Summary: Can a person be too good to go to heaven? The Bible gives us the account of two men who were too good to go to heaven.


LUKE 18:11-13, 18-23

INTRODUCTION: Many times when people are asked if they believe that they will go to heaven when they die they will say that they believe they will on the basis that are not bad, they keep the ten commandments, and they follow and observe the demands of their religion. Let me ask you, can a person be too good to go to heaven? – This morning I want you to see two men who were too good to go to heaven.

I. Two men who were too good to go to heaven.

A. The goodness of these two men

1. They were orthodox in their belief.

a. Both of these individuals believed the basic tenets of their faith.

b. They accepted the Old Testament Scriptures as God’s Word.

c. They believed that the Lord is only one true God.

d. They believed the Ten Commandments were God’s standard for conduct.

2. They were exact in their religious obligation.

a. "I fast twice on the Sabbath; I give tithes of all that I possess (get)."

b. The law only required one fast a year. He like other Pharisees voluntarily added to the public days of fasting required in the Law of Moses, going above and beyond what was required.

c. He also tithed on all his increase.

d. They did not just keep the letter of the law but were zealous in their religious fervor.

3. They were morally excellent in their behavior.

a. They were not as the Pharisee said in his prayer "bad men" – They did not steal money from anyone (extortionists), were not unfair in their dealings with others (unjust), or guilty of being immoral (adulterers).

b. They had as the young leader said endeavored to keep the Ten Commandments in their entirety.

c. They consistently lived exemplary lives.

4. They were too good for heaven.

a. In both cases Christ revealed that they were lost and would not make it to heaven.

b. Note the reaction of the disciples in Luke 18:26 MKJV "And the ones who heard said, and who can be saved?" In other words, if this kind of good, moral, religious person can’t make it to heaven then who can?

B. The shortcoming of these two men

1. They had two basic faults that sealed their eternal fate.

2. They did not see themselves as God saw them

a. "God, I thank You that I am not as other men are",

b. "I have kept all these things from my youth up" - unconscious of their unworthiness

3. They would not yield to and commit themselves to the Lordship of Christ.

a. The first Christ said was guilty of self-exaltation.

b. Luke 18:22-23 MKJV And when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, yet you lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me (go my way) And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

C. The end of these two men.

1. It is abundantly clear from verses 14 and 24 that both of these men had sealed their eternal destiny in hell apart from Christ.

2. They were too good for heaven.

II. Are you too good to go to heaven?

A. Merely believing the right things alone does not get you to heaven.

1. James 2:19 KJV You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

2. C. H. Spurgeon claimed that 98 percent of the people he met—including the criminals he visited in England’s prisons—told him that they believed the Bible to be true. But the vast majority had never made a personal, life-changing commitment to Jesus Christ. For them, "believe" was not an active verb.

3. Acts 16:31 MKJV And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, and your household. (Put your entire trust in the Jesus as Master of your life)

B. Religious observances and rituals will never save you.

1. Many believe that they can earn heaven by keeping what are called the sacraments. The word sacrament comes from the Latin word Sacramentum. Recruits for the Roman army became soldiers by taking an oath of office that had the legal force of making them soldiers. Because it included a pledge of loyalty to the Roman gods, it was called a sacramentum. The sacramentum was a physical religious act that transformed a person’s legal status. The Roman church adapted the word to mean a rite that related to a person’s spiritual transformation. Sacrament - a formal religious act conferring a specific or saving grace on those who receive it. Sacraments are not taught in the Bible.

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