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Are Good Intentions Enough To Get Into Heaven?

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posted on Jul, 2 2002 @ 03:19 PM
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Posted on the old board by theyre here

Another point that seems lost within a forgotten thread, that deserves some attention...


At some point or another, discussions about Christianity usually touch upon the requirement of being "saved" or "accepting Jesus" for entry into heaven.

Non-Christians tend to wonder about those who never heard of Jesus... and thus, never had an opportunity to consider being "saved."

However, even in the bible, there appears to be references that God may indeed judge a man on works alone. It seems that perhaps good intentions are indeed a path to salvation:

Psalms 62:12
"For you render to each one according to his works."

Jerimiah 17:10
"I the Lord ... give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."

Matthew 12:37
"For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Matthew 19:17
"If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."

John 5:29
"And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

Romans 2:6, 13
"Who 'will render to each one according to his deeds'. For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified."

2nd Corinthians 5:10
"For we must all appear before the jugment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."

2nd Corinthians 11:15
"Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works."

James 2:14
"What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?"

James 2:21
"Was not Abraham our father justified by works? You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only."

1st Peter 1:17
"The Father, who without pariality judges according to each one's work."


Things that make you go hmmmm....




posted on Jul, 2 2002 @ 03:19 PM
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Reply on the old board by netchicken

Fair enough, that is how God judges people who never hear the gospel, they are judged by 2 criteria:
1 The degree to which they follow their 'heart' and do right
2: This ties in to 1, the the good works they undertake on earth.

In the OT works and obedience were the prime requirements for heaven. That changed when Jesus came.

The works that are done in the NT are done through obedience to the will of God, so the closer you follow God the more works you will do (as obedience out of love gives works). Obedience can be costly, so works in this case may include suffering for being a christian.

I am a little unsure what the problem is, as it seems straight forward

This big question - justification by works was a huge topic in the church and it was Martin Luther who came out with the realization that is it by faith we are saved and not by works.

This was one of the great separation points in the Church from which the protestent denominations sprang. Until that time people thought that you had to either be spiritual and a monk, or be non spiritual and a worker. The also thught that to get to heaven you had to pay money to the priests who would pray for you to get in. It was all BS.

Luthers declaration made it clear that what you do won't get you to heaven, but what you believe.

"For it is by faith that you are saved, not by works so that no one can boast"

Rom somewhere.

This battle and been fought and won over the last 500 years, only the fringe 'cults' hold that it is by works that you attain heaven (JW's etc AFAIK)

This issue is not somthing that has been overlooked or pushed in the corner for the last mellinium, but has been debated long and hard. Luther was willing to sacrifice his position and even life for this basic tenet of the christian faith.

[hr]

Read Romans 4. There Paul talks about exactly this situation. Infact read all of Romans and it wll anwer many questions.

William Carey (famous missionary) said that if the Bible is a beautiful ring, then Romans is the Jewel in the ring. Its a great stirring book that outlines what christians believe.

more to come ....

(Sorry I don't have a bible handy at work to quote this but somewhere it says...)

"Build up treasure in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy. "

We are told as christians to do good works as they will be counted for us as treasure in heaven. We are not told to do good works to GET there, but as we are going there anyway but they will be added to the blessings, we will recieve once there.

So works take on a different aspect when you are a christian .....


BTW Its unfair to take verses out of the bible and not look at the context of the verse in relation to the topic around it. I think if we went through each of the verses in the NT you have quoted and looked at them in context you might come to quite different answers as to that they are saying.

Anyone can pick bits out and build an argument based on them, but the RIGHT way to read the bible is to see the individual verses in the context of the chapter, and the chapter in the context of the book.

Having looked throught he verses again if you watn I can take many of them and show that they are in fact saying the opposite of what you intend them to say, or in the least do not support your premise.

- let me know if you want me to.....



posted on Jul, 2 2002 @ 03:20 PM
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Reply on the old board by theyre here

I agree, I quoted the detail for simplicity, and to get across the number of references that seem to prove the point. So, let's take one of the NT references in detail:
I'm sure you know this one...

