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Home > How Good? > God Loves Us

How good do you have to be to get into heaven?

Some people say, "God loves us. If we have sinned, we'll spend some time in hell (or purgatory) to pay for our sins, then we'll go to heaven."

This option is not supported by the Bible. The Bible is very clear. Those who are saved go to heaven. Everyone else goes to hell -- forever.

God gives us many chances to chose eternal life in heaven. It's up to us. We make the decision while we live here on earth. At the moment we die, our destiny is set forever.

Jesus described what it is like to be in hell in the following story from Luke chapter 16:

"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, "Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire."

But Abraham replied, "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you can not, nor can anyone cross over from there to us."

He answered, "Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment."

Abraham replied, "They have Moses and the Prophets, let them listen to them."

"No, father Abraham," he said, "but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent."

He said to him, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." (NIV) Luke 16:19-31

Notice the following two points in this story:

1. Those who are destined for hell, go to hell when they die.

2. Once in hell, it is permanent. It is not like a prison in which you serve a few years and then are released to go to heaven. Hell is forever, with no chance of ever leaving.

Yes, God loves us. He wants us all to be in heaven with Him. But God is also just, and those who's sins have not been forgiven, will go to hell. No questions. No appeal. No parole. And it's forever.

   

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