This has been a question of contention among many people and most especially amid the diverse religious communities in the world today. The answer to this controversial question normally varies given the religion in question.
Some religions believe in an after-life, others believe that the life that we live here: today and now, is all the living that we get, others believe in incarnation, others believe that once a man dies, he becomes part of the soil never to be seen again, others believe that they will become gods owning their own kingdoms in the afterlife, etc.
Notwithstanding, the answer to this question must exist and must prove to be realistic and solid because otherwise, if there is no life after death, the purpose of our lives is reduced to the bottom line drawn by the people of atheistic community being: eating, drinking, marrying, being merry, and a life with absolutely no accountability to man or to God (the creator).
Jesus answered this question in many ways and by using various parables in the Bible; and He clarified on it in the affirmative: that not everybody would get to heaven.
In fact, He went further ahead to state that only few people would see the kingdom of God.
(Which I personally hold the view: that it should cause healthy terror to all living souls – particularly – given further revelation of the alternative— Hell.)
41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of offense [persons by whom others are drawn into error or sin] and all who do iniquity and act wickedly,
42 And will cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth.
43 Then will the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God) shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let him who has ears [to hear] be listening, and let him consider and perceive and understand by hearing. [Daniel 12:3.]
And avoiding going through the issue of ‘why use the Christian view or understanding and not the Hindu one or the Buddhist one, or the Muslim one…etc.’ I direct the curious mind to kindly read the post: the Humanist Bible.
The Bible on the other hand, categorizes those who will not inherit the kingdom of God into two;
✓ All who do not believe in the Son of God.
All peoples of the earth who do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, shall not see the kingdom of God (enter into eternal life).
I once read a commentary that has stayed with me to-date saying: “that the reason many people will not enter the kingdom of God is not so much that they were the most wicked of sinners on earth, but that they were careless and ignorant of the things of God.” And this is affirmed in scripture when God says:
The dreadful sin of unbelief shall doom many to perdition.
Would to God that men would just yield to the mercies of God today rather than wait to yield in His wrath tomorrow! (O Lord, save me and my family – as You did the family of Lot – from the sin of unbelief and hardness of heart every single day.)
1 John 2
22 Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son.
23 Whosoever denies the Son, the same does not have the Father: (but) he that acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
1 John 5
12 He that has the Son has life; and he that does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.
✓ Those who believe in Jesus but live a life of disobedience to His word. (Christians)
16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
And so, focusing on the issue at hand, in this day and age, and especially in these times, men may not find discussing eternal business relevant or even worthy of any attention, yet this is the most important business of all in all humanity; especially because the return of Jesus Christ is much more closer that it was two thousand years ago.
Meaning there is no other way to heaven except Jesus Christ.
There being thousands of religions existing in the world today, neither reduces the weight of these words nor nullifies them. It only – fearfully – goes to prove the words of Jesus to be accurate when He says that: wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.
The tragedy thus, is that thousands of souls are being lost to false religions and deceptions even as we speak.
And the deception is not only found in the world religions, but has as well, crept into majority of churches today (men and women who are called by the name of Jesus).
And it could be for this cause that Jesus lamented when He asked: “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?”
The church has joined in to sing the unfortunate chorus of the world that goes like: “Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” And indeed, this is a tragedy to be wept and repented over! Before the Son of man come upon us unawares and lo! We are judged with the unbelievers!
Jesus encourages all believers everywhere to hold fast to the faith and not to let anybody steal our crown from us. For great will be the reward of those who persevere till the very end.
O Lord, how I pray that You will move mightly in the church today so that we can truly be the light and the salt of the earth. We are in desperate need of a revival, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people who are not ashamed to be called Your children or to be associated with Your name. Save the church, most especially from slumbering at such a time as this! And cause me to be numbered among those who stand firm until the very end. Amen!
Okay… Let’s just be honest, whenever most people hear anything about religion, their first reaction and instinct is probably to cringe or brush off the whole matter entirely.
Why? Most likely because it is a subject that is associated with extreme cases of fanaticism, it brings about a lot of conflicts and controversies, and even offends easily.
Religion is famously known for: manipulation, stagnation, repression, ignorance, bigotry and is too often a threat to liberty. And rightly so. I do agree. With that said, I recommend you to read two of my posts as well as encourage you to do a personal, extensive, and honest research on your own regarding this matter. Why?
As intellectuals (critical thinkers), I believe we owe it to ourselves to interrogate, examine, and ask hard questions regarding matters touching on faith rather than choosing to ignore them or even worse— follow blind faith. Click here for the first post.
Who speaks the truth with regards to a genuine, sincere and true relationship with God? Is it Buddha? Muhammad? Jesus? Zoroaster? Confucius? Joseph Smith? Guru Nanak? Krishna? Among others? Find out on this second post:
My heart overflows with a goodly matter; I speak the things which I have made touching the king: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalms 45:1
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