Matthew 19:16 - 24
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

So it seems this rich man could get into heaven by selling everything, and passing the proceeds on to the poor.

Hmmm....



posted on Jul, 2 2002 @ 03:20 PM
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Reply on the old board by netchicken

Thats more like it, lets discuss actual instances like this instead of firing verses at each other.

Here is a situation where Jesus meets a young rich man. This man has tried to be good, and follow the Jewish law as best he could. This event is mentioned in all the gospels, so great store is given to the meaning of it.

There was one thing that Jesus immediatly saw that held him back in his spiritual walk. He loved his posessions. So Jesus challanges him to get rid of them as well to be perfect because they were a trap for him.

Notice that Jesus said "you will have treasure in heaven" NOT you will GO to heaven. He then adds "and come and follow me" If he fulfilled those coditions he would have entered heaven with great riches, not just with a little.

He was on his way to heaven having followed the Jewish law, but he wanted to be perfect and to do that Jesus saw that he needed to overcome his love for his posessions. He would have recieved treasure, spiritual blessings, in heaven as well as gong to heaven, an added extra.

Notice that he couldn't do it. Jesus showed him his weakness and he was unwilling to overcome it. Later in the chapter Jesus says to the deciples how hard is is for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven, that their love of posessions hold them back from following Jesus, but that God was able to help because "with God all things are possible".

Why might riches be a trap for people?

1 they may find their identity in them, and not in God,
2 Pride at having them can hold people back
3 Relying on them in times of trouble instead of relying on God.
4 Maybe how they obtained them may have been unjust.

Its a good lesson to hold lightly to the things you have here on earth, be ready to give them away for good purposes, and to find your identity in being a child of God instead of your possesions.



posted on Jul, 2 2002 @ 03:20 PM
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Reply on the old board by theyre here

"Treasures in heaven" is a hair that needn't be split. The young rich man asked how he could have eternal life... I suppose we should assume Jesus' answer was not deceptive. That being said, is this not a path offered by Jesus that is contrary to the current beliefs that one must be saved?



posted on Jul, 2 2002 @ 03:21 PM
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Reply on the old board by netchicken

No,
Firstly don't forget at that time Jesus was not dead, the only way to heaven at that stage was via the law. So when the young man asks
"How may I have eternal life" Jesus says "Follow the law"
- the only way to heaven then.

The man says he's doing that, - thoroughly in other gospels, ever since he was a child. This is a devout person.

Then Jesus adds "if you want to be perfect" - he's looking inside the person and seeing what is holding him back from even greater spirituality - "get rid of your posessions and come and follow me".

heaven is a place we attain before Jesus through following the Law, now after Jesus by believing in him. You can get there "as one excaping through the fire" without any treasure for your next life, or "with you cup running over".

Its not just a here/there thing, the deeds you do here also impact on what life it like there as well.



posted on Jul, 2 2002 @ 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by SimonGray
Reply on the old board by netchicken

The works that are done in the NT are done through obedience to the will of God, so the closer you follow God the more works you will do (as obedience out of love gives works). Obedience can be costly, so works in this case may include suffering for being a christian.

That just about says it all. And also, I believe that Christians also understand that God had a reason for telling us what is right and wrong. He knew it would be best for us. Yes, doing the right thing will almost always cost you some friends or maybe embarrasment, but atleast you have the life-long good feeling of knowing you did the smart thing. Doing the wrong thing, knowing it is wrong, will only bring temporary contentment, if even that. I suppose if you did the wrong thing, not knowing it, you won't feel as bad, but will suffer whatever consequences that come with it.



posted on Jul, 4 2002 @ 04:26 AM
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Yet, you may add the Crusades, Inquisitions & such into this mix...Many such people had good intentions, but committed evil deeds in the name of God & the scriptures for it. Granted, the worst cases were people who did such deeds for themselves & only paid lip service to God's Law, but I don't doubt that at least *some* of them followed their "religious superiors" as they would the Law of God. And yet, by committing evil with those good, honest intentions to follow "The Church" would earn them nothing of Heaven if they broke God's Law in the process.

