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Apologetics Evangelism Guy

Why "being a good person" can't get you into Heaven - Part 1

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That is true. Being a good person can not get you into heaven. You have to be a born again believer in Jesus Christ.

Question: "Why is being a good person not enough to get you into heaven?"

Answer:
If you ask most people what you have to do to get into heaven (assuming they believe in heaven or an afterlife), the overwhelming response will be some form of “being a good person.” Most, if not all, religions and worldly philosophies are ethically based. Whether it’s Islam, Judaism, or secular humanism, the teaching is common that getting to heaven is a matter of being a good person—following the Ten Commandments or the precepts of the Quran or the Golden Rule. But is this what Christianity teaches? Is Christianity just one of many world religions that teach that being a good person will get us into heaven? Let’s examine Matthew 19:16–26 for some answers; it is the story of the rich young ruler.

The first thing we note in this story is that the rich young ruler is asking the right question: “What good deed must I do to have eternal life?” In asking the question, he acknowledges the fact that, despite all his efforts thus far, there is something lacking, and he wants to know what else must be done to obtain eternal life. However, even though he is asking the right question, he is asking it from the wrong worldview—that of merit (“What good deed must I do...”); he has failed to grasp the true meaning of the Law, as Jesus will point out to him, which was to serve as a tutor until the time of Christ (Galatians 3:24).

The second thing to note is Jesus’ response to his question. Jesus asks a question in return: why is he inquiring into what is good? In other words, Jesus is trying to get to the heart of the matter, namely, that no one is good and no one does good except God. As noted earlier, the man is operating under a false premise: that man is able to do that which is good and earn his way into heaven. To make His point, Jesus says that, if he wants eternal life, he should keep the commandments. In saying this, Jesus is not advocating a works-based righteousness. Rather, Jesus is challenging the young man’s suppositions by showing the man’s shallow understanding of the Law and human ability.

The young man’s response is very telling. When told to keep the commandments, he asks Jesus, “Which ones?” Jesus continues to gently show the man the error of his ways by giving him the second table of the Law, i.e., the commandments that deal with our relationships to other people. You can almost sense the frustration in the young man’s response when he tells Jesus that he has kept all of these since his youth. Two things to point out here: first, the irony in the young man’s response. In saying he has kept all those commandments since his youth, he has broken the commandment regarding false witness. If he were truly being honest, he would have said that, as hard as he has tried to keep the commandments, he fails on a daily basis. He has a shallow understanding of the Law and an inflated opinion of his own ability. Second, he still knows that he is not good enough; he asks Jesus, “What do I still lack?”

Jesus now confronts the young man’s self-righteousness. He tells him that, if he wishes to be perfect (i.e., complete), he must sell all that he has and come follow Him. Jesus has perfectly diagnosed the man’s “lack”—his attachment to his wealth. The man’s great wealth has become an idol in his life. He claimed to have kept all the commandments, but in reality he couldn’t even keep the first one, to have no other gods before the Lord! The young man turned his back on Jesus and walked away. His god was his wealth, which he chose over Jesus.

Jesus now turns to His disciples to teach them a principle: “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” This was shocking to the disciples, who held the common idea that riches were a sign of God’s blessing. But Jesus points out the obstacle that riches often are, in their tendency to fuel self-sufficiency. His disciples ask, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus answers by reminding the disciples that salvation is of God: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Who can be saved? If left up to man alone, no one! Why is being a good person not enough to get you into heaven? Because no one is a “good” person; there is only one who is good, and that is God Himself. The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The Bible also says that the wages of our sin is death (Romans 6:23a). Fortunately, God did not wait until we somehow learned to be “good”; while we were in our sinful state, Christ died for the unrighteous (Romans 5:8).

Salvation is not based on our goodness but on Jesus’ goodness. If we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, we will be saved (Romans 10:9). This salvation in Christ is a precious gift, and, like all true gifts, it is unearned (Romans 6:23b; Ephesians 2:8–9). The message of the gospel is that we can never be good enough to get to heaven. We must recognize that we are sinners who fall short of God’s glory, and we must obey the command to repent of our sins and place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Christ alone was good enough to earn heaven, and He gives His righteousness to those who believe in His name (Romans 1:17).

https://gotquestions.org/good-person.html

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31 minutes ago, Yowm said:

How much good works must one perform to be saved?

 

Question: "What does it mean that good works are the result of salvation?"

Answer:
Ephesians 2:8–9 makes it clear that we are not saved by good works. In fact, before we are saved, our works are done in the flesh and cannot please God; even our most “righteous” deeds fall far short of God’s glory (see Romans 3:20 and Isaiah 64:6). We can be saved only because God is gracious and merciful and has designed a way for us to be declared righteous when we are not (Psalm 86:5; Ephesians 2:4). When Jesus became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), we inherited His righteousness. Salvation is a divine exchange: our tattered rags of self-effort for the perfection of Christ. Because His death and resurrection paid the price for our evil deeds, we can be declared perfect before God (Romans 5:1). We are told to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” like a flawless garment (Romans 13:14).

At salvation, the Holy Spirit moves into the repentant heart (Acts 2:38). Self is no longer the uncontested lord of our lives. Jesus is now the boss. That’s what it means to say that Jesus is “Lord” (Romans 10:9; Colossians 2:6). We were once headed south; we are now headed north. Everything is changed. We begin to view life from God’s perspective, not our own—as John Newton wrote, “I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”

The sins we once committed without thought now bring conviction. To know God is to see sin the way He sees it. First John 3:9 says, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” Instead of sin, the born-again Christian produces “fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Salvation enables us to live “in the Spirit” and so truly perform good works (Galatians 5:16).

