Is Being a Good Person Enough to Get Me to Heaven?

Why did God make us? As many of us learned from the Baltimore Catechism, God made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven. But some people read that and think that if God made us to be with Him in heaven, then as long as they are a good person God will want them with Him in heaven. And if that’s true, who needs the Church?

Recently on The Patrick Madrid Show a listener called in whose co-worker doesn’t think he needs the Church in order to go to heaven. He thinks as long as he loves God and is a good person, he’ll go to heaven. She asked Patrick how to help him understand why he needs the Church and her teachings in his life. Patrick responded:

“Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-26, not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Everyone, then, who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.

The understanding here that I see is that Jesus is not merely saying ‘Be a good person,’ but rather ‘There are certain things I want you to do and there are certain things I want you not to do.’

The Church has the authority that Jesus gave it to proclaim these truths. In Matthew 28:19-20 He says to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, baptize them, and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. Jesus says that and He says things like in Luke 10:16, ‘he who listens to you listens to Me, he who rejects you rejects Me.’

Based on that, and giving this authority to the Church to teach the things that He wants us to believe, do you think it’s consistent to say that you believe Jesus is God, you believe He has a claim on your life, but you’re not going to follow through on what He said because you don’t want to?

How do you look at those passages where He says, ‘Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.’ Where does that leave you in the mix?”

Listen to the full conversation below:

The Patrick Madrid Show airs weekdays from 9:00 – noon Eastern/6:00 – 9:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.