IMO, that's how the phrase, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" originated. In other words, good intentions *alone* are not enough...They should be backed up with good works as well. Mainly because a person may not have the *resources* available to turn good intent to good acts, so all of the good intentions in the world accomplish nothing positive or negative for humankind.

Besides, the scriptures indicate that all of the "good works" in the world are still not enough to get to Heaven...The *only* way is to accept Christ into your heart as your Savior...Nothing else is sufficient.



posted on Jul, 21 2002 @ 05:17 AM
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The Crusades and such were from the Catholic church they didn't just kill Muslims they killed Jews also. Too many people might blame the Jews for killing Jesus but Jesus was a Jew himself!!!!!!!! After all he was sent here to die for our sins...... that was the plan all along. Also in the Bible it's my understanding that if a person doesn't hear the gospel that he has no excuse because the stuff around him. The creation and all that. The Catholic church is wrong. They misinterpreted a bible verse and there ya go.......the pope and all that. And upon this Rock I will build my Church or something like that.......how could God build His church on a person?!?!?!?!? It was He Himself he was talking about. Upon Me, Jesus, the Rock, I will build My church. After all Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Amen......



posted on Nov, 12 2002 @ 03:25 PM
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Since nobody has yet posted the "Prove It" verses, here goes...

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

Romans 10:9-10 "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."

These verses agree, do they not? God made a new covenant with humanity after Jesus' death. He knows that people are imperfect, so in his mercy and love he added the new covenant to the old law. Yes, God expects certain behaviors from those who call themselves his children, because they represent him!, but doing good things without the belief is empty. From a true belief in God comes good works naturally - for without God, what would be the real deep down reason for doing good things anyway???



posted on Nov, 12 2002 @ 07:28 PM
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Very well said Carebear


I also would like to point out that Good works alone do not mean anything.

If someone who may not be a christian does something good out of his own heart this could still worthless in Gods sight.

God calls a good work a righteous work. But it is written in the Bible that our own righteousness is as filthy rags in the sight if God.

Jesus said that no one comes to the father but by me. This should settle the matter. But to explain a little more, The Father who is God is in heaven as we know. So if Jesus said we cannot get to heaven (the father) but through him. Then we have no choice but to do it Gods way. Jesus also said he is the way, truth and life. So in order to recieve life we must and can only go the true way. Jesus's way.

It is also written in the Bible that even some christians will go to hell. These particular christians who Jesus was refering to did many good works, even miracles yet they were still full of iniquity.
If a christian does many good works throughout all his life, yet has some pride in his character because of what he'd done, then he will not be able to enter the kingdom of God.



posted on Nov, 13 2002 @ 09:55 AM
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And from the other side of the peanut gallery:

For the other religions of the world, yes, good acts/good intentions are what brings you to a place of eternal reward. It's how one behaves to the rest of the world rather than one's internal belief that is stressed.

This belief avoids the dichotomy that Christian sects may face: Jeffrey Dahlmer (the homosexual cannibal) converted to a Christian religion shortly before his death and is supposedly dancing with the angels. His victims are shrieking for all eternity in Hell -- as though what he did to them here on earth was not punishment enough. And the victims would be joined by the likes of Mahatma Ghandi.

As far as I know, Ghandi's sole sin was that he was of the Hindu faith. On a practical level, he did more to improve the conditions of the oppressed than most others who walked the earth ... including Dahlmer (who, if you're Christian, is off reaping some eternal reward and sitting with the angels.)



posted on Nov, 13 2002 @ 11:23 AM
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Byrd


People will read what you posted here and say that you could have a valid point.

But the mistake that I can see your making is that you are trying to play Judge, and are setting in a way the standard of what someone has to do to obtain a peaceful eternity. I do not know this Jeffrey Dalhmer so I cannot comment on him.

