Updated: Jan 28, 2020
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Why can’t God just let every “good person” go to heaven? Have you ever wondered that? The argument goes something like this: How unfair of God to keep a decently good person out of heaven just because they never trusted in Christ. I can't love a God like that. I mean, we've all sinned at some point, right? So why doesn't He just use a grading curve and let all the decent and “good people” go to heaven?
You’ve heard some of these arguments, right? They are good arguments, and as Christians we need to be able to say more than, “I dunno” in response. The truth is, there’s a real problem that is created if God allows even one ounce of sin into heaven.
Think about the most evil person you know. That shows the potential effect sin can have on a life over the course of one lifespan - and a lifespan is a relatively short amount of time compared to eternity. We can see from this short life we know here that sin can make a person pretty terrible in a hurry, can’t it? It grows like a fungus and eventually overtakes the conscience. Today, the lifespan of a person is only a little over one hundred years at the most. Some people let sin reign wildly in their lives while other people try to keep it at bay the best they can. But everyone has sin in them. Unless God offered a real remedy for sin, sin would be in all humans for eternity, growing and creating problems.
Most of us have seen firsthand (or at least on the nightly news) what sin can grow to do within and through a person during a normal lifespan (think twisted mass murderers here). Now, think about what even the tiniest remnant of sin might grow to do over the span of forever in eternity. Even the smallest, most subtle sin left untreated in us would eventually grow and grow and make us all monsters when given enough time. Pretty soon, heaven would no longer be heaven. Heaven would grow to be evil like much of what our world has turned into today.
We needed a real cleansing and a real remedy, not just lip service. Christ died for us to pay the price for our sins. Those of us who put our faith and trust in Him and His payment are 1) seen by God as sinless because the blood of Christ covers us by our faith and 2) we get to have his Holy Spirit live in us. The Holy Spirit empowers us for good works of eternal value, and he works a life-long process in us from the inside out to help free us from the enticement of sin during this life so we can be good witnesses. But even though the price for sin has been paid, Christians still get enticed into sin from time to time (although hopefully less and less as we learn to lean into the Spirit).
So the price for our sin has been paid yet Christians are still imperfect people who continue to sometimes create problems because of their sin. What’s up with that? Was sin really taken care of or not? Well, part one has been finished but the final part won’t be fully complete until our resurrection or the second coming of Christ. It’s important to note Jesus didn’t just stop with the cross, which was the part that paid for our sin before the Father. He resurrected from the dead proving His power to utterly defeat sin and death. This is important because his resurrection from the dead proves He has the POWER to defeat death (the worst consequence of our greatest Enemy) and every sin and evil. The act of his resurrection was a deposit guaranteeing and proving He has the power and ability to raise us up redeemed, redeem creation, and make everything right again in the end in his perfect timing. His resurrection proved He actually does have the power to do everything the Bible says He will do in the end.
You’re probably like me and have wondered at some point, “But even if God removes sin, what keeps the fall of Adam and Eve from happening again in the new, redeemed world? Aren’t we just doomed to someone choosing to sin at some point again?” There are two main reasons we can rest assured the redeemed world will stay redeemed. First, Satan will be defeated and will no longer be present to tempt us like he did Adam and Eve (see the last several chapters of Revelation). And second, 1 Corinthians 15:42, 52 says that when he raises us, he will raise us up “imperishable” - which means unable to be spoiled. In other words, when he resurrects us, we will be unable to be tainted by sin again. Because there was a real remedy offered and a real resurrection will happen to us, heaven can truly be without sin, evil, pain, and heartache for eternity. Now that’s cause for praise!! I’m looking forward to that, aren’t you?