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Who gets to go to heaven? Options
Robert Kane
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2021 1:46:18 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/26/2021
Posts: 18
Neurons: 31,017
Location: San Jose, California, United States
The Bible says that only those who believe in Jesus, that He is the Son of God and the Messiah, and if you accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior, then you will be granted eternal life. But only those who accept Jesus as the Way.

I am a Christian, but I have always had a hard time accepting this. Christianity is the largest religion in the world. About 2.4 billion people are Christian. What about the other 5 billion people? So, if you are a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, etc., etc., so what? All these people do not go to heaven just because they never accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? I just can’t believe that. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

What do other people think?
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, May 2, 2021 3:09:46 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 4,350
Neurons: 167,446
Greetings Robert,

The first thing you have to settle in this discussion is who wrote the Bible? If it were men interpreting God's message, you'd have some leeway; however, according to the Bible, it is the direct Word of God. That pretty much settles the issue. There is only one path to salvation and that is through Jesus Christ. His was the only sacrifice that would wash the stain of sin completely from a person's soul and that is an absolute requirement of dwelling in Heaven. This is what the Bible says on the issue, if you believe the Bible is the Word of God, then you're stuck with that tenet.

(Edited to Add) Look Robert what follows may sound harsh I do not mean it to be it is what I think on the issue. I'm not coming from a place of not understanding the appeal of religions like Christianity either. The reason I could make the statement of the first paragraph so confidently is because I know the Bible fairly well I was an evangelical pastor of a number of years and believing that the Bible was the Word of God studied it extensively. I have a lot of respect for anyone who claims the name of Christ and truly strives to live according to his teachings, unfortunately, that is an incredibly small percentage of the people who call themselves Christians.

You asked what I think of this so here it is. I think that you are a 21rst century human attempting to make sense of a 1rst century belief set that was a result of the evolution of the notions of gods and religions that began around the time we were still dwelling in caves. Christianity appealed very strongly to several co-evolutionarily engrained needs of the human psyche, and as well was a significant step up in the evolution of religions. One of the biggest examples of that progress was that rather than the gods being external and a person having to rely on documents or prophets to tell them the will of a god, the locus of control was moved internally. People were exhorted to meditate on the word of god but then to rely on that "still, small voice" that was the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to guide their behavior. Unfortunately, that was pretty much the last major revolution in the evolution of religions. There is no logical way that the us/them mentality that was a major adaptive strategy of religions to that point is anything but extremely maladaptive in the modern world. Religions are based on tribal notions of inclusion and in the modern world if we don't soon transition to the notion of species-wide inclusion the inbuilt mechanisms of prejudice against anyone or group viewed as "other" will be the end of the species. Of course the other great danger is nationalism but although strongly related to religions in many ways that is a different topic.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, May 2, 2021 11:54:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 15,768
Neurons: 75,232
Robert Kane wrote:
The Bible says that only those who believe in Jesus, that He is the Son of God and the Messiah, and if you accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior, then you will be granted eternal life. But only those who accept Jesus as the Way.

I am a Christian, but I have always had a hard time accepting this. Christianity is the largest religion in the world. About 2.4 billion people are Christian. What about the other 5 billion people? So, if you are a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, etc., etc., so what? All these people do not go to heaven just because they never accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? I just can’t believe that. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

What do other people think?


I've heard others say they were bothered by the same idea. I'm not going to tell you what to believe, but perhaps you can take some comfort in the words of Paul in his letter to the Romans.

Romans 2: 13 - 15

"13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)"


Some folks I know like to think that God will judge those who aren't Christians by their conscience, since they know internally what is right and what is wrong. Perhaps you also will also be able to accept that idea and not be bothered with such concerns for others, satisfied that all will be well in the end.
Robert Kane
Posted: Friday, May 7, 2021 6:05:51 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/26/2021
Posts: 18
Neurons: 31,017
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thank you both Epiphileon and FounDit. I appreciate both of you taking the time to reply.

I was not offended at all by your comments Epiphileon. I understand what you were saying. I have to agree with you that, unfortunately, only a small percentage of people who call themselves Christian, really do behave like Christians. I am Christian by choice. I was born and raised Jewish with a bar mitzvah and the works. But I chose to convert because the words of Jesus have always resonated with me more than anyone else. I am also very much into metaphysics and mysticism, so I am kind of all over the map. But your words gave me a lot to think about, and I thank you for that.

And the same for you as well FounDit. I do take comfort in the words of Paul that you posted. Thanks. Also, the idea that God will judge people based on their conscience makes a lot of sense to me as well. I appreciate your comments.

Thanks again to both of you.
towan52
Posted: Friday, May 7, 2021 6:58:28 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 2,089
Neurons: 235,769
Location: Waco, Texas, United States
In reality, nobody actually "knows".. The scriptures were written by wise men that also did not "know". Trying to get one's head around the universe and meaning of life is both impossible and awe-inspiring. The "Hitchhiker's Guide to to the Galaxy's" answer of "42" is as good as anyone else's!
Robert Kane
Posted: Sunday, May 9, 2021 12:00:13 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/26/2021
Posts: 18
Neurons: 31,017
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanks towan52. That is so true. No one who has ever made it there has ever come back to write a book, LOL. Thanks for reminding me about “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.” I remember reading that book back in college. I really enjoyed it.
towan52
Posted: Sunday, May 9, 2021 11:47:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 2,089
Neurons: 235,769
Location: Waco, Texas, United States
Robert Kane wrote:
Thanks towan52. That is so true. No one who has ever made it there has ever come back to write a book, LOL. Thanks for reminding me about “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.” I remember reading that book back in college. I really enjoyed it.


Hi Robert, there was a TV series in the UK that was quite good and much later, a movie, which I thought was disappointing.
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