DO ALL RELIGIONS LEAD TO HEAVEN?
Do all religions lead to Heaven? This is widely believed, not only in our culture, but increasingly in our churches. Scot McKnight is a professor of New Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard. I had a chance to study under him in grad school. Scot is a perceptive cultural observer, gifted scholar, and prolific writer and blogger. In a blog a few years back, he noted that the most pressing issues facing the Church in America are religious pluralism and universalism of our young people; namely, the growing number of teens and young adults (in the church) who no longer believe Jesus is the only path to eternal life. Rob Bell’s mega bestseller a few years ago, Love Wins, also advocates this universalism. After publishing the book, Bell resigned from his church, moved to California, and no longer attends a church. He says that he now surfs instead.
I recall a conversation with a young couple who told me that they liked our church, but also believed that all roads lead to God. McKnight cites a recent survey of 845 evangelical teenagers who are “professing” Christians. Only 39% believed Jesus is only way, 49% were unsure, and 13% think Jesus is not only way. (source)
As much as our culture may reject the idea of Jesus as the only way, Jesus Himself did not. He was emphatically clear in John 14:6 that, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.”(NKJV) Whatever you may think of Jesus’ words, they are undeniably clear. Jesus claimed to be the only path to eternal life. This is true for all nations, for all cultures and for all ages. Before we reject His claims, we would do well to seriously consider them. Our eternal destiny hangs in the balance. In John 8:24, Jesus stated these sobering words, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” Clearly, beliefs have consequences…at least according to Jesus.
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor