Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: REFUGE (08/29/19)
- TITLE: Who is Going to Heaven?
By Donna Martelli
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There are several inconsistencies with the belief that all good people go to heaven:
â€¢ There is no universal consensus as to what is right and what is wrong.
â€¢ We donâ€™t know how we will be graded.
â€¢ It is not possible to know how we are doing at any given time.
â€¢ We donâ€™t know how many good deeds are necessary for entry into heaven.
â€¢ Grading on the curve and including Mother Theresa in that curve may mean it is difficult to go to heaven.
â€¢ There once lived a major religious leader who did not believe that good people go to heaven.
After Jesus was arrested, beaten and attended His mock trial, He was stripped naked and nailed to the cross. There were two criminals crucified with Him, one on His right (Criminal #1) and one on His left (Criminal #2). Once they recognized who He was, Criminal #1 yelled insults at Jesus. Criminal #2 rebuked Criminal #1 and said that they both were punished justly but that Jesus had done nothing worthy of death. Even suffering the horrible crucifixion, the Criminal #2 admitted that they both were getting what they deserved. He then asked Jesus to have mercy on Him saying, â€œJesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Luke 23:42 NIV). His time was over and with it the opportunity to do any good.
Criminal #2 was a bad dude who had lived life his own way, yet at the end he asked Jesus for mercy. If Jesus believed in the theory that â€œgood people go to heaven and bad people don'tâ€, what would His reaction have been to that? It was not what anyone expected as He told Criminal #2 that He would see him later in Paradise. That made no sense to the people because they believed that the criminal should go to hell because he was obviously a bad man.
Most people who think that good people go to heaven generally believe that Jesus is a good guy. However, the religious leaders wanted (and still want) to kill Him because He just doesnâ€™t fit with their theology. It is interesting that every major cult and false religion has adopted parts of His teachings. Even Islam believes that Jesus is a prophet, but He is the one that all the prophets had been talking about. His teachings about who was going to heaven contradicted every person and every religion. All religions have a common belief that all good people go to heaven, but Jesus did not blend in with any of them. He said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through meâ€ (John 14:6 NIV). He claimed to be the way to God, not just a way. If we accept the teachings of Jesus, we are contrary to all religions.
Jesus died for us when we had no power. That means when we were without the ability to right our condition unless someone intervened for us. The reason that good people donâ€™t go to heaves is that there are not any good people. All of us are sinners. God, in His love for us, sent Jesus to die for our sins. He is our true refuge and our strength. Good people don't go to heaven. Forgiven people go to heaven.
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