Before we look at Matthew 5:20, let us look at what the Bible tells us is the true, one way of salvation.  You seem to be listening to others, which is not always a bad thing, but in order to know the truth, you must see it in the Word of God.  So, what does the Bible tell us about how to be saved and go to Heaven?  Let’s look at a few verses that make it so clear.

  • Acts 16:31, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”  What a simple, yet profound statement.  We are saved by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior. 
  • Philippians 3:20, “For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (NASB).  It is so clear from this verse that as Paul writes to believers, he assures us all who are saved are citizens of Heaven.  Heaven is our home, and we wait the day, either by death or the rapture of the church, that we go there.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Salvation comes only through faith in the Lord Jesus.  No works we do can make us fit for Heaven.  We cannot work our way into salvation or Heaven.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”  At the rapture of the church, the Lord Jesus descends from Heaven to receive all those who have faith in Him as our savior.  He will take us to Heaven to be with Himself forever.
  • John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  We who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are given eternal life…life that will never end.  We will spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
  • John 14:2-3, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  The Lord Jesus speaks here of our heavenly abode…a place with Him that He has prepared for us by dying on the cross, making all who believe on Him, suitable to be with Him. 

Now let’s read Matthew 5:20, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  In Matthew 23:13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, and 29 the Lord Jesus calls the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites.  In other words, they appeared to be holy and righteous, but that was only a facade.  As a whole, they were neither holy, nor righteous.  Outwardly, they appeared to be Godly people, but they were not.  The Lord knew their hearts and knew their falseness.  However, the true believer on the Lord Jesus Christ is truly righteous as we read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  God knows our hearts.  He knows who actually believes on Him and who does not.  When we accept Christ as our savior, we are made righteous and our inheritance is with the Lord in Heaven.  Have you put your faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.  If so, you are saved and will spend eternity in Heaven.  I trust you do know the Lord as your savior.  You seem to be burdened by not knowing if you are saved or not.  Hear the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”  (CC)  (597.4)