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Thread: Can good people go to Hell and bad people go to Heaven? What is the criteria?

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    Question Can good people go to Hell and bad people go to Heaven? What is the criteria?

    If believing that Jesus died for the sins of others is your ticket to heaven, then that appears to open up the door for good people to go to hell and bad people to go to heaven. For example, Let's say George is the most humanitarian, trustworthy, caring, giving and altruistic person in the world, yet does not care one iota about Jesus Christ while Herbert is evil, villainous, cheats, steals, rapes, kills, tortures, yet believes that Jesus died for the sins of others. In that scenario, George goes to Hell and Herbert goes to Heaven. Would you prefer to spend eternity with the caring, trustworthy George or the evil, villainous Herbert?

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    If Herbert truly believed in Christ he would never do those things, so both George and Herbert are hell bound. One can never be good enough to enter Heaven like George and one who is truly saved by Christ can never do Hebert's evil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrid View Post
    If believing that Jesus died for the sins of others is your ticket to heaven......
    Oops! I've got to stop you right here, brother.

    Believing that Jesus died for other peoples' sins does not save you. In fact, it does nothing for you.

    Romans 10:9-10 says that one must (1) believe that God raised Christ from the dead and (2) confess Jesus as Lord of one's life in order to be saved.

    Also, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that if any one person is truly in Christ that he or she is a new creature and the old ways are passed away and everything is become new.

    According to the description of a genuine Christian that the Bible presents, your "Herbert" is not a Christian. He is not a new creature nor is he allowing Jesus Christ to reign as Lord of his life.

    As for as your "George" character being so very, very good towards other people?

    Romans 3:10 says that there is none righteous, no not one. What we as mere mortals consider humanitarian acts of kindness are only that. They do not contribute to one's righteousness before God.

    Look at the 10 Commandments.

    The first 4 are about one's relationship with God. The second 6 are about our relationship with other people. Our relationship with God comes first, then people.

    The rich, young ruler who wanted his "ticket", as you say, into heaven told Jesus that he strictly adhered to commandments 5-10. But when Jesus asked him to lay all that he had down and follow him, he could not do it.

    He couldn't do commandments 1-4.

    He was seemingly a good man. Very good according to his own testimony.

    But he had no relationship with God.

    Goodness doesn't save you.

    ".....it's your nickel"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrid View Post
    If believing that Jesus died for the sins of others is your ticket to heaven, then that appears to open up the door for good people to go to hell and bad people to go to heaven. For example, Let's say George is the most humanitarian, trustworthy, caring, giving and altruistic person in the world, yet does not care one iota about Jesus Christ while Herbert is evil, villainous, cheats, steals, rapes, kills, tortures, yet believes that Jesus died for the sins of others. In that scenario, George goes to Hell and Herbert goes to Heaven. Would you prefer to spend eternity with the caring, trustworthy George or the evil, villainous Herbert?
    Bad people don't go to Heaven, and good people don't go to Hell. You're confusing function with essence. To give an example of each. At home you're valued for your essence, for who you are as a person. At work you're valued for your function, for the work you do.

    As for your question, it's a false choice in two ways. In the first way, belief that Jesus died for our sins is not a one way trip to Heaven. You must believe and then follow Jesus (belief must be made manifest through action). Secondly, by engaging in the actions Herbert engages in, he's revealing a more basic belief (as opposed to a professed belief), that belief being "I don't believe Jesus died for the sins of others". This unspoken, basic belief, is Herbert's actual position.

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    Even devils believe the gospel, and they're not going to heaven, are they?

    I am, personally, a very bad person. Before I was a Christian I was a witch. I was also extremely active in many "good" causes, volunteered to help animals, disabled kids, save the environment. Put myself on the line for political prisoners (come to think of it, frequently was a political prisoner). Went into schools to teach kids how to read, fundraised, gave to charity, etc etc etc... I honestly thought myself a very good person.

    Not one time that I was doing those things was I doing them for the glory of God. I was doing them partly because I knew they needed to be done, but also to a large extent because they validated my self esteem. They made me feel good, and noble, and justified.

    The Bible says that all our righteousness is as dirty rags. That's all my righteousness was.

    I was heading straight to hell.

    Now I'm still a bad person. But the difference is that I know the one good Person, the only one Who can save me from my pride and arrogance. Jesus.

    My behaviour has changed since I've known Him. So, outwardly I seem less "wicked". But I still know that I don't deserve heaven, though I'm grateful He's opened the way for me to be there with Him.

    If I had remained a "good" person, content in my own righteousness, I'd have been one of a billion in hell, I'm sure. Hell is full of "good" people, folks who were so sure their works would save them that they never repented and turned to Christ. Heaven is full of "bad" people, who recognised their sin, and repented.

    So, to return to your analogy, if Herbert is in heaven, Herbert realised that he was evil, and repented whole heartedly, giving himself body and soul to Christ, to do with as He will. In which case I have no problem spending eternity with him.

