Can good people who are not Christians get into Heaven?
by Dan Therrien
People in all cultures and in every phase of history are saved the same way—by the grace of God given to undeserving sinners, not because of what we know, where we are born or how we have been indoctrinated, but “because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5).
While some may be ignorant of the content of Scripture and the teachings of Christ, they are by no means deprived of any knowledge of what is right and wrong, nor are they deprived of the knowledge of God’s existence. Romans 1:20 tells us, “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” In reality, it is not that some people have not heard about Christ. Rather, the problem is that they have rejected what they have heard and what is readily seen in nature. Deuteronomy 4:29 proclaims, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” This verse teaches an important principle: everyone who truly seeks after Truth will find it. If a person sincerely desires to know the true God, God will make Himself known.
Those in false religions are always subject to the teaching of salvation by works. If they believe they can satisfy a holy and perfect God by the keeping of rules and laws, God will allow them to continue in their efforts at self-justification until He finally judges them rightly. If, however, they respond to the goading of a conscience awakened by God and cry out to Him—as the tax collector in the temple did—“Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:9-14), God will respond with His truth and grace.
Only in Christ the Savior
is a man freed from the liability of guilt, sin, and shame. Our right standing
before our Judge is established on one thing only: the finished work of Christ
crucified who shed His blood so we could live (John
We are released from our sins by His blood (Revelation
He has reconciled us in His earthly body through His death (Colossians
Jesus bore our sins in His own Body on the cross so that by His wounds we are
We are made holy through the offering up of Jesus’ body as a sacrifice once for
Christ appeared once for all to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews
God sent His Son to remove the wrath that we ourselves deserved (1
The penalty of sin that is rightly ours is absolved by grace through faith, not
by any righteous deeds of our own (Ephesians
(Ephesians 2:8-9) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
(James 2:14-26) What
good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in
daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,”
without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also
faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You
have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I
will show you my faith by my works. ...
(Matthew 6) When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven. 2When you give to the poor, don’t blow a loud horn. That’s what show-offs do in the meeting places and on the street corners, because they are always looking for praise. I can assure you that they already have their reward. 3When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. 4Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
(2 Cor. 5:10) “For we must
all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the
things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
(John 1:12) But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
(John 3:3) “...no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.“The Greek for again also means from above;
We all know if we are born again believers in Christ, we will be chastised at the judgment but not condemned as is the case with non-believers. That being the case, I was recently put in a place to console someone who lost a loved who apparently was not a Christian and did not live the right kind of life and I've known people like that as well so I started asking questions to myself and seeking answers.
Is it possible for someone to believe and repent to be born from above after we die and stand before Jesus at the judgment. If the answer is no then why is there a need for a judgment? Is there more to God's love and grace than we can even imagine.
(1 Corinthians 11:31,32) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32But when we are judged, we are chastened (to correct behavior) of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Can this happen at the judgment? This would be comforting to know when a loved one dies. I do know God's grace is more than we can imagine and with God all things are possible. We know those not close to God won't get the rewards He has for those who do His will in this life but maybe those who pass without being born again have a chance at the judgment if they didn't commit the one unforgiveable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Many people use God's name in vain but not the Holy Spirit so is there hope? Christianity teaches our judgment will be based solely on decisions we made in this life but the bible isn't clear on that other than being born again in this life will give us the assurance of going to heaven.
(1 Cor. 6:9,10)