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Can only Christians and those who accept Jesus Christ go to Heaven?

Updated on June 3, 2013
Cross in Pigeon Forge, TN
Cross in Pigeon Forge, TN | Source

What are God’s requirements for Getting into Heaven?

Can only Christians and those who accept Jesus Christ go to Heaven? Before we can determine if Jesus is the only way, we need to look at God’s requirements for Heaven. God is holy and cannot allow one sin to go unpunished. What is the punishment for sin? Eternal death. At creation, Adam and Eve were perfect and sinless. That all changed in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve sin against God by eating the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. For the first time, humankind is separated from God. It is a permanent condition; no amount of good works can ever bridge this gap. The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of God’s holy standard.

But I am a good person you may think; surely a loving God will not condemn me to hell. The Bible says that if you have broken any of God’s commandments, you are guilty of breaking all of them. Let’s take a test:

Have you ever told a lie, even a so-called “white lie”?

Have you ever stolen anything, even if it is small?

Have you ever looked on anyone with lust?

Have you ever used God’s name in vain?

Take the full Are you a Good Person Test. Turn up your speakers and follow the directions on the page.

If you have done any of the above things, you are guilty of breaking God’s law and this is only 4 out of the 10 commandments. If you were to stand before a holy God, would you be innocent or guilty? I would definitely be guilty, that is why we need to be saved.

YouTube: Ray Comfort witnesses to a Catholic, Muslim, and Hindu at the same time (Living Waters University)

The Case for Christ

What Does God Require for the Forgiveness of Sins?

In the Old Testament, God required various animal sacrifices. “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed by blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” Hebrews 9:22. Animal sacrifices could not bridge the gap. Only a man who lives a sinless life could pay for the sins of others. Let’s examine a few of the world’s religions to see if any one qualifies as a sinless savior.

Buddhism

Buddha tells us that the ultimate goal in life is to achieve enlightenment. Sin in Buddhism is understood as moral error or ignorance. They do not believe that there is a need for forgiveness or a savior. Buddhism believes life is an endless circle. You die and are reincarnated as something better or worse depending how you live your life. In other words, it is a works based religion.

Hinduism

Hindus think of humankind as divine. Hinduism like Buddhism believes in reincarnation based on your karma. It too is a works based religion.

Islam

A Muslim must be obedient to the Five Pillars of Islam. The five tenants are testimony of faith, prayer, giving, fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca. Islam is based on what man has to do to get to God, works based.

Christianity

Christianity is based on God loving the world so much, that he sent Jesus to die in our place, and if we put our trust in Jesus, we will be saved (John 3:16 paraphrase). Christians believe that we are saved by faith in Christ alone, not by our works. All of the other religions are works based. This makes Christianity unique. Another uniqueness about Christianity is that it is the only religion to have a living savior. All of the other founders are dead and gone. You can visit their tombs, not so with Jesus, because He is not there.

Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?

Many people have varying opinions of who Jesus is. Some say he was a good teacher, a good person, or the Son of God. What does the Bible say about Jesus? John the Baptist called him the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Isaiah says that He bore the sin of many and made intersession for sinners. Peter said that he is the Christ the Son of the Living God.

Let us take a deeper look at who Jesus said He is. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me” John 14:6. Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” John 10:30. Jesus also said, “and this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” John 17:3. Jesus clearly claims not only to be God, but the only way to God.

In this day and age, many frown upon absolute truth. I have heard it said many times that there is no such thing as absolute truth. I find that argument amusing because it in itself is an absolute statement. Some say that if you believe in absolute truth you are narrow minded. My response, is truth broad or narrow? 1 + 1 = 2, it can never be 3, 4, 1. It is always 2. If you jump off a skyscraper believing that you can fly, it will be your last flight when you fall to the ground and probably die.

Jesus: Liar, Lunatic, or Lord

The question that everyone must answer in life is, is Jesus a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. Would a good person claim to be God? How about a good teacher? Most people agree that Jesus was a good teacher, that his teachings should be followed. Only a liar or certifiably insane person would claim any such thing. The only other conclusion that can be is that Jesus is Lord; He is the only way to God.

You may be thinking if Christianity is true, how can I be saved by God? First, you need to admit that you are a sinner, that you have broken God's law. You need to repent and turn away from your sins and turn towards Christ. You need to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died and rose again. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and tell Him that you accept Him as your Lord and Savior.


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    • Rick Myres profile image

      Rick Myres 2 years ago

      Romans 10:9 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    • profile image

      SimplyI 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Sword of the M - regarding your post immediately above this.

      Look how you don't fit in this company! You are the only one who is humble and educated. Why do you read such things and bother yourself with them? I guess, trolling is what tickles you:)

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 2 years ago from Burlington

      Only the arrogant, self-righteous and ignorant would answer yes to the question cramer asked in this hub.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 2 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks Damian10! God Bless you!

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 2 years ago from Naples

      Wonderful to see some believers on here. Jesus is the only way. We do not make it on our own. It starts with humility and most certainly repentance. He not only forgives but He also forgets our sin. Wow!

