thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden
things from the wise
understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy
YOUR QUESTION (No. 38)
Can a "good person" qualify for heaven?
I have a
question concerning your answer to question 34; specifically the second
paragraph from the bottom. You stated that even a good person who is
conscious of sin and acknowledges their sins and is forgiving will be
accepted into heaven as a servant. Where is this found in the gospels
and where does that place Jesus who has said " I am the gate for the
sheep"; also He has said, My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and
they follow me. I give them eternal life. He also has said " There
shall be one flock and one shepherd", and lastly He has declared, " I
am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father
except through me. I'm sure that there are many good people out there
but without Jesus as their shepherd what does all their good mean.
Perhaps I am misunderstanding your answer but I remain puzzled by it.
Your question arises, I think, from long exposure to Christian
doctrine. To my shame, I once preached, as a Southern Baptist,
doctrines that seem to be basic to your questions. My problem was that
I had not at that time listened to Jesus carefully enough to understand
his teaching on salvation. It is finally coming through, for which I
First, I have learned that there are three categories of the saved, and
since I have learned it from Jesus, it follows that all of them have
access to the Father only through Jesus. Therefore conforms fully to Jesus saying,
 I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one
comes to the Father, but by me.
The three categories are
1) the innocents -- babies and retarded individuals who
never have sinned - angels.
No. 2 is probably the cause of your questions. Like you, I once believed
that no one gets to heaven without hearing and believing the Word of
Jesus and confessing him as savior. But he tells us differently:
2) the penitents -- have not heard the Word, but repent and are
forgiven - servants.
3) the infants -- have heard the Word and, believing, are begotten from
above and become the children of God.
These men, none of whom ever heard the Word of Jesus or believed in him while in
this world, are among those we will see in heaven (in the kingdom of
God). The scriptures refer to them always as "servants." They were and remain servants. This is where we find this in the gospels.
 There you will weep and gnash your
teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you
yourselves thrust out.
It is through this Word of Jesus that we know this, and I
understand that even they received access to the Father through Jesus
and only through Jesus, who is the Word of God from the beginning. In
the description of the Judgment, Jesus is the one who presides over the
sorting of the sheep from the goats. No one gets to the Father, and into the heavenly kingdom, without first getting past him.
The infants, little children of the Father through being begotten from
above, by the Word, are the ones whom Jesus came to save, because it is
children that the Father desires from the world, not servants. The
latter are received by his mercy if they have been merciful and have
repented. But the Father sent the Word into the world to save those
who are becoming His children, and we become his children when we
receive the Word of Jesus and believe. Children differ from servants
in many ways, but perhaps the primary one is that the children alone
have the promise of inheriting the kingdom.
The sheep in John 10, to whom you refer,
are the children, because they have heard his voice. They (we) have
heard his Word, and all who hear him are presented with the wonderful
prospect of becoming the divine children of the Father in heaven.
These are the sheep of John 10, but Jesus did not specifically identify
these as the sheep at the Judgment, which leaves open the admission of
the servants into the flock at that time, yet as servants.
 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
Yes, there are many good people out there without Jesus as their
shepherd. If they have never heard the Word of Jesus, they will
receive mercy at the Judgment if they are merciful:
This is a blanket promise: the merciful will receive mercy! It is
the Word of Jesus, and because of that, we can say that it is only
through Jesus that they come to the Father.
 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Christians through the centuries, failing to understand this, have been
forced to invent second chances for those good people who die/died
without hearing the gospel -- so we have purgatory and a supposed visit
of Jesus to sheol where he supposedly preached the Word to those who
had no opportunity to hear him while alive. Of course, Jesus said
nothing about such things and, when we can receive his salvation
doctrine without the distortions of Christianity, we see that there is
no need for such.
If you will take time to read the papers on salvation,
beginning with the first listed above, they should help to resolve this
issue for you -- or, like me, you can just go directly to Jesus and ask
him -- then ponder his Word at some length, as I have attempted to do.
His promise is true:
Here are the links to each of the papers, just in case you have
difficulty finding them;
 If you continue in my word, you are
truly my disciples,
 and you will know the truth, and the
truth will make you free.
This is an extremely important teaching of the Lord that Christendom
has very nearly succeeded in snuffing out -- but not so. It can't be
In conclusion, this sums it up: God is both merciful and just.
Therefore he receives the merciful into his kingdom and Glory as
servants, provided they have never heard and rejected the Word.
But hearing the Word puts one into a special category of persons who,
if they believe, become the children of the Father who not only enter
the kingdom, but inherit it also. These are the sheep of the Little
Flock who hear the Shepherds voice. He sent Jesus to proclaim the
Word in the world because it is a harvest of children that He wants
from the world, and not servants. The latter he receives when
they qualify as merciful persons because, in His mercy, he cannot
reject them solely because they had no opportunity to hear the
Shepherd's voice. The Christian doctrine applies only to those
who have heard the Word. They have greatly erred in not making
this distinction between servants and children. The "good people
out there," whom you specify, are not "good people" if they have heard
the Word and have rejected it. All of the Shepherd and Sheep
utterances of the Lord that you list in your question are absolutely
True, because they are addressed to all who have heard his Words.
Peace to you.
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