But I Am a Good Person!
By Karen Jordan
If you died today, and God asked you why He should let you into His heaven, what would you say? "I’ve tried to be a good person all my life”?
I would have answered that question the same way a few years ago. But I discovered in God’s Word that being a good person will not get you into heaven. And neither will a shallow religion—trying to obey God’s laws and pretending to be “perfect.”
We can see an example of this from Scripture, taken from Matthew 19:16-29. This is the story of the wealthy ruler who thought he could get into heaven by following the letter of the law:
A rich young man once asked Jesus, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” (16)
‘Why do you ask me about what is good?’ Jesus replied. ‘There is only One who is good’” (17). The Scriptures speak of Christ as the only “perfect” one—without sin. In 1 Peter 2:22, we are told, “He committed no sin.”
Jesus explained the requirements for heaven to the affluent man: “If you want to enter (eternal) life, obey the commandments” (17). But the man continued to question Jesus, claiming he had obeyed all of the commands Jesus outlined.
Then, Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell all your possessions…. Then come, follow me” (21).
Unfortunately, because the young man had great wealth, when he heard this, he went away very sad (22).
Afterward, Jesus taught His disciples, “…it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (23).
They “were greatly astonished and asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’” (25).
Jesus explained, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (26).
Then, Peter, one of His disciples, asked Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” (27). Jesus assured them that those who follow Him will “inherit eternal life” (29).
On another occasion, Jesus reminded His disciples that He was preparing a place for them in His Father’s house. Thomas, one of the disciples, asked Him, “How can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 5-6).
Most of my life, I have “tried to be a good person,” too. But I failed to live up to the impossible standards held by religious laws and church rules. So, I sought my answer from God’s Word. I read that I could not earn my righteousness “by observing the law” (Romans 3:20). But God provided a way, “apart from the law…through faith in Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:21-22).
Although I knew about Jesus through my religious upbringing, I discovered I needed to follow Him and make Him my Savior. So, I confessed my sins privately to the Lord and prayed, asking Him to forgive me and cleanse me (1 John 1:9). Now I have no doubt that I will spend eternity in heaven.
Why do we need to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior? To receive His promise of eternal life. Death is certain; heaven is not. The measure of “goodness” in a man cannot earn him heaven when he dies. Being a follower of Christ is the only answer.
Do You Want a Relationship with God?
If you want this kind of relationship with God, pray this prayer right now:
Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you took the pain of the cross to give me new life. I ask you to come into my life and to give me your peace and joy. I confess that I am a sinner -- that I have gone my own way and have done wrong. Please forgive me for my sins. I receive you now as my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit. Help me to follow you and to serve you all my life. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, you are now a child of God. The things of your old life have passed away and He has made all things new.
We want to join you in celebrating your new life. Please send us an e-mail to let us know that you prayed to receive Jesus as your Savior. Or you can call our Prayer Counseling Center at (800) 759-0700. A caring friend is available to talk with you and send you some resources to help you begin your walk with the Lord.
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