"Good But Not Good Enough"

Updated: May 19, 2021

Most people believe that if you are a good person, do good works and live a good life then you will most certainly go to heaven. They think that heaven was made for good people. Most believe that the only people who will go to hell are really bad people like Adolf Hitler, "Jack the Ripper” and suicide bombers. They also believe that a loving God would never send a good person to hell.

For many even the marginally good will find a place there. Nothing demonstrates this fact more than during your average funeral service where almost everyone who dies is said to be looking down from heaven and smiling at us. In their way of thinking good works, reasonably good character and good behavior automatically qualifies someone to receive a free pass to heaven. The person might have a rank sinner but as long as there was one positive quality about Uncle Harold to highlight in their obituary like he loved cats, was a great ballroom dancer or never missed a midnight mass at Christmas he is almost certain to receive a white robe, golden harp and set of angel wings.

Of course, everyone who believes in God, the “Ten Commandments” and the "Golden Rule” will go to heaven. They include people who have done some good in their lives – from helping the next-door neighbor to running an orphanage for handicapped children in the slums of Calcutta. They are good citizens, patriotic, hardworking, faithful taxpayers who vote, obey the laws and never jaywalk. They include god parents, generous grand-parents and anyone with a good marriage and a decent job. Good are those who are spiritually minded, religious and attend a house of worship These include people who pray, give alms, own a big family bible, and practice religious rituals. They obviously include priests, pastors, monks, altar boys, rabbis, nuns and the Pope. They also include anyone who is sincere and has good intentions. They include everyone you love or who loves you.

Good people are those who live moral lives, are wholesome, virtuous and kind-hearted. Good people include those who are cheerful, friendly, and optimistic. Good people include those who selflessly sacrifice their lives for the sake of others like doctors, nurses, firemen, teachers, police officers, civil servants, and soldiers. Good people work in food banks, serve in charities, or dedicate their lives to helping the needy.

Good people attend “self-help” programs, purchased "The Purpose Driven Life" or subscribe to “Good Housekeeping". They recycle their trash, don’t litter, belong to the “Sierra Club”, believe in Greta Thunberg. And want to save the whales. They are social crusaders, political activists and humanitarians. “Politically Correct” people, “Culturally Correct” people and “Religiously Correct” people will go to heaven because they believe they are correct. Good people are giving, generous and always lending a helping hand. They give to charities, donate to ”Goodwill”, drop some change into the “Salvation Army” pot at Christmas, and belong to the "Kiwanis", the "Rotary Club" and "The Shriners". Good people are those who have lived a meaningful, purpose driven life that was one worth living.

So, back to the original question. Will all good people go to heaven? The answer is an emphatic “NO!” Good people do not automatically go to heaven any more than bad people. The Bible makes it absolutely clear that there is no such thing as a good person in the eyes of God, “There are none good, no not one. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

No matter how good you are, you will never be good enough. The scriptures make it clear that “Every man in his very best state is complete vanity.” According to the Bible the only people who will go to heaven are sinners who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and Jesus made it clear; “He that enters not by the door (Him) into the sheepfold but climbs up some other way…is a thief and a robber.” – (John 10:1)

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