My relatives were good and kind people but did not hear the Gospel of Jesus—will they go to heaven?
Roman Catholics believe that through the Pope’s indulgences and novena, the dead in purgatory can go to heaven. However, these are not taught by Jesus. Those who died without Jesus will lie asleep in the grave and be awakened (the second resurrection) to face God’s judgment.
God remembers their good works
However, regardless of religion or faith, the LORD is good to those who trust Him. He remembers their good works (Nahum 1:7; Psalm 25:6-7). The problem, how good is good enough? That is why we need Jesus.
“… God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.“
HOW GOOD IS GOOD ENOUGH?
Names written in the “Book of Life”
If your dead relatives or parents died not knowing Jesus, their final judgment awaits. Those who have Christ will face (Bema) judgment to receive their rewards.
God will weigh our hearts and deeds. Those who never knew Jesus would be judged based on their conscience. Only God knows whose names are already written in the Book of Life.
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
He will judge everyone according to what they have done.
Two kinds of judgments
- Believers will be judged for their deeds on earth, their service to God will be tested. Those who pass the test shall receive their “crowns of glory.”
- Unbelievers will give an account and Jesus will be their judge. Punishment awaits the wicked immoral, and those who rejected Him.
He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.
There is no excuse for knowing God
- Even without the Bible, God revealed Himself to everyone. (Romans 1:20)
- God has set eternity in our hearts. Those who haven’t seen a Bible sought and found God in their hearts. (Deuteronomy 4:29; Ecclesiastes 3:11)
- Unfortunately, despite the evidence for God, many refused to believe. Even when they heard about Jesus, they rejected Him in their hearts. (Romans 3:11)
- To know Jesus is to know God. (Read verses)
good works are never enough to exempt us from facing judgment.
Jesus desires all men to be saved and come to know the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). God gave us the privilege to share the Gospel. Only He can change man’s heart. Our role is to share and pray for their salvation.
1 Timothy 4:10
“God is the Savior of everyone, especially of those who believe.”