How can a person do good deeds yet not go to Heaven?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: It is hard to understand how Christians claim that if a person spends their life doing good deeds it doesn’t mean the person will go to Heaven. How can that be? – G.D.
A: There is a story in Scripture about doing good deeds. It is often referred to as the story of a young man often referred to as the rich young ruler. He wanted to have assurance that he would go to Heaven someday and have eternal life, so he worked very hard to meet spiritual criteria as he believed it. Many people today work hard to satisfy this self-inflicted expectation while forgetting the reason behind “doing good.”
Many people satisfy their religious duty thinking they serve God by doing good things, but they actually have little time for Him. They spend far more time watching television than reading the Bible. They spend far more time on social media than seeking wisdom from the Lord through prayer. There is no time for God and their hearts are a long way from Him, but they still help others.
Think of it. The great God of Heaven searches our hearts. “I, the Lord, search the heart” (Jeremiah 17:10). Scriptures tell us that God ponders the heart of every person. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord [ponders] the hearts (Proverbs 21:2, KJV).
Rationalizing a way of life can be deceptive. The Bible clearly teaches that God doesn’t accept our evaluation of life; He weighs our spiritual lives. He also does a wonderful thing; He promises to give us a new heart if we will submit to Him and receive His salvation. When we fully submit our lives to Him and spend our time living in obedience to His Word, we have the hope of Heaven. When we live for Him, His Spirit gives us the desire to do for others in His Name. This is the secret to living.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
©2022 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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