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I believe strongly in the Doctrine of Election and the Sovereignty of God in salvation. Most of my friends and those that I hang out with do as well. Yet I sometimes wonder if in the midst of considering these important truths we forget why it is that people do not go to heaven in the first place. Why is it that people will not be saved? What is it that keeps men out of heaven? When they stand before God on judgment day and say, “I would have trusted in you, but You did not elect me…You did not choose me or I would have believed,” will they find a sympathetic ear.  Or to put it in more biblical terms will they say, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” (Rom. 9:19).

So then whose “fault” is it that people do not go to heaven? Is it God’s? After all, He did not choose them. He did not elect them. If that is why you think that people do not go to heaven, (or to put it another way…why they go to hell) then I think you have failed to understand the truth about the character of God and the character of man.

The Character of God.  First, and foremost, we must always remember that God is Holy, Holy, Holy. (Isa. 6:3, Rev. 4:8). Because of He is holy, He expects us to be holy as well. In fact, it is only other holy beings, such as the angels, that are allowed to be in His presence.

Second, God is Righteous and Just. It is a necessary outflow of His character not only to declare that which is contrary to His own character to be impure and unholy, but also execute perfect justice on all offenders of His holiness. And though we may look at this world from time to time and say, “If God is just and righteous, why do the wicked remain unpunished?” To which I can only say that there will be a day when the “righteous judgment” of God will be revealed (Rom. 2:5)

Third, “God is love” (1 Jn4:8). He is a good God, compassionate and full of lovingkindness. If we believe that God takes pleasure in destroying sinners, I think we have misunderstood His heart. While God may take pleasure in maintaining justice, it does not please Him to punish the wicked. “For I have no pleasure in the death of the of everyone who dies,” declares the Lord God, “Therefore, repent and live.” (Ezek 18:32). In fact, the clearest demonstration of God’s love was His sending His Son to save the world from their sins. The cross stands as a testimony of God’s love for His enemies, because He demonstrated His love not in dying for the righteous, but sinners. Christ sacrifice would be the instrument through which God would be able to reconcile His enemies to Himself. Yet, for those who have trusted in Christ, He did not just make these enemies friends, but made them a part of His family. He adopted them as sons and gave them a share of Christ’s inheritence.

The Character of Man. Yet when we consider the character of man we must realize one important truth. He is be nature a sinner and an enemy of God. He is a sinner, because he has inherited a corrupted nature from his first father, Adam. He is a sinner, because he has failed to live his life in perfect conformity to the holiness of God and has failed to give God the glory that was due to Him alone. 

He is an enemy, because He has set his will in opposition to God. He seeks glory and honor and immortality not through obedience to His Maker, but through His own selfish means. He may claim to seek God, but will not seek Him on His terms. He make seek to be righteous, but will never submit to the righteousness of God. He will be more than pleased to set himself as the judge of others, but never allow himself to be judged by God.

Yet, as I said earlier it was for men like this, like you and me, that Christ died. And God took great pleasure in preforming the act of redemption. So why is it that people will not “repent and live.” It is not because God has not made salvation availble to them, but because they refuse to make peace with God. They refuse to acknowledge their hostility toward Him and submit themselves to Him and to entrust themselves to Him. They would rather continue in their own ways and spit on the goodness that He has shown to them in this life. “Though the wicked is shown favor, he does not learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:10, cf. Rom. 2:4-5)

So in the end why do people not go to heaven…. They don’t want to.  

Otherwise they would be willing to submit themselves to the righteousness of God which comes through believing in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, “for if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believe resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.