There are many misnomers surrounding the concept of whether a person will go to heaven or hell when they die. Many individuals believe you have to do “good works” or “good deeds” to go to heaven. Even though this is a common viewpoint in the world, it is not correct. Our “good deeds” will never outweigh the bad we do.
Volunteering Equals Heaven?
Volunteering is an honorable act because you are helping others in some capacity. While volunteering is a wonderful thing, it will not cause you to go to heaven. No “good deed” or honorable action will cause a person to go to heaven.
In fact, nothing we can do can help us to go to heaven. Heaven is not a matter of doing “good deeds” or being “a good person.”
The only way to go to heaven is if you place faith in Jesus by believing that He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again (John 3:16-17). If you believe this, you will go to heaven.
The Apostle Paul tells us, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame’” (Romans 10:9-11).
As Paul tells us in this passage of Scripture, if we believe Jesus rose from the dead and confess it with our mouths, we are saved. The only way to go to heaven is to accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
No amount of volunteering can cause you to go to heaven. This is not to discourage you from volunteering if you want to volunteer — it’s just to help you know that volunteering or any other good action will not cause you to go to heaven.
When I was a child and as a teen, before I went to Bible college, I fully believed a person had to do good things to go to heaven. I don’t think this idea is a rare idea because many of us are raised with the belief that if we do good things, we will go to heaven.
After all, in numerous cartoons and television shows, there is an angel depicted on one shoulder of the individual while there is a devil depicted on the other shoulder.
We are taught that if we are “good,” we will go to heaven. This is not true because no amount of “good” that we can do will be enough to get us into heaven.
Volunteering is a noble cause, yet we should never do something for the specific purpose of trying to be seen as “good” or “righteous.” Instead, we should do the right thing because we want to do it.
We should want to volunteer and help others because God wants us to help others. Hebrews 13:16 tells us, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Naturally, we should want to help others because of the love God has for us.
Therefore, the only way to go to heaven is by placing faith in Jesus. No amount of good things we do can earn us a place in heaven. Jesus tells us, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
From the Lord’s words, we know that there is no salvation apart from Him. We cannot go to heaven if we volunteer, nor can we go to heaven for doing any “good” action or deed. Salvation is not based on anything that we do, but rather it is based on Christ.
From the Beginning
Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden because they chose to eat the forbidden fruit. They sinned because they disobeyed God. Instead of listening to Him, they chose to follow their own wants and desires.
Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, we have been separated from God, and death came into being. Since sin ultimately brought about death, we know all have to die. While this is a depressing thought, it is a fact of life. The Bible tells us we will all die and face judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
If we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord during our earthly life, we will go to heaven when we die; however, if we fail to place faith in Jesus during our earthly life, we will not go to heaven when we pass away.
All individuals who don’t place faith in Jesus will go to hell when they die. They don’t go to hell because of what they have done but rather for failing to place faith in Jesus. This is the only sin that will cause a person to go to hell.
Ultimately, our final destination is one of two places — either heaven or hell. The final decision comes down to us. It is not based on how many good things we do, nor does it matter if we volunteer. What matters is whether you placed faith in Jesus Christ.
By placing faith in Jesus, you are forgiven of your sins, given eternal life, and have a repaired relationship with the Father. Through this, you can now go to heaven when you die.
Instead of the Father seeing your sin, He sees Christ. When we place faith in Jesus, we receive imputed righteousness. This doesn’t mean we are righteous, yet it does mean that Christ covers us with His righteousness.
Apart from Christ, there is no salvation. He is the only way to heaven. Volunteering is a wonderful thing to do, but we should not expect that we will go to heaven if we volunteer. Volunteering will not cause us to go to heaven.
If you want to volunteer, I encourage you to do so but don’t expect it to secure a place in heaven for you. There is nothing we can do in our abilities to merit salvation. Only through Jesus can we go to heaven.
Volunteering is important, but we need to volunteer for the right reasons. We should volunteer because we want to serve God, obey God, and help others. There are many wonderful places to volunteer, including multiple Christian ministries, and they are in need of volunteers.
Volunteering is a wonderful use of our time, but it is vital that we volunteer for the right reasons. God knows our hearts and our motivations. In other words, He knows if we are volunteering and helping for the correct heart reasons.
What Does This Mean?
Thus, we will not go to heaven if we volunteer. Volunteering is a wonderful activity, but it will not save us. The only way to heaven is through placing faith in Jesus. By placing faith in Jesus, we are forgiven of our sins, given eternal life, and have a restored relationship with Christ.
Because of this, we can go to heaven. Jesus is the only way to heaven. No amount of good deeds or volunteering will cause us to go to heaven.
If you have placed faith in Jesus, you will go to heaven when you pass away. If you haven’t placed faith yet, choose to believe Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again, and you, too, will be saved.
For further reading:
Why Is Being a Good Person Not Enough to Get into Heaven?
How Can I Make a Difference with My Life? Part 1
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Robert Daly
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.