and incorruptible, in their truest form, cannot be applied to man.

Ecc 7:20 = For [there is] not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Rms 3:23 = [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rms 3:9-11 = [9] What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; [10] As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Is 64:6 = [6] But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

OK, so as all of these verses imply, we have a problem. We are corruptible and thus we are barred from heaven. So no, no one is good enough to get into heaven.

Hear the words of Jehovah in Isa 59:2 = [2] But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Do you think you are good enough to stand in the presence of God Almighty? The Holy One of Israel? The judge of the living and the dead?

Rev 20:11-15 = [11] And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.[12] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.[13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.[14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [15] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

On what grounds shall a person declare themselves "good enough" to stand in God's presence? Dare any of us claim that we never sinned?

1Jhn 2:15 = [4] Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

If you have never broken, and have fulfilled every one of God's commands, then please raise your hand and let's meet after services, for you are a liar according to 1Jhn 1:8.

1Jhn 1:8 =[8] If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

So what shall we do? I thought He loved us? This brings me to question #2:

Why has God made us this way?
Why indeed! First, let's think of the choices God had.
1) Not even bother with the whole mankind idea. (Lord is Omniscient - He knew)
2) Make us good and perfect without choice (i.e. robots, or like faithful dogs)
3) Make us with the ability to make choices.

The answer of course is #3. Here is found the epitome of true love. Love is a choice - not something that can be forced. We have choices in this life. Remember the cry of Joshua in Josh 24:14&15?

[14] Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. [15] And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

True love is personified by the choices and actions we take in dealing with the object of our love. If we love God, we will trust in Him and do as He says. We can take Him at His word, thereby showing our faith in Him, or not take Him at His word and thereby reveal our unfaithfulness.

Deut 13:3 = Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Psm 66:10 = [10] For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

The choices one makes reveals the heart.

Prv 16:4-6 = [4] The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. [5] Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. [6] By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

So, if it is all about choices, what are the choices we can make? Hence question #3:

What are our options?
Simplicity is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, it seems to be difficult for humankind to grasp. This is especially true in the realm of religion where we like to complicate matters by thinking and reasoning TOO much. God tends to keep things pretty simple.

Rms 8:13 = [13] For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

This takes us right back to 1Cor 15:50. The flesh produces corruption. Only in the Spirit will we find incorruption. Only in the Spirit will we make it into Heaven. Our options lie in our understanding our fleshly side versus our spiritual side. The Bible talks of crucifying the flesh, or, our serving the flesh (Gal 2:20 & Rms 8:13). When everything is broken down to it's basic elements, these are our only choices. So this demands the question - how do we know we have made the right choice? Our question #4 then should answer this question of the ages:
How Can I Know That I Am Going To Heaven? I always liked the little nugget: "Some people say we can't "know" anything for sure. Ask that person if they are sure of that!"

YES! We KNOW there is 2 sides to the coin. Two choices.

Rms 6:23 = [23] For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Life or death.

John says we CAN know which side of the coin we are on. I call the book of 1st John the book of "know" - K,N,O,W,. In the book of 1John, I count approximately 16 appearances of the word "know" in the same context as here in chapter 5:

1Jhn 5:11-13 = [11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. [12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. [13] These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

One thing I would like to clarify here for later is the close relationship between belief and faith in the scriptures:

BELIEVE = pisteuo (pist -yoo'-o) to have faith, entrust, commit to

FAITH = pistis (pis'-tis) belief, credence, conviction, reliance on

If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ by committing yourself to the Son of God as your Lord and Savior, then you are a believer, and you are going to Heaven!

