By Greg Laurie
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
There will be “bad” people in Heaven—and by “bad” I mean garden-variety sinners who admit their sin and ask God to forgive them. There also will be “good” people in Hell—people who were moral to some degree but thought they didn’t need Jesus Christ. They lived by their own rules and deceived themselves, thinking their good deeds would save them.
You don’t get to Heaven by living a good life. And you don’t end up in Hell by living a bad life. Heaven is not for good people; Heaven is for forgiven people. Everyone who turns from their sin can go to Heaven. This is why God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us on the cross.
Attending church will not make you a Christian. In fact, attending church will make you accountable for what you’ve heard. If you listen to God’s Word being taught and then disregard it, that is almost worse than garden-variety sinners. At least they know they’re sinners and admit it. Church attendance or having your name on a church membership roll won’t get you to Heaven.
John 3:18 says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (NKJV). It is not just that someone is a sinner; it’s that he or she rejected God’s solution.
God is saying, “I love you. I don’t want you to go to Hell. I put My own wrath on my Son, whom I love, so you can be forgiven.”
That rejection of Jesus is what brings judgment. It isn’t going to be a sin question in the final day. It’s going to be a Son question: What did you do with Jesus?
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