But what I do know is that the people of the world do not understand what the standard that God requires in order to Receive eternal life. God says that our own Righteousness in our own eyes is like filthy rags in the sight of God. We cannot obtain eternal life by good works alone. The sinners of the world know how to do good works, Don't they?. If this was the standard that we could go to heaven by only doing good works then everybody would do the good works required and then we'll all go to heaven and Hell would be empty. I know you are not a christian but I think you need to use a little more common sense in the matter. Good works mean nothing in Gods sight, but I will now tell you what Gods will is for every person in the world, and the sole reason of why Jesus died on the cross for mankind.
*The whole purpose of being a christian is so that our character may be transformed into the character of Jesus Christ*. This is what God is really interested in.
A good work is done and past in a moment. But our characters remain for Enternity.

Stewards



posted on Nov, 13 2002 @ 12:28 PM
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Oh no. Quick!

when I read your post Dain I thought that I had better Reply as Quick as possible because You have misunderstood me or I did not phrase myself properly.

Ok. firstly, No I did not mean that it would be a bad thing if Hell was empty. Quite the opposite actually. But what I meant was that Hell would be an obsolete place if mankind knew that it required good works only, in order to enter heaven. This My friend is a great deceit.

Secondly, What I meant by Good works was that If a man lives his life doing good works but does not repent of his sins and accept christ, then his good works are in vain.

You are right, Jesus did many good works in his life to help his fellow man. But also he lived a life pleasing to God. A sinner could do many good works throughout his life but when he gets to Judgement day what will his good works do for him then.
God will look at his record of good works but also see he did not repent. Then he and his Good works will be cast into hell.

Remember that the Bible says that Even some Christians will be cast into hell for eternity.

SO to sum up. Good works are what they are, GOOd. But if that person does not repent then his Good works done in his life will seem to him that they never happened.

Everybody in the world knows how to do a good work. but if it is not done in christs name then it is all in vain.

This is not my opinion, but it is the word of God.

See ya Dain
.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:13 PM
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They are good enough to pave a road to hell.

I think the only way to judge whether an intention is good is to look at the outcome.

[edit on 27-7-2007 by Amelie]



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:32 PM
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Dammit, I'm on sabbatical and you come up with this. You hate me, don't you?


If their is a heaven, I'm not going.

If their is a hell, my idea of it is I wake after my body has ceased to function and I'm being dragged towards these two huge pearly gates. Inside those gates stand Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggert and my parents who were both hell fire and brimstone Pentacostal ministers. As I scream and thrash and try to get away they toss me onto those streets of gold and close the door behind me. For all eternity I am told I must worship the one that they call God.

Screw that. I would rather know I'm alive in the tortures of hell than wish I were alive in the servitude of heaven.

If there is a heaven, and someday I get there (and I seriously doubt both propositions,) It will not be thru my actions, but thru the knowledge and life lessons I have learned.

It is thru knowledge and understanding that all of my life begins to make sense. Hurting people is wrong, hurting anything is wrong, Love is the key to finding a better way for yourself and those around you.

Most of this discussion so far has been about Christianity. Learn to think outside the book.

Only then will you be free.

wupy



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by mrwupy
Dammit, I'm on sabbatical and you come up with this. You hate me, don't you?


Check the dates on most of the posts


It is sad that there have been many Christians who have forgotten Christ's proclamation of the most important thing we must strive for, love. As Paul wrote, if we do amazing things, things that rock nations, but have not love, we have nothing. Sadly, many Christians forget this and not only feel hatred, but go so far as to embrace it and think it holy when it is completely contrary to who God says He is in the Bible -- God is love.

Wupy, you have that lesson. You understand that far better than many professing and mature Christians I know. For many, possibly those you mentioned (I don't know their hearts, but their outward appearances lead me to suspect), that is a very difficult lesson after they start to get into a niche, where they forget how much grace and love God had for them when they, doing absolutely nothing to merit it, were loved and embraced by God and they saw it.

