As a believer in Jesus Christ, whenever I hear about a person passing away [in other words they are dead] the first question that comes to mind is this: Did they know the Lord or did they die in their sins? Before I came to know the Lord I really did not think that way, but I always wondered about the person in the casket and where they had gone. If you read and believe the newspaper reports, then it seems that every famous athlete, politician, and movie star who has ever died have gone on to be with the other “greats” in Heaven within that same field. According to the newspaper reports they are now “at peace” and in a “better place.” If a person was a well known criminal then those people are “rotting in Hell” according to the thinking of many people. But how can we know if that is really true? Does the Bible have anything to say about this?
As IT IS WRITTEN, There is NONE righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, NO, NOT ONE. (Romans 3:10-12)
Contrary to popular opinion, the Bible declares that there are none good. It amplifies that point by saying, NO NOT ONE!
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that EVERY MOUTH may be STOPPED, and all the world may become GUILTY before GOD. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall NO flesh be JUSTIFIED in HIS SIGHT: for by the law is the knowledge of SIN. (Romans 3:19-20)
The passage above is basically telling us that the Law of God [His Commandments] stops and silences the mouth of every single person in the world from seeking to justify themselves as righteous and “good” before Almighty God. The scriptures tell us that ALL the world is GUILTY before God, and that no flesh [no human being] would be justified by the law in the sight of God. Why? Because the Law of God brings the knowledge of sin, and shows every single person in the world their own guilt.
I hope that you can see that the only thing that really matters is whether a person has been justified in the “sight of God” and not in the “sight of man.”
HAVE YOU BEEN REDEEMED?
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Galatians 3:10-13)
The apostle Paul is the writer of the passage above as well as the previous passage from the book of Romans. Here this Jewish apostle is confirming what he wrote to the Romans, and expressing the truth that a person is literally under a “curse” if they believe that they can perfectly “keep the Law” on their own. Keep in mind that Paul himself was also under that “strong delusion” at one pont in his life. In fact Paul was so zealous that he thought that it was alright to persecute and even murder Christians who believed that Jesus Christ was the only way of salvation. If Paul had perished before he came to know the Lord, then he would have “died in his sins” and ended up in Hell according to Jesus Christ. There probably would have been many that referred to Saul [Paul] as a “good man” anyway.
Paul went on to show the people that the law is “not of FAITH” and he also made it clear that CHRIST has redeemed us from the curse of the Law.
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10:1-4)
The apostle Paul had a desire to see his own people [National Israel] saved. He knew that they were in the “same boat” that he had been in before he was saved and came to know Jesus Christ. He realizes that they do have a “zeal for God” [as he once had] but that zeal was not according to the Word of God. They had fallen into the FATAL trap of trying to establish “their own righteousness” but it was not the “righteousness of God” which can be found through faith in Christ alone. [NOTE: What a contradiction to the truth it is, that some “Christian” preachers are telling secular Israel [the Jewish people] that as long as they live in “light of the Torah” [the Law] they are in a right relationship with God.]
What profit is there for the man who has been justified in man’s sight, but has never been justified in the sight of God?
Absolutely none at all. The only thing that will matter in eternity, is whether a person has been reconciled back to God, through Jesus Christ!
“He was a good man” According to who, man or God? Where is he now?