But I’m A Good Person!
Straight Talk About the Afterlife
Not so fast.
Thanks to the Bible, we know that life doesn’t end when we die here on Earth. The Bible clearly teaches there’s a literal place called Heaven and a literal place called Hell where people will spend eternity.
Many assume that because they don’t know what happens in the afterlife, there is no afterlife. Yes there is, and it’s forever. Pretending that these things are not real is the most ignorant thing a person can do. Ignoring eternity does not make it go away.
Yeah, but I’m a good person so I’m all set. Says who? Who says that’s how it works? And besides, who says you’re really a good person? Not God. Not the Bible. The idea that a person’s perceived goodness makes them right with God is false—a deception—100% incorrect. It’s nothing but human thought and religious tradition. Listen to God’s Word to discover the truth. Consider the following four points.
1.COMPARED TO GOD, NO ONE IS GOOD.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 (NIV)
All includes you and me. Because of this thing called sin, we – no matter how good we act or how hard we try – cannot measure up to God’s standard of righteousness.
It’s not that He’s hard to please or trying to keep us at a distance (the opposite is true), it’s just that He’s perfectly righteous and cannot compromise who He is by allowing sin in His presence. The Bible speaks further to this fact, showing us that even the very best among us aren’t quite as good as they might think.
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Romans 3:10-12 (NIV)
You may be a good person in your community, but compared to God you’re not a good person.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV)
2.GOD GIVES US HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AS A GIFT.
Since all have sinned, all of us have fallen short of God’s standard of perfection. That means that the person who acts good and the person who doesn’t act good are both in the same category, spiritually speaking. I know we don’t like to think of it that way, but there’s an important reason why God sees it that way. God bestows righteousness upon us as a gift rather than requiring us to earn it. If we try to earn righteousness by our good deeds, He can’t give it to us as an expression of His love. Our job is to receive His gift. All people, good and bad, must humbly receive God’s gift of eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NIV)
3. REJECTING GOD’S GIFT IS HOW PEOPLE END UP IN HELL. RECEIVING GOD’S GIFT IS HOW PEOPLE END UP IN HEAVEN.
Good and bad people alike must recognize their need for salvation from sin, and receive Christ. A good life does not qualify a person to receive Christ and a bad life does not disqualify a person from receiving Christ. Jesus, by shedding His blood on our behalf, qualified us all – good and bad – for eternal life.
Those who ignore God’s offer of eternal life cannot spend eternity with Him in Heaven. They must, unfortunately, spend eternity in Hell. Bad people who ignore or reject Christ will spend eternity in hell. And, good people who reject Christ will spend eternity in hell. The choice is our’s alone. Let’s all miss Hell by receiving Christ, staying on God’s path to Heaven.
4. THE AFTERLIFE STARTS IN THIS LIFE.
When a person receives Christ, they aren’t just signing up for eternal life, they’re receiving eternal life. God, through the person of the Holy Spirit, instantly comes to live in the person. Much more than a destination at death, eternal life is a new start, a new life here on earth that will bring dramatic change. Once a person receives eternal life, he or she should take steps to live in accordance with God’s laws and ways. As we live for Him, we will fulfill His plan for our lives, and will truly become a good person.