I would turn your closing comment around on you and say, despite your experiences with Christians, to think outside the box and see what Christ had to say. I am flawed, as is everyone I know, and I am positive there are things I don't get yet. I am positive there are things I have wrong, and I know I blow it often, and have probably caused wrecks in people's lives without even knowing. I'm just a man; I fall. Christ did not, though. So, if you wanted the true example of what a Christian should be, what Christianity really is, do not look at the flaws of those trying to grow closer to what we finally will be on the other side of Heaven, but look at Him who demonstrated that here on Earth.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 11:05 PM
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Originally posted by SandMan
... Jesus was a Jew himself!!!!!!!!


So many people say this line... "Jesus was a Jew!" Well yeah, duh, what else would he be, Buddhist? Jesus was a Jew but he definitely did NOT agree with the Jewish order of his day. They were corrupt, greedy, and murderous. They built long bridges above cities leading to their temples and forbid anyone but priests from using them. This was done in order to separate themselves from the "untouchables", aka poor people and diseased. But when Jesus came along, BOOM. He completely dismantled the Jewish establishments and created a ripple effect, that created revolts and reforms among the temples of Judaism. Jesus went right up to the faces of Jewish High Priests and told them that God was not with them.
Imagine if some young rebel comes up to you, tells you that you have lived a lie and all the work you have done was useless. No wonder they wanted him dead... but Jesus was right! For what use is a doctor among the healthy? Jesus had dinner with tax collectors and sinners, he forgave prostitutes and adulterers, he healed blind and crippled beggars, and he had power over demons and drove them out from people. He did many of these things to show that he was the real deal, and that the old Jewish religion, which had become a series of rituals and pointless traditions, must be overthrown to pave way for a new religion which was about helping the needy, repentance, redemption, and salvation.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 07:46 AM
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If nobody can enter heaven but thru Jesus, then all that came before jesus are eternally Damned..? How is this a loving god..? The aztecs are all damned? the mayans, summerians, indigenous peoples...are all damned?

Or is it only those that have heard the message of salvation and choose not to listen that are eternally damned? did they hear the authentic message of salvation?...there are multiple versions of the bible readily available + the dozens of books rejected by Emperor Constantine trying to save the roman empire from splintering....which is the true message Jesus left?

If the people that have never heard the message of salvation practice good and follow their heart are accepted into Heaven, then why do we need jesus in the first place..? And if they are not, then God is not Love or Just, for people cannot be damned for never having heard the message of salvation. The Bible cannot have it both ways

There are too many contradictions in the Bible, people distorted whatever jesus left us.....it is a mess.


can someone answer these questions with more than " it takes faith" or " the mystery of God "....?



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by Hallberg Rassy


If nobody can enter heaven but thru Jesus, then all that came before jesus are eternally Damned..?


It doesn't seem so. It appears there is something that took place at the cross because scripture states that when He rose again, He led the captives in His train and gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:8, quoting Psalm 68:18)

The First Peter even goes so far as to say


For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,


If you delve into that, and read it in conjunction with Ephesians 4, it really appears that, after He died on the cross, Christ preached to spirits in prison (suspected to have been Hades -- this area of scripture is also what gives weight to the belief that when Christ died on the cross, He descended into Hell before being resurrected and leading the captives to heaven).

One thing to note, too, is the 8 people mentioned in 1 Peter 3:20. It speaks of specific circumstances where the 8 were saved, which were Noah's wife, 3 children and their wives. This was done through water (the flood), where as the others, that Paul talks about in his letter to the Ephesians, were not through water, via the ark. I believe Peter was trying to drive home a point and used the rescue of Noah's family as support for that, where as Paul was talking about something larger, not as specific. They are not mutually exclusive -- if you save 10,000 people, but only 8 through water on an ark, you saved both those 8 and the 9,992.

So don't get stuck on that verse thinking there were only 8 saved through the cross in the past. It's possible, but given the rest of the scripture, and mentions of others who were Abraham's bosom (a sort of pre-heaven before Christ's sacrifice opened the doors to Heaven) lends weight to there being more.

[edit on 7/28/07/28 by junglejake]




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