Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)
TITLE: Good People Go to Heaven; Bad People Go To Hell
By Doug Laird
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But is that what the Bible has to say?
Our fallen nature predisposes us to be receptive to human viewpoint and hostile towards the mind of Christ.
This is reinforced as we are raised and live under various merit systems in which we are constantly being evaluated and rewarded according to our performance. Even Santa Claus makes a list of who’s being good and bad.
Many of us base our conception of our own self worth on the good we see in others and how we compare.
Many of our decisions are based on what others are going to say if we do or do not meet “good” standards.
Religion, has its own definition of what is good, and promotes the idea that God accepts the good that it produces.
But what does the Bible say about this business of being good and bad?
Granted, complying with the traditionally accepted norms and standards of morality, will define a born again believer’s lifestyle.
But, being good is NOT the means by which one obtains or retains his/her residence in Heaven.
Heaven is not for those who are good, but for those who receive a regenerated spirit as a result of a positive response to the Gospel Message.
Hell, or what the Bible calls the “lake of fire” is not for those who were bad, but for those who remain in the spiritually dead condition in which the generations of Man come into this world since the Fall Of Man.
No human being, other than the Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ is “good” (Luke 18: 19).
It is true and necessary that certain sins result in greater degrees of divine discipline and temporal punishment here on earth.
However, the spiritual consequences and the divine remedy for mass murder and for what human viewpoint would concider relatively less serious, are the same (1John 1 : 9) !
Divine viewpoint is that the one who breaks even one of God’s laws, stands as guilty as the one who has broken them all (James 2: 10).
No sin can diminish the integrity of one’s salvation, but ALL sins result in the loss of fellowship with God and the ability (John 15: 5) to produce divine good.
Fellowship with God is restored when ALL known sins are confessed to God (1John 1 : 9), immediately resulting in complete forgiveness.
Divine forgiveness does not mean that the temporal consequences of our actions go away, but the sin(s) are forgiven and the sinner can be at peace with God.
In Heaven, sinners will no longer have a sin nature or the capacity to sin. Unlike the earthly environment, there is no concern for repeat offenders in Heaven.
If Hitler or Stalin, had, in their dying moments, believed in the Person and Works of the Lord Jesus Christ, they would have been admitted to Heaven on the same basis as any other born again believer.
To comprehend this, we must not focus on the enormity of one’s sin, but on the extent of God’s mercy.
Does this mean that being good or bad has no temporal or eternal consequences?
Divine discipline on earth can consist of anything up to and including physical death.
Eternal consequences for periods of time spent out of fellowship is the loss of eternal rewards that the same believer would have otherwise received.
All believers are given equal opportunity to receive a full heavenly reward with accompanying privileges, but many will forfeit receiving their full reward (1Cor. 3: 15).
The evaluation of the born again believers, recorded in 1 Corinthians 3: 12-15, takes place in Heaven.
The purpose of this evaluation is to determine what part of each born again believers’ full reward is to be received and what part is to be forfeited.
This event will bring good and bad news to many believers.
The good news is that you are among those who were saved by believing the Gospel Message.
The bad news is that you are among those who will forfeit many of the rewards and privileges that the plan of God had in store for you, if only you had identified and pursued the true post salvation spiritual life on Earth.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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