Saturday, January 9, 2010

Do All Roads Really Lead to Heaven?

If I had a nickel for every time someone has said to me that all roads lead to heaven, I would not be writing this blog but making flight arrangements to Hawaii. All kidding aside, for those of us that believe there is an after life, I would imagine this question of how one attains eternal bliss would be of the utmost importance. What is even more remarkable is that so few people spend any time at all understanding the religion they were raised with and even less time researching other religions of the world. It may or may not surprise you to know that the Bible is one of the most frequently commented on books that has never been read in its entirety or even at all by its commentators.

Bearing this in mind, I wanted to briefly detail what Christianity offers as opposed to the other major religions of the world. I will be paraphrasing some of Max Lucado’s thoughts on this subject as detailed in his book, 3:16: The Numbers of Hope. First, Christianity is not technically a religion at all. It is a relationship. It is the only faith where one attains heaven based on the sacrifice of its God - Jesus Christ - and not through any human merit. The Bible states that God’s followers are “saved” based on the grace (unmerited favor) of God and their faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for their sins, “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

Every other major religion of the world offers eternal bliss through the means of human achievement. Christianity offers it through the cross of Jesus Christ. Judaism refuses the claim of Christ as Messiah. Christians believe He is the promised Savior. Buddhists look toward Nirvana, achieved after numerous reincarnations. Christians believe in one life and one eternal life. Muslims earn their way to Allah by performing the duties of the Five Pillars of Faith. Christians rest in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Humanists do not acknowledge a creator of life. Jesus claims to be the source of life. Spiritualists read your palms. Christians consult the Bible. Hindus perceive a plural and impersonal god. Christ followers believe “there is only one God.” (I Corinthians. 8:4) And most supremely, every non-Christian religion says “You can save you.” Jesus says, “My death on the cross saves you.”

How can all religions really lead to God when they contain such disparate claims about how one attains eternal life? We don’t tolerate such illogic in other matters. We don’t pretend that all roads lead to Boston so why do it with something as important as your eternal destiny?

No comments: