Wow, it’s tough being good and being good all the time is out of the question because no one; not you nor me, can be perfectly good all the time and we all know that we have at some time or another done something which wasn’t good. Can someone, anyone be really good enough to get into Heaven and be with God? How good do I need to be to go to Heaven when I die?
Look at how Mother Teresa lead her life. She did a lot of good. For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries and by the time of her death, her Missionaries of Charity continued to expand and was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools.1
I don’t know about you but I know that I don’t even come close to being as good as Mother Teresa at being a good servant to others let alone am I able to even give that much time and devotion to being that good yet Mother Teresa did it and did it well. Is being as good as Mother Teresa an example of how good you and I need to be to go to Heaven? I hope not. If Mother Teresa is an example of what it takes to get into Heaven, I guess I’m not going to get there… nor for that matter, you either because I’ve not heard of anyone else who has done so much good as Mother Teresa.
Wait a minute… how about Adolf Hitler? He did not do a lot of good and in fact, he actually did a lot of evil. Under Adolf Hitler’s orders, between 1939 and 1945, the SS, assisted by collaborationist governments and recruits from occupied countries, systematically killed somewhere between 11 and 14 million people, including about six million Jews, in concentration camps, ghettos and mass executions, or through less systematic methods elsewhere. In addition to those gassed to death, many also died as a result of starvation and disease while working as slave laborers (sometimes benefiting private German companies). Along with Jews, non-Jewish Poles (over three million), communists and political opponents, members of resistance groups, homosexuals, Roma, the physically handicapped and mentally retarded, Soviet prisoners of war (possibly as many as three million), Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventists and Neopagans, trade unionists, and psychiatric patients were killed.2
Looking at what all evil Adolf Hitler, and there was a lot of it, it to me seems easy for you and me to be better than him about being good. I mean, there aren’t too many people in the world today as evil as Adolf Hitler was. If just having to be better at being good than Adolf Hitler is what it takes to get into Heaven then that’s easy to do, isn’t it?
Logically it seems that we need to be somewhere in between Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler on the scale of good verse evil and most likely the more to the Mother Teresa side of the scale the better. So we it seems can work hard, follow the law, and do our best to be good, somewhere between Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler get to Heaven to be with God.
Wait a moment! How much more to the Mother Teresa side of the scale do we need to be to get into Heaven? To make sure that we are good enough, we still need to know how good is good enough. Being that we only get one time in life to get it right, we better make the first and only time we have right and be good enough. It wouldn’t be good to be a little short of good, would it be?
Where would we find the answer of just how good we need to be to get into Heaven? Hey, how about we look in the Holy Bible for the answer! That’s it, we’ll look in the Holy Bible and find out what it says about how much we have to work at being good and what scale of good to measure our progress.
Ephesians 2:4-9 – “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Romans 3:19-28 – “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”
Wow, the Holy Bible tells us that we cannot be good enough by our own means to get into Heaven. It said that we would boast (brag) about things if it was left up to us to get into Heaven on our own meaning that we would look down on someone whom we didn’t think was doing as good as we were doing. The Holy Bible even says that we cannot even get close to being good enough to get into Heaven on our Mother Teresa – Adolf Hitler scale because God’s scale is so much more demanding than ours. It tells us that we are to keep our mouths closed about how “good” we are (don’t boast like we did about us being better than Adolf Hitler) in that no matter how much we try to do good we have sinned (done something against God’s will) and have fallen short of the scale God uses to measure transgressions. God’s scale for good is by far greater than what Mother Teresa did and is so much more than we can ever comprehend.
We just learned that the answer to our question of, “How good do I need to be to go to Heaven when I die?” is that we cannot do enough good to get there.
So how do we get to go to Heaven if it isn’t by us being good? What does the Holy Bible give as an answer?
John 3:16-21 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:25a) God knowing that you and I cannot be as good as His perfection demands, gave us Jesus to save us of our sins and to bridge the gap between God’s perfection and your and my imperfections and all we have to do is to believe in Jesus and have faith in Him to deliver us to God in Heaven.
Make your choice today and accept Jesus as your savior. Confess your sins and admit that you cannot make it on your own without Jesus in your life. Place your faith in Jesus today.
It is your choice to make and only you can make it. Not making a choice today is making the choice to not accept Jesus as your savior. I suggest that you make a wise choice today. Accept Jesus as your savior today and be free of your transgressions and live your life for God.
"Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.” (Mark 13:33)