    But if I had to spend eternity with the likes of myself, pre my salvation... with someone who kept on and on about her "cause", her righteousness, the rest of the world's wickedness, someone who sneered at God and hated Christ... well, that really would be hell.

    And to think that would have been my fate if Jesus Christ hadn't saved me from myself!
    Please could everyone pray for Mieke and Charles.

    My testimony http://bibleforums.org/forum/showthr...ight=testimony

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by newinchrist4now View Post
    If Herbert truly believed in Christ he would never do those things, so both George and Herbert are hell bound. One can never be good enough to enter Heaven like George and one who is truly saved by Christ can never do Hebert's evil
    The criteria I've read for being granted eternal life merely states that you have to accept the gift. I've also heard that one must believe that Jesus died for the sins of others. So why isn't Herbert saved?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrid View Post
    The criteria I've read for being granted eternal life merely states that you have to accept the gift. I've also heard that one must believe that Jesus died for the sins of others. So why isn't Herbert saved?
    Because of Scripture:

    If Herbert truly was a Christian he would produce the fruits of the Spirit

    22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


    Gal 5:22-23


    14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?


    James 2:14

    The initial step is to accept what God offers, but that is not the only thing. Even demons believe

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    Madrid, the criteria you've read for being granted eternal life... did you read them in the Bible? Or are you reading the traditions of man?

    By the criterion you've stated, the devil himself is saved, because the devil believes that Jesus died to save humans. Obviously something is wrong.

    The criterion in the Bible is rather different from this. Please don't think I'm being condescending, because I'm not, I'm simply asking because I know how I was before I was Christian.

    Do you actually read the Bible? Why not read what Jesus said?

    He said, "I am the way, the truth and the light, no-one comes to the Father but by me."

    Herbert might have a map, he might believe the map is accurate. He might know how to get onto the narrow path, and believe that it would lead him to salvation.

    But if he doesn't get his arse in gear and get on that narrow path, and follow in it, then he's not going to get to heaven, no matter how much he believes.

    Here's a personal analogy. I took a year off my degree after my mother died. My tutors thought it would be good for me to have twelve months, off, travel and see the world.

    I had my bags all packed, my route all worked out, plans made, etc...

    In the end I didn't go anywhere. I worked in an Old Person's Home in Blackpool instead of travelling the world.

    How did believing in travel help me, if I wasn't prepared to get my arse in gear?

    How does believing in Jesus help, if you don't actually go to Him?
    Please could everyone pray for Mieke and Charles.

    My testimony http://bibleforums.org/forum/showthr...ight=testimony

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Madrid View Post
    If believing that Jesus died for the sins of others is your ticket to heaven, then that appears to open up the door for good people to go to hell and bad people to go to heaven. For example, Let's say George is the most humanitarian, trustworthy, caring, giving and altruistic person in the world, yet does not care one iota about Jesus Christ while Herbert is evil, villainous, cheats, steals, rapes, kills, tortures, yet believes that Jesus died for the sins of others. In that scenario, George goes to Hell and Herbert goes to Heaven. Would you prefer to spend eternity with the caring, trustworthy George or the evil, villainous Herbert?
    According to The word of God, all that "good work" is viewed by God asbeing a used tampon. On the other hand, the blood of Jesus has no more problem washing murder away than it has washing stealing a pen from your employer away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrid View Post
    The criteria I've read for being granted eternal life merely states that you have to accept the gift. I've also heard that one must believe that Jesus died for the sins of others. So why isn't Herbert saved?
    Ah! I've just realised where we're not understanding each other! You say, "MERELY" states you have to accept the gift.

    Okay, first of all, it's not a "little" or "mere" thing, an incidental event in the course of one's life to accept Jesus. It's actually the biggest thing there is. It's also not a one time thing... you have to continue to accept, continue to surrender, continue to love, and continue to grow. (It's not surprising then that the present continuous is very prominent in NT texts about salvation... sadly we don't have such a tense in English.) Also, to believe in Him is to LOVE Him. Our word belief is actually derived from an anglo saxon word to love, and this strikes me as wonderfully significant. To know Him is to love Him. Does Herbert love Him? If so, he's going to want not to hurt Him, if so, Herbert's life will be changed.

    Herbert is saved if he truly believes/loves/follows after Christ. Like any of us, he can make mistakes, mess up, wonder what on earth he's doing, and why on earth Christ would bother with him. But he's still saved, if he really accepts (and keeps on accepting... present continuous, remember?) the gift which Jesus offers.

    If Herbert simply goes to some gospel meeting, says the sinners prayer, and then carries on raping and murdering, it's fair to say he's not saved and never was.

    If Herbert goes away in true repentance, you'll see the fruit of it.

    Hope that helps.
    Please could everyone pray for Mieke and Charles.

    My testimony http://bibleforums.org/forum/showthr...ight=testimony

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrid View Post
    The criteria I've read for being granted eternal life merely states that you have to accept the gift. I've also heard that one must believe that Jesus died for the sins of others. So why isn't Herbert saved?
    This is the criteria in Scripture:

    What must you do to be saved? Believe in Jesus!

