by Matt Slick
No, you are not good enough to go to heaven. No one is good enough to go to heaven - except Jesus because he never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). We, on the other hand, have all sinned. Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Have you ever lied, stolen, bore false witness, committed adultery, been unrighteously angry with someone, etc.? If so, then you have broken the Law of God (Exodus 20:1-17) and are under God's judgment. After all, a law is not a law if it has no punishment. Nobody is perfect, except Jesus. All people have sinned. All people have offended God.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:34 that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. God spoke and gave us the Law in the form of the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). Therefore, God spoke the Law out of what was in his heart. It is, therefore, a reflection of his character and is good. So, when you sin you are offending the character of God and are standing in opposition to his holy character. If he does not deal with you, then he is ignoring his own law and is allowing people to do what is against his nature without them suffering any consequence. This would mean that God would then be approving of evil. Of course, he cannot do that.
Therefore, because all people are sinners and we all have offended the character of God, then we are all under judgment. We are not good enough to go to heaven.
Another issue that few people consider is the very nature of our own hearts. The Bible says that we are by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). God tells us in the Bible that our hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). We're told that out of the abundance of the heart proceed all kinds of evil things (Mark 7:20-23). So, we are by nature separated from God and we can do no good because sin touches everything that we do (Romans 3:10-12).
But I'm Sincere
Some people think that their sincerity before God will merit heaven for them. They know they're not perfect and they believe God is so loving and kind that he will not send anybody to hell if they are sincerely trying to do what's right. Such an argument is an appeal to the goodness of the person. In other words, the person is saying that because he is "sincere" then God should let him into heaven. But, sincerity is a form of pride because it is an appeal to self-worth, self-value, and self-ability as a basis for being in heaven.
Not Good Enough
The fact is that we have all fallen short of the glory of God. We've all done something morally wrong. We have all broken the law of God one way or another and that's exactly what sin is. 1 John 3:4, "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness." So, none of us are good enough to go to heaven.
The truth is that God says we're to be holy because he is holy, (1 Peter 1:16). In other words, he is sinless. He never does anything wrong. He's perfect in all his ways, all his thoughts, all his actions, and all his motives. And, he requires perfection. Jesus said in Matthew 7:48, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect."
The only way to make it to heaven is through the sacrifice of Jesus. He is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 2:9). He never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). He did everything perfectly. And, when he went to the cross he bore sin in his body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). So, if you trust, by faith in what he did on the cross, then you can have his righteousness imputed to you (Philippians 3:9). To impute means to reckon to another's account. It is a legal transaction where the righteousness of Christ, according to the law, is reckoned to the account of the believer. This way, when God the Father sees the "sinner," he sees him forgiven and possessing the righteousness of Christ.