October 09, 2022 Forest Antemesaris

Am I Good Enough to Go to Heaven?

Am I Good Enough to Go to Heaven?

Countless people have probably asked themselves, or another, if they were good enough to go to heaven. The answer to this question is always “no.” That might sound harsh, but when we consider what the Bible says about salvation, heaven, and goodness, we see that none of us are good enough to go to heaven. Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story.  


Am I Really That Good? 


It is easy to view ourselves or others with “rose-tinted” glasses. It can be easy to justify myself and make excuses for my moral shortcomings and sins. Or it can be easy to look around and compare myself to some wretched people I may know and conclude that since I am not as bad as them then I must be pretty good. The Bible teaches us differently. 


The standard for how good we are is not the people around us: “when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding” (2 Cor. 10:12). Instead, the standard for goodness is God, who “is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 Jn. 1:5). Therefore, Jesus declared that “no one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18).  Compared to God, “none is righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10) because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Unaided by God, my personal righteousness is like filthy rags in comparison to God’s holiness (Isa. 64:6) and even when I’ve done everything I was commanded I am still an unworthy servant at my Master’s table (Luke 17:10) 


Sin Is Sin


Our goodness is further put in perspective when we ponder how God views sin. From the very beginning, sin has been a separator between man and God. Adam and Eve were banished from the garden of Eden and the presence of God after their transgression (Gen. 3:22-24) and Israel was separated from God’s power because of their sins (Isa. 59:1-2). It can be easy to categorize sins based on their perceived level of badness and conclude that I don’t commit any of the “bad sins.” But sin is sin. 


The brother of our Lord reminds us, “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:10-11). Not every sin is equally heinous when it comes to physical consequences or human laws, but every sin is significant in the eyes of a holy God.  



Who Is Heaven For?


I might not be as good as I think I am. My standards for good and bad are often skewed, and I don’t always view sin the way God does. The good news is that heaven is not for “good people.” Once we’ve sinned, our only option to enter heaven is not to be “good,” but to be saved.  Heaven is for those who believe that God exists and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Heaven is for those who have been saved by grace through faith, not a result of works (Eph. 2:8-9). Heaven is for those who have been washed in the blood of the lamb and freed from their sins (Rev. 1:5; 7:14). Heaven is for those who have called on the Lord’s name and washed away their sins, being baptized (Acts 22:16). Heaven is for those who remain faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10). Heaven is for those who are in Christ (Eph. 1:3; Gal. 3:27). 


I don’t have to be perfect to go to heaven. We are not perfect, but God can make us perfect (Heb. 12:23). No, because I’ve sinned, I am not good enough for heaven. The good news is, heaven gave its best so that I can be considered worthy of all heaven has to offer. In Jesus Christ our Lord, we can look forward to our salvation which is “kept in heaven” for us (1 Pet. 1:4). 


The right question isn’t whether I am good enough to go to heaven. The right question is whether I am trusting the goodness of the God who promised to get me there!