NOTE: 1) He must be your Lord:

Lk 6:46 = [46] And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

And 2) He must be your Savior:

Acts 4:12 = [12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

God WANTS you saved. God seals you and guarantees your salvation. Let's look at the following verses:

2Pet 3:9 = [9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Eph 1:13-14 = [13] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, [14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Rms 8: 38-39 = [38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

These verses are very enlightening and comforting. God IS on our side. He loves us (remember Jhn 3:16? - don't take it lightly!). He is not some wild eyed old man sitting on His thrown in the clouds waiting to strike you with a lightening bolt the minute you mess up!
Psm 103:8-14 = [8] The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. [9] He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. [10] He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. [11] For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

There is only one thing that can blow the whole deal - the word "if". Although there is no power on earth or in Heaven that can remove us from the salvation we enjoy in Christ, we ourselves are quite capable!

Col 1:21-23 = [21] And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled [22] In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: [23] If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Here I want to balance out the mind sets of "once saved always saved" and what I call "eggshell salvation". We fight so hard against the false teaching of "once saved always saved" that I think we lose sight of the grace of God. We become a people who are walking on eggshells, afraid we are breaking a rule or committing a sin and in danger of losing our salvation with every step.

We find ourselves wondering if we are good enough to get to Heaven.

Can we fall from grace? Yes, I think we all know the Bible teaches that very clearly. Do we pop in and out of grace like a Jack In The Box ? I think not. The Old Testament shows the longsuffering of God with His people. Falling away is a process. It is a hardening of the heart. If we remain humble, KNOWING we can never be good enough to get to Heaven, we depend on God instead of ourselves.

Lk 18:9-14 = [9] And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: [10] Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. [11] The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. [12] I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. [13] And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. [14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Isa 57:15 = [15] For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

One with such an attitude understands grace and what Paul means in

Rms 6:14-18 = [14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. [15] What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.[16] Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

[17] But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. [18] Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Ask yourself - are you a servant of sin? Or of righteousness? Are you at sin's beck and call? Do you pursue a life of sin? Or, do you fight against sin in your life? Do you strive to do good and follow the Lord's commands? Therein lies the difference. Who you serve in an ongoing capacity. There is a war between your fleshly side and your spiritual side. Keep your heart on the spiritual side, and with the blood of Christ - you will come out a winner!

1Jhn 1:6-9 = [6] If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: [7] But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. [8] If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I hope these words have been edifying to your soul.

#) Just remember you will never be good enough in and of yourself to gain Heaven.

#) God has made you a spirit being with the power of choice.

#) He has set before us clear choices, and He desires us to make the choice of loving Him.

#) God has given us His word which guides us, and let us know of His desire for us to be saved, and yes to even know we are saved.

Earlier I touched on belief and faith being closely related. Many of you here today understand these things and have obeyed the gospel thereby being added to the Lord's church. But without a clear understanding of these words, many have been mislead into thinking they are saved. They understand belief to be more of conscience decision or feeling rather than an outward response or commitment. Let's view a couple of scriptures and see the difference as God would have us see it:

Jhn 12:42 = [42] Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: [43] For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

1Jhn 5:3 = [3] For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

2Jhn 6 = [6] And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
2Jhn 9 = [9] Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Rms 10:17 = [17] So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Jms 1:21-22 = [21] Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. [22] But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

With these thoughts in mind, please turn in your Bibles to Romans Chapter 6 and let us consider these words in verses 3-6: Rms 6:3-6 = [3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. [5] For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: [6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Do you see that by being baptized (immersed) we are sowing ourselves to the Spirit. We are dying to self and choosing not to serve sin. We are being planted - dying if you will - and being raised spiritually incorruptible. This is a prelude to what happens at our physical death.
1Cor 15:22 = [22] For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Cor 15:36 = [36] Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened (made alive), except it die:
1Cor 15:42-50 = [42] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: [43] It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:[44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. [45] And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. [46] Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. [47] The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. [48] As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. [49] And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. [50] Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

If you are not baptized into Christ, you will be sown in your corruptible state in the end and will be denied access to Heaven. Your seed will be planted but it will produce nothing fit for God. COME - put off the old man - the corruptible self, and put on Christ in baptism. He will make it possible for you to serve righteousness now and put on the new spiritual body in the end. One that is fit for Heaven!

Mike Sullivan 11/26/2006
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