The most common religious teaching in the world is this very notion:
Good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell.
But good according to who? According to you? According to what society thinks is good in 21st century North America? Who is the judge that determines good and bad?
The Final Judgment is coming. There will be a Day of Reckoning when all will be laid bare, when the hearts and minds and actions of all people will be exposed and judged. And we will not be the ones determining what is good and what is bad. God will. The One who made us. The One who placed the notion of right and wrong in our conscience and continually torments it with us. Because the truth is - we are evil - all of us - we have not been good and we know it - we have not done the right thing - we wrestle inside about it - wouldn't a good person simply do good naturally? Why the struggle? Why the effort?
So we twist the rules, the expectations. We figure God will not destroy all of us. As long as we appear better than most of humanity, then we figure God will award us over the rest.
But this is not the judgment. The Word of God has already made its verdict upon us all. And the verdict is guilty.
"None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands,
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.
Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.
The venom of asps is under their lips.
Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:10-18)
We have so little fear for God's wrath that we fight against this verdict even though we know its true. We know we don't understand. We know we don't seek God unless it suits us. We know we speak deception, that our mouth has uttered bitterness. We know we get angry. Yet we deny it all!
Good people go to heaven - but you are not one of them.
Yet this Judge is merciful. He saw you in your guilt and took action to free you. He sent His only Son into your flesh to suffer your verdict. His Son, Jesus, was crucified in your place, taking your judgment upon Himself - that you might live. Hear this. Believe it, for He promises forgiveness, life and salvation to those who trust in Him. You cannot earn this. You do not deserve it. Yet He gives it. He did it for you. He came from heaven so He could take you there.
There is only One who is Good. Only One who goes to heaven - Jesus. Yet you go too - in Him. Trust in Him. He is your life and your salvation.