Why don't all ways and religions lead to Heaven?
"Everybody wants to go to Heaven." - Joni Eareckson Teba
I have, unfortunately, been apart of my fair share of funerals. At every single one, some semblance of the same phrase is said.
"At least they are in a better place now."
Insinuating that the person who passed away is in Heaven or some sort of eternal paradise that is better than this world. But, is that always true?
Personally, I lost my dad when I was eight years old. At his funeral, they said over and over again that he was in Heaven and I always wondered if that was really case.
My dad was great, but I don't recall him knowing God. He was an incredible dad, but I never heard of him having a relationship with Christ.
As I grew older, became a Christian, and developed a deeper understanding of the gospel, I realized the hard truth - he likely is not in a better place.
This reality made me think: Why don't all ways and religions lead to Heaven?
As I have already acknowledged, this question hits home with me. As I have found myself on the tough end of it with the passing of my dad.
But, we must remember that personal circumstances don't dictate whether something is true or not - God's Word does.
And the bible is emphatic about one thing. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved and go to Heaven (John 14:6). There is no other way.
It doesn't matter how nice we are, how much money we have or the people we know. Nothing else gets us to eternity with God besides a relationship with Jesus.
That is why all ways and religions don't lead to Heaven, because God has only provided one path and it's through His Son.
Knowing this, many people still don't accept this truth. They say "There must be another way!" And they have reasons to think this. Here's some:
1. People love pluralism. AKA most people don't like to be told that something can only be done one way. We like having multiple options.
Yet, God didn't provide multiple options. He only provided one option - a relationship with Jesus.
2. It's close minded to say there is only one way. I actually agree, all of this does sound close minded... because it kind of is.
In the same way that we can be close minded about 2+2=4. Facts are facts. We can be open minded about a lot of things, but eternal salvation is not one of them.
3. The idea that it’s the effort or thought that counts. This works with Christmas or birthday presents, not with eternal security. The only effort that guarantees eternity is not our own but Jesus' effort of dying on the cross for our sins.
The only thought that saves us is thinking we ought to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior!
4. There are lots of religions. There are thousands of religions/beliefs in the world. This can lead some to think that they all must have a shot and that 99.9% cannot be wrong. Yet, that is still the case.
Think about it this way, if you're answering a multiple choice question for 2+2= does it matter if there are a million options besides the correct answer of 4? Does the amount of options change the answer? No it does not and that is the same when it comes to salvation as well. (Cred: Churchleaders.com)
There is only one right answer and His name is Jesus Christ.
These reasons and more are why the idea of universalism, basically the idea that everyone goes to Heaven, is so popular in our culture.
But, as previously mentioned, remember that culture nor personal circumstances dictate the truth. Only God's Word does and it is clear: Jesus Christ is "the way, the truth, and the life."