(1) In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus told them a parable. He said that two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, one of the best of persons, and the other was a tax collector, one of the worst of persons.
(2) The Lord Jesus said that as a result of their prayers, the wicked tax collector was justified and the good Pharisee was not justified (which means declared innocent in a law court).
(3) The Lord Jesus said that a good person goes to hell and a wicked person goes to heaven. A good man goes to hell! And a wicked man goes to heaven! Yes, this is what the Lord Jesus said.
(4) We all think that the good person should go to heaven and the wicked to hell, but the Lord Jesus said that the good person would go to hell and the wicked person to heaven.
(5) Do not be surprised and think that this is new or strange. If any person is going to heaven, he must be a sinner. In heaven you cannot find a good person. In heaven everyone is a sinner!
(6) What about hell? There are plenty of good people in hell! Do not think that you will not go to hell because you are good. Let me say that there are plenty of people in hell just like you! Some are even better than you!
(7) By themselves, those who are both wicked and good should go to hell. By believing in the Lord Jesus, however, good men can go to heaven and wicked men also can go to heaven.
(8) In this parable, our Lord Jesus Christ told a story of a good man going to hell and a wicked man going to heaven. Those who label themselves as a righteous person and think of themselves as an excellent man among men, please listen to the Lord Jesus’ words: good men may go to hell! Those who humble themselves and confess that they are sinners, judging themselves not worthy to be saved, should not be discouraged because wicked men may go to heaven!
(9) We need to consider the good man, whom the Lord talked about, who was perishing. We want to see how good he was, and if he was a good man, why he would still go to hell.
(10) Bible declares that ALL are sinners and none of us can ever be righteous in the sight of God through our own righteousness. Our good actions may benefit us in relationship with people and prevent Satan from having an opportunity against us, but they cannot make us right (righteous) with God. We must trust in God and receive His gift of righteousness completely on the basis of faith in what Christ did for us.
Real Pharisees or religious leader’s during the time of Jesus lived impeccable moral lives while publicans were despised for their collaboration with the Roman government and their thievery. It wasn’t the Pharisee’s actions that were wrong; what he put his faith in was his problem. His faith was in his own actions as the basis of justification with God instead of in a Savior. The publican’s actions were wrong, but he threw himself totally on the mercy of God and looked to Him for salvation. His faith was counted to him as righteousness
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