How good does a person need to be to go to heaven? If asked, many people might say they are a good person and expect to go to heaven after they die. Ask them how good is good enough and you'll get multiple answers.
But how good is good enough? And if there's some way to determine this, how would a person know for sure if they were good enough?
This psalm tells of eleven things to do and not do, so a person will never be shaken in this life.
A psalm by David.
O Lord, who may stay in your tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one who walks with integrity, does what is righteous, and speaks the truth within his heart. The one who does not slander with his tongue, do evil to a friend, or bring disgrace on his neighbor. [vss 1-3]
The one who despises those rejected by God but honors those who fear the Lord. The one who makes a promise and does not break it, even though he is hurt by it. The one who does not collect interest on a loan or take a bribe against an innocent person.
Whoever does these things will never be shaken. [vss 4-5]
(Psalm 15:1-5 GW) [Context– Psalm 15]
Key phrase— Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
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Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What two questions are asked at the beginning of this psalm? What do you think, "your tent [and] ...holy mountain" refer to?
What are three things a person is to do? What are three other things a person is not to do?
What are three things a person would do in relation to the Lord? What are two more things a good person does not do?
What promise is given for a person who lives this way?
Some questions are rhetorical—the answer is understood or there may be no simple answer. How does a person live a good enough life to please God? Eleven different things are specified in this psalm, but not all are easily determined?
We typically boil goodness down to good behavior. This is seen in a simple way when a parent says, "Be a good girl (or boy) and don't...." But a person can do one thing outwardly while holding an opposite or different attitude in their heart.
The first three things to do are related to the internal state of a person, not their behavior. The other things are actions determined by their internal values.
But still, how can a person be good enough to go to heaven? It's only possible when our heart—our inner person and internal values—are like God. This takes place when we have a personal relationship with God on His terms, not ours.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Do you think you are a good person by nature? Why do you believe this, whether yes or no?
How do you view other people in regard to being good? What's your basis of evaluating them?
Is there someone in your life that you respect as a good person? Why is this?
Do you have any assurance of being with God after your life on this earth?
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?