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God’s goal in saving us was not only to rescue us from hell, but also that we would reflect His character and goodness to the world. God delights to see us becoming more like His Son (Romans 8:29). We were created in God’s image. Sin marred that image. When God bought us back for Himself, it was to restore His image in us and free us to become all we were created to be. When the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us, He prompts us to do things that glorify God (John 14:26). Our desire to please God grows as our understanding of Him grows. That desire to please God results in good works.

It is biblically inconsistent to say that someone has been saved but has not changed. Many people go through the outward motions of giving their lives to Christ, but no lifestyle change follows. That is not real salvation but is a “dead” faith (James 2:26). When you walk into a dark room and flip the switch, you expect light. If no light appears, you rightly assume something is wrong. It would be logically inconsistent to say that the light is on when the room is still pitch black. Light naturally dispels darkness. When a dark heart receives the light of salvation, it is illuminated (John 12:46). Priorities change. Desires change. Outlook changes. Life is seen clearly for the first time. If the darkness of sin continues, we can rightly assume no light came on.

To use another biblical analogy, God wants to produce fruit in our lives (see Galatians 5:22–23). He is the Vinedresser, Jesus is the Vine, and we are the branches. The branches are naturally attached to the vine; from the vine they get their support, their ability to produce fruit, and their very life. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit” (John 15:5). That is the purpose of the vineyard—to produce “much fruit.” Good works follow salvation.

So, although we cannot be saved by our good works, when we are saved, we will produce good works. Just as a baby will grow after birth, so a believer will grow after the new birth. We grow at different rates and in different ways, but a live birth results in growth. If a baby never grows, there is something very wrong. No one expects a baby to stay a baby forever. As he grows, the child begins to look more and more like his parents. In the same way, after salvation, we grow, and we begin to look more and more like our Heavenly Father. This is only possible as we “abide in Him” and allow Him to reproduce His character in us (John 15:4).

Good works do not produce salvation. Good works are the product of salvation. Jesus said to His followers, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

https://gotquestions.org/good-works-salvation.html

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Just now, Yowm said:

 

Mine was a rhetorical question requiring an obvious answer.

Did you even read it?

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Just now, Yowm said:

 

I'd rather  have a conversation with posters, not "Got Answers".

Obviously my question cannot be answered by one who thinks being a 'good person' can get you into heaven.

That is your choice.

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I was created to do good always therefore there is no amount of good I can do to pay for the evil I have done.

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How can anyone be a good person when Christ said that there is no one good but God?

You can be a pleasant person, but is that what good is or just what others are not?

 

What my question is, is what are works that are good, unless they are to promote God, but even then whose to say if we are or not, based on your own interpretation of what it is the be a follower of Christ.?

good, in today's world is judged by how many you get along with.

Edited by Churchmouse

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Guest Robert

God's righteousness and perfection are the standard; that said, we would have to be able to meet that standard with our works. But Scripture tells us that our works are "as filthy rags"; no matter how many we do or how righteous they are, they are still vile and contaminated.

None of them will ever do.

Someone who is not contaminated with sin had to do the work needed to atone for our sin; that's where Jesus' death on the cross comes in. And this is why "works-based" salvation cannot work: it's not Biblical, and cannot meet the cost that had to be paid. It's either Jesus or nothing.

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On 11/12/2016 at 3:48 AM, BacKaran said:

 

 

The bible says we will recieve rewards and I'm thankful for that but I am compelled to do good to be in obedience with Good and to please Him.

 

 

It's funny I was just thinking about that, how we are told that we will be rewarded for doing good deeds in Heaven, and I agree with you completely BacKaran. I've always tried to 'do the right thing' for it's own sake and because God wishes me to do so, and I feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea of receiving any reward for doing as i'm told by the Father. The only reward I can think of that I would strive for is to see Him finally, in all His glory.

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I do not consider myself a 'good' person, but perhaps one who struggles with being good and have never succeeded.  Without Christ Jesus and his grace I would be not even close to someone who struggles to be good.  His mercy and love is truly astounding and when pondered is overwhelming. 

I do believe that if a person who is outside of the faith shows true love for others, who does for others without thought of reward points to something deep going on that is grace at its root.  In the Last Judgement scene in Matthew those who are invited into the kingdom because of what they did to Christ, did not understand what he was talking about, yet fact were invited into the kingdom.  Not because of what they did, but because of their response to grace, by showing true compassion for others.  I do believe that how Christ Jesus relates to all of his children is something that I have pondered all my life and how Infinite love as reveled in Christ draws others to the Father.  I don't have it figured out, but yes, salvation is a gift can't be earned.

In any-case I pray for the salvation of all, though I know that there are those who will not accept Gods mercy, so must enter through the gate of justice.  I do believe that in the end there is a choice against God's grace for as it says in Timothy, God wills the salvation of all....to what length will the Lord go to save others I hope to learn one day.  Like Jesus appearing in the dreams of Muslims and bringing them to faith in Him, he knows his own and who will respond.  An open heart will respond to grace, a closed one will not.....makes me sad.

In the 1st Epistle of John he talks about those are in love are in God.  Those who hate are in darkness.  I do believe that the love of God that we are to manifest has no boundaries, but we are to love all, even our enemies.  To love those who love us is nothing really, but to love those who are 'outside' is a sign of God's grace, for I know from experience from my own inner struggles to forgive and love those 'others', that it is only grace that allows this to happen and the power of the Holy Spirit that brings the healing to bear so that it can be done. 

 

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Good comparison Yown,lol    I'm laughing but it is SOOO TRUE!   (or leaping from the earth to the moon in a single bound!!!)                                     With love-in Christ,Kwik

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