    John 3:16

    "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

    Romans 10:9
    "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved"

    Now, here's the kicker. If we actually believe in Jesus. Then...

    John 14:15

    "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."

    James 2:20
    But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

    Matthew 25:40
    "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'"

    Faith isn't merely an act of intellectual consent. Nor is the above a condition in addition to faith. It is faith. Whether we believe one thing or another - truly believe, even if we say we believe something to the contrary - that will manifest in everything we do and all that we are. Does Herbert love Jesus? Matthew 7:16 says, "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?" Put Herbert through a "test".

    Question 1: Do you love Jesus?
    Herbert's Answer: Yes

    Question 2: Do you take care of the poor, windowed and imprisoned?
    Herbert's Answer: No. In fact, I might kill, rape, torture, steal and cheat from them

    Question 3: Is your faith manifest in your life?
    Herbert's Answer: No (from question above)

    It all goes back to the second greatest commandment, as explained by Jesus, "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'". Murdering your neighbour, stealing from your neighbour, raping your neighbour... This is not following the commandments of Jesus (John 14:15, above)--so how can someone say they love Jesus?

    That's why Herbert isn't saved. Because Herbert doesn't believe in and trust Jesus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrid View Post
    If believing that Jesus died for the sins of others is your ticket to heaven, then that appears to open up the door for good people to go to hell and bad people to go to heaven. For example, Let's say George is the most humanitarian, trustworthy, caring, giving and altruistic person in the world, yet does not care one iota about Jesus Christ while Herbert is evil, villainous, cheats, steals, rapes, kills, tortures, yet believes that Jesus died for the sins of others. In that scenario, George goes to Hell and Herbert goes to Heaven. Would you prefer to spend eternity with the caring, trustworthy George or the evil, villainous Herbert?
    I've not bothered to read the other's answers because the conversation is to be between you and the individual, only. I will comment that your scenario is completely incorrect. It does not, nor has it ever mattered which person we would choose to spend eternity with. The choice is will you spend eternity, without end, in the presence of God or will you choose to spend it in total isolation in suffering and pain. I have never been concerned with how many bad people will go to Heaven because, even Satan believes in Jesus and still he will suffer eternal lonely suffering and agony. There is just a bit more to the decision than a public proclumation. (Excuse me for my forwardness Marry.) Now you take Mary. I witnessed to daughter for some time before she resolved to commit to Christ, that's a tough decision for a member of Wicca to make. When she did whe didn't just say she believed and go about her way casting spells and so on. Mary, like myself, repented. That means she turned her life one hundred and eighty degrees from Hell and directly toward Heaven and like me, her son and her husband, Niel, began to serve God.

    If you will go pick up a copy of the NASB or some other easily read version and a copy the Nave's Topical Bible you will begin to understand a great deal about this whole thing. You see, there are no points or demerits, if there were Bil Taylor would never go anywhere but to hell, I worked hard for 45 years, of my youth, when I could really work, trying to get into Hell and the very moment that I repented, changed my direction, the LORD wrapped me in His arms and loved me.

    So, if you ask me if I want to spend time with a former bad girl witch named Mary, in my worst Irish I'll be saying, "Yes, she'a like meown daughter! And if all those other men repented and were smart enough to call on His name, I'll not mind them either.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Madrid View Post
    Herbert is evil, villainous, cheats, steals, rapes, kills, tortures, yet believes that Jesus died for the sins of others. In that scenario ... Herbert goes to Heaven.
    You probably missed those Scriptures such as...
    Matthew 7.21-23: "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."

    1 John 2.6: Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

    Hebrews 10.26-27,29: For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. ... How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

    Revelation 3.1-3: "'I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.'"

    The individual George denies that he is wicked and evil, and rejects God outright, and so is condemned in his lie. The individual Herbert recognizes that he is wicked and evil, but continues to love evil instead of God, and so is condemned in his hypocrisy.

    Would you prefer to spend eternity with the caring, trustworthy George or the evil, villainous Herbert?
    This question in itself is flawed. We're all evil by nature... in everlasting, we are a new creation, holy and sinless by nature... there will be no more evil.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by newinchrist4now View Post
    Because of Scripture:

    If Herbert truly was a Christian he would produce the fruits of the Spirit

    22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


    Gal 5:22-23
    Galatians 5:19-20 suggests that Herbert won't be granted the Kingdom of God, but does that mean he isn't a Christian?


    14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?


    James 2:14

    The initial step is to accept what God offers, but that is not the only thing. Even demons believe
    What exactly does God offer?
    How does one recognize that God has offered it?
    How does one accept what God has offered?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrid View Post
    Galatians 5:19-20 suggests that Herbert won't be granted the Kingdom of God, but does that mean he isn't a Christian?


    What exactly does God offer?
    How does one recognize that God has offered it?
    How does one accept what God has offered?

    1. God offers salvation through the sacrifice of Christ by the shedding of his blood.
    2. Through his Holy Scripture.
    3. By believing Chrisst died for your sins, you repent and then get baptized and live the best Christ like life you can by seeking him through his Word.

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