There are many good moral people in the world who think they can go to heaven without any help from God. We all appreciate a clean life, and yet it takes more than morality for one to go to heaven.
If going to heaven is just a matter of a good clean life, then Jesus died in vain. There have always been good moral people in the world. In Mark 10:16-21 we have a good man coming to Jesus, and asking Him about eternal life. If you will read about this man, you will find he had many outstanding qualities and yet Christ told him he needed to take up his cross and follow Him. In Acts 10:1-6 we read of a man by the name of Cornelius. He was one of the finest men of his day and yet he was told to send to Joppa for Simon Peter who would tell him what he must do to be saved. If this man needed to be a Christian, then all men need to become God’s children.
Once Jesus was approached by a man named Nicodemus. He was interested in spiritual things. Christ told him that unless a man was born again he could not enter the kingdom of God (John 3:1-7). The new birth is absolutely necessary for one to go to heaven. If a person thinks he or she can have eternal life without the new birth, then they are deceived. Jesus left no doubt about the matter. He used the word “cannot” twice in his discussion with Nicodemus about entering the kingdom. Jesus did not say one might enter the kingdom without the new birth or there is possibly another way other than the new birth. He said without the new birth one cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-5).
If one could go to heaven based on his own good life only then he would have a reason for boasting. Bust we are not saved by meritorious works. The Bible says: “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” (Eph. 2:8-9). Eternal life is not a matter of one lifting himself up by his own goodness. God has laid down certain things for us to accept by faith, and if we will accept these things and do them, then eternal life will be granted unto us.
One can be a good moral person and never believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. But we are told in the Bible, “For if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24). If we die in our sins, we cannot go to heaven when life is over (John 8:21). One could be a good moral man and never confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God. But God has told us in His word if we fail to confess Christ then Christ will not confess us (Matt. 10:32). An individual could be of high morals and not believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. But we are told that if we would be saved eternally we must believe that God has raised Jesus from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10). Make no mistake about it, it takes more than a good moral life to go to heaven!
Before we close this article, let me make a statement about being a Christian and going to church. One cannot be a Christian without faithful attendance to the worship services, and yet a person might attend every worship service and not be a Christian. Just because people go to worship every service does not mean they are Christians. Being in a church house does not make one a Christian any more than being in a hen house makes one a hen. Men are Christians when they read and follow the Bible. I would say to all: give up your “I thinks” and do what God says.
—Malcolm L. Hill January 12, 1934- June 26, 2012