Rev. 05/2006            
of Jesus
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise
and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will

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 thank him. 

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,

[6] 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.
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.
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:
[28] 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.
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.

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,
[27] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
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. 

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:
[7] Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
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.

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:
[31] If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples,
32] and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
Here are the links to each of the papers, just in case you have difficulty finding them;


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 done! 

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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