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Heaven or hell: it's your choice

When we were children, we not only spoke childish things but we also had childish beliefs about God, heaven, life and death.  Many of us can remember praying at bedtime, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep; If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”  But our child-like minds could not comprehend the finality of death nor were we aware of God’s requirement for entering into the Kingdom of Heaven. 

While some of us became born-again adults, others merely became dedicated or not-so-dedicated church-goers.  Then, there are those who in spite of hearing the Word and rubbing shoulders with the gospel of Jesus Christ, decide to follow a different pathway in the sincere but very erroneous belief that there is “more than one way to Heaven and eternal life.”  Still others argue that such a loving God would never condemn anyone to hell-- that is, if hell exists.  And that’s one of the biggest lies that Satan has ever told.  The sad part about religiously and faithfully following false beliefs and doctrine is that some people never come to accept the truth that there is but one way to God and that is through His Son, Jesus Christ.  In his letters to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul wrote, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them”--Corinthians 4:3-4.  Jesus was also explicit when He said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Heaven”—John 3:3.

In light of the truth of God’s Word, we can only conclude that upon taking our last breath, if we have not accepted Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, no amount of reciting Hail Marys, praying to Krishna, bowing to Confucius, rubbing Buddha’s belly, or burning incense to the Dahli Llama will buy us a ticket into Heaven.  Want to bet your life on it?   That’s the price men will have to pay for worshipping idol gods and persisting in vain and erroneous religion, along with eternal separation from the God who created them and made the way plain, straight and narrow through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Many well-meaning non-Christians may ask:  “Why would there be only ONE way to God and to eternal life?”  “There should be as many ways to Heaven,” they reason, “as there are religions.”  But the fact that there is only ONE way to God makes Him God -- Ruler, Lord, Governor, Guide, and the Supreme Authority.   In other words, if you want to play in the game of eternal life, you have to play by the rules; and the rules are those commandments outlined in the rule book, the Bible – written by men as they were moved upon or inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Non-believers can choose to believe the rule and the report of the Lord if they so choose; but the ultimate price for unbelief will be their immortal soul.  Left to our own devices, leaning to our own understanding, and resolving to resist the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is just like childish thinking.  We can continue to hope and pray that God will take our souls if we should die before we wake; or we can grow up into the knowledge of Christ and accept His free gift of salvation – without bowing and scraping to an unknown god that lacks the power to heal, deliver or to set our souls free. 

Jesus makes salvation so simple that even a child can be saved.  Simply repent, believe, receive and confess.  Non-Christians and not-so-sure believers can pray this simple prayer:  Lord God, I REPENT from my sin, and I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God; and that He shed His blood on Calvary to wash away my sin.  I RECEIVE Jesus Christ and the work that His blood did on the Cross; and I now CONFESS Him as my personal Lord and Savior; amen.  Anyone who prays this prayer from a sincere heart no longer has to “pray the Lord my soul to take.”  He will be faithful to watch over, to guide and to keep the soul that has become His. 

What next?  Find a Bible-believing Christian church and attend faithfully.  Renounce the hidden works of darkness and false religion.  Destroy the amulets, incense, chants, and trappings of idolatry and trust God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and make you a new creature in Christ Jesus.  And lastly, give yourself time to mature from a childlike faith into a mature son of God, dying daily to sin and reaching forth to apprehend eternal life.  

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  • Réne Girard (SD Christianity & Culture) 5 years ago

    good article! I think one of big problems people have with turning to the God of the Bible is the teaching that if you don't go to heaven then you go to hell and hell is place where people will burn and suffer forever. They don't want to serve a God who would be so cruel. This is the big lie from Satan - eternal life in a place of eternal suffering. Through Christ we gain eternal life. Without Christ we do not gain eternal life, therefore we do not gain eternal suffering. You are right, we are seperated from God, the source of life, so how could we live? How would it be fair to give short-term sin the most horrendous punishment that will never end? God will put an end to it all, and we will not be forced to endure their eternal screams for help, because those people will die, the wages of sin is death, and it will all be over one day. That is a loving merciful God. He judges, punishes, and then puts an end to it all. No more sin. No more suffering. It will all be made new.

  • SoM 3 years ago

    Why do christians call the Lake of Fire (LoF) hell, when god clearly calls it limnEn tou puros, and why do they call aiOnas and basanisthEsontai (Which btw is a verb for basanos "Touchstone"), eternal torment?