Can Works Get You Into Heaven?
Ask people around the world nowadays the question, “Are you going to heaven?” and most likely you’ll get an answer like “Yeah, I think so. I mean, I tithe. I’m a good person. I certainly do more good than bad. I’ve never killed anyone or molested any children and I help a lot of people.” This happens because many subscribe to the notion that Heaven is a place that you earn your way into. Many people often believe that God can be won over with the things you do, as long as the good outweighs the bad. This is not true and very dangerous to people who desire to live in eternity with God.
Isaiah 64:6 says “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” It really doesn’t get much simpler than that. You see, sin in the sight of God is sort of like a Saints fan in the sight of a Falcons fan, for lack of a better explanation. From His Word, we understand that God does not hear sinners (John 9:31). This is because in order to speak to God, you have to enter into His presence. Sin cannot stand in the presence of God. This is why the blood of Jesus must cleanse us. When we go through this process of regeneration, or being born again, it cleanses us from all unrighteousness. This is the only thing that allows us into the presence of the Most High God, whether it’s prayer, or heaven. Now, this does not include the sinner who wants to be saved. The bible says, “they that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
Jesus told Nicodemus the Pharisee that except a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). What this means, essentially, is that it doesn’t matter what a person does; from Jeffery Dahmer to Adolph Hitler, Mahatma Ghandi to Mother Theresa, in order to get to heaven, a person must accept Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. You cannot work your way to Heaven. Instead, The Lord Jesus makes you Heaven ready.
Even the mass murderer can make it to heaven. He has the same opportunity that Martin Luther King, Jr. had, if he calls upon the name of the Lord. This also means that people like the afore mentioned Mahatma Ghandi is in hell at this moment because he was a devout Hindu, even though he taught and practiced peace and did great things for people while on this earth.
It makes no difference. God saw that the world was doomed and he provided a way of salvation for them. Jesus was that way (John 14:6), and all roads do not lead to God. Works play no part in eternal destiny.