      God bless always.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 3 years ago from Chicagoland

      No SoM, for one, we are not hell wishers. We believe in the clear and consistent teaching of the Bible from one cover to the other. We do not pick a verse from here or from there. We read the Bible and interpret it in its context. Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven. Pluck out your eye if it causes you to sin, because it is better for you to lose part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Not sure how else you can interpret that contextually.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And those who judge shall be judged. I like my glass house. Although it is a little unnerving getting out of the shower!

      Who cannot use their real name and let us know who they are and yet cast stones? I like it but cannot live that way in truth.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 3 years ago from Burlington

      You hell wishers are not part of Christianity as it was meant to be, you are all part of churchianity.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 3 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks Rick! I could not agree more. God bless you!

    • Rick Myres profile image

      Rick Myres 4 years ago

      Whether anybody goes to Heaven or Hell is their own decision. Anyone without Jesus will not, will NOT, go to Heaven. It is true that Jesus chooses us, but we are the one who has to ask Him in. A person has to make the conscious decision to accept Him.

      Far as His church is concerned, it is not the building where followers meet to worship. The true church is the people who belong to God through Jesus because the Holy Spirit is in our hearts.

      Now, then for the sake of and to answer with my opinion about those, who by no choice of their own, who cannot make that decision, I truly believe God who is all knowing has that covered and therefore they are not under any condemnation.

      God bless you and praise the name of Jesus.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks Lois! Praise God for Jesus and his work on the cross.

    • LoisRyan13903 profile image

      LoisRyan13903 4 years ago from Upstate NY originally from Long Island

      excellent hub and I know I would not pass that test. I am so happy that I have Jesus in my life

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks for your comments Vagabond Mystic! I do however, strongly disagree with you because the Bible is clear that there is right and wrong and that we have all broken God's law and are in desparate need of a Savior.

    • vagabond mystic profile image

      Tim Sutterby 4 years ago from missouri

      I believe our God is a loving God and that there is no right or wrong in the end , with ONE exception . That exception being denouncing GOD , to denounce God is to denounce yourself . I believe there is no right or wrong if you believe it in your heart . I believe when we pass on it will all become very clear .

      Just One man's opinion ,

      Thank You ,

      God Bless All and ALL That IS ,

      Vagabond Mystic ,

      Peace , Love and Light

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      great. another of the few accurate posts on this site

      We need more scriptural articles and less of "what I think"

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you. I got a peaceful easy feeling off your post. I think to be fair you are pretty much correct about teachers. I lay that on two factors. Just because they are teaching does not mean they know what they are teaching and fear. If you don't know what you are teaching it is easiest just to read out of the book and simply profess that is what it says.

      We must always suspect, black or white, either or scenarios, for both man and God are far to complex for simple rules.

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      Hi, no I was not angry when I wrote this, but I do get angry when Christians preach this ungodly doctrine of hell. I call it spiritual terrorism. When I say the church, I mean mainstream Christianity. The reason why is that the bible suffers more from its exponents than it does from its opponents. It does not matter if you are a catholic, protestant, LDS, SDA, JW, or any other denomination or non denomination, we have all been mislead one way or another by teachers with only good intentions for the most of them.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      SwordofManticor,

      I think your position has much merit. But two parts of your comment I do not understand. What is "the church"? I only can understand the concept for a Catholic person and that church.

      And of course, were you angry when you wrote your comment?

    • SwordofManticorE profile image

      SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

      A deity that would cast anyone soul into a place of horror eternally tortured for not following His laws is a deity not worthy of my worship or love. Such a deity is a hypocritical monster who commands us to love, bless and forgive our enemies unconditionally, but is incapable of doing the same to His. Such a deity is a liar, because he says there is nothing he can't do, but he cannot save all mankind because our freewill is sovereign of his will. Freewill stops him from saving all. He who says he desires to save all (1Tim2:3-4), but all he can do is hope all is saved. I thank and give praise to my heavenly Father, that He is not such a deity as taught to Christians in the church.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I just read a portion of speech by a Pope that offered a particular circumstance where a person could be saved to heaven without a Baptism. Pretty heavy stuff for Catholics.

      So I revisited this, and came to the conclusion that Christ can save whomever He wants. That it is not always our choice but often Jesus picks us, even if we do not pick Him. John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

    • profile image

      frogyfish 5 years ago

      B asic I nstructions B efore L eaving E arth.

      Just had to put this up. Thanks for your faithful courage in writings.

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 5 years ago from Chicagoland

      Just because the Bible tells of murder and death does not mean God is not loving. Death and murder are the result of sin. The Old Testament shows us that we are all sinners and cannot possibly keep God's law. God is love because while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The God who created the universe came to the Earth, laid down His life and paid the sin debt that we can never pay on our own. If we place our faith in Him and repent of our sins, we will be saved.

    • profile image

      shitfor god 5 years ago

      Whatever...more murders and death in thebible...God a loving God...my ass!!!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Nicely done. I have always concluded as you do, with one strange caveat: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are Love. It is what is truly shared and yet truly unique of their characteristics. So I ponder; Can man get to heaven through Love?

    • ercramer36 profile image
      Author

      Eric Cramer 5 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks gor the kind words. Yes our Savior is awesome.

    • profile image

      Jim 5 years ago

      Great article. I agree that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. He left his throne to die for the sins of the world and was raised again 3 days later. We have an awesome Savior!