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Home > Everyone goes to heaven > Trying To Be Good

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

You've said: Only really bad people go to hell. Everyone else goes to heaven, as long as we've tried to be good.

You could say this is true.

So how does God determine who is really bad? How does He make the comparison of who is good vs. who is bad vs. who is really bad?

Will he compare you with your neighbors, for example?

No. They have to be judged also. And some of your neighbors may be better or worse than others. What God needs is an standard. Something He can use that is fair, and that applies in the same way to everyone. Then He can measure each person against that standard and know whether they are good, bad or really bad.

At one end of the scale is good. What is the standard for good? God Himself. God is god and perfect. In fact, He is the definition of perfect goodness.

How does God then determine what is bad? Anything that is not a part of God's character or nature is bad. In the Bible God tells us what these are. For example, the Ten Commandments are a starting point in listing what is bad (or evil).

1) Worshipping Other Gods (such as money, power, beauty, etc.)
2) Do Not Make Idols (fancy homes, cars, multimedia centers, etc.)
3) Misusing the Name of the LORD
4) Honor Your Father and Mother
5) Keep The Sabbath Holy
6) Murder
7) Adultery
8) Stealing
9) Lying
10) Coveting What Others Have

In general, doing something that God has told us not to do is bad.

So now, how do we know the difference between someone who has made some mistake, but is really trying to be good, and someone who is really bad?

Here's an important point: There is no difference.

God is so perfectly pure and good that any sin, even the smallest one, is the same to Him as what we would consider the worst sin. If we break even the least of God's laws, it's the same as breaking them all. And we all break God's laws, even if we've tried hard not to.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." - Romans 3:23 (NIV)

Compared to God we are all really bad. Even when we are righteous in our actions:

"All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment." - Isaiah 64:6 (NASB)

"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." - James 2:10 (NASB)

You see, the problem is that sin, not even the smallest sin, can exist in God's presence. That means the only way we can enter heaven is if we are totally free of all sin. We have to be perfect!

That's impossible!

Not for God. Through His Son we are made pure and clean so we may join Him in heaven for eternity. Jesus has taken our sins onto Himself so we may enter God's presence free of sin. All we need to do is repent, and trust that He will take care of them for us.

Who is Jesus that He can do this for us?

Our Savior; our Lord; and God.



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