Do Good People Go to Heaven?

When my son was very small, he had somehow picked up (probably from Hollywood) that good people go to heaven and bad guys go to hell. I had to explain to him that the matter of heaven and hell is not a good guy/bad guy scenario. No one is good enough to go to heaven. Compared to our Holy God, we’re all “bad guys.”

The fact is that we all have sinned against God (Romans 3:23). Ultimately, it’s not the good we have done or the bad we have done that affects where we spend eternity; the only question that matters is, have we received forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus Christ? What have we done with the gift of God’s only begotten Son? He who trusts in Jesus is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned (John 3:16-18).

The Bible says that our own righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). The only righteousness we are able to claim is the imputed righteousness of the sinless and blameless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Our faith is credited to us as righteousness, not our works (Hebrews, chapter 11).

Except for the favor we have found with God for believing on the name of His only begotten Son for the forgiveness of our sins, not a single one of us would or could make it to heaven. And we can’t even take credit for our faith because the Bible says in Romans 12:3: For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Even our very faith is a gift from our heavenly Father. God has enabled us to believe. He has also enabled us to reject Him by giving us free will. Matthew 23:37 gives us an illustration of this point: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

God has given each person a free will and a measure of faith. It is not that the most hardened atheist can’t believe; it’s that he won’t. The Bible says that man will be without excuse (Romans 1:20). No one will be able to stand before the Father and say, “Well, I just didn’t know.” The evidence is there: in creation, in our own consciences, throughout God’s Word and in the prompting of the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sin and testifies of the Son.

The Bible makes it clear that no one can get to the Father except through the Son.

The words of an old hymn say it all: “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” Revelation 1:5 records for us: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood…”

We are cleansed from our sins by the blood of Jesus, not by any work we can accomplish on our own behalf (Romans 3:25, Romans 5:9, Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14). “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). He couldn’t have made it any clearer.

Since salvation comes through the blood of Christ alone, we can be confident that no one is so bad that God’s grace can’t save him, and no one is so good that he doesn’t need to be saved.

Trust solely in Christ today for your salvation and you will secure a home in heaven for eternity. Jesus can wipe your slate clean, and you can start a brand new life today. Won’t you turn to Him now?