There was an article in the paper the other day that asked the question -- Are the Pearly Gates open to anyone?
The article stated: Heaven is no longer viewed as an exclusive place by many Americans, according to a survey made by Baylor University. Respondents said they believe that Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and even nonbelievers, will get there in large numbers.
I don't know what bible they have been reading or other materials, but I do think they have not been reading my Bible, which is the Holy Word of God. Jesus plainly said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me."
Romans 10:9,10 tells us specifically what we must do to be saved, to become a child of God and go to Heaven when we die. "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart He was raised from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation."
We-all people-must believe in God and in His Son, accepting Jesus Christ as savior to be saved, and to go to heaven. People who do not believe in God and Jesus Christ and do not put their trust and faith in Jesus and His death on the cross, His being raised again on the third day, will not enjoy God's wonderful Heaven and will not be there in any number!
Perhaps John 3:16 is the best known verse in the Bible: "For God so loved the world [ this means people, all people] that He gave His only Son, that those who believe in Him [only those who believe in Him and confess Jesus as Lord] would not perish but would have eternal life."
This defines who will be in Heaven --period!
Many say, "But God is a God of love and mercy, surely He will not allow anyone to go to Hell, to eternal punishment."
God is a God of love and mercy, and for that reason, He has given every one in the world a choice, a chance to go to Heaven. He gave the most precious possession He had-His sinless Son-to die on the cross to pay for our sins, so that we might have this great choice.
Now I ask you, all who do not believe in Jesus, who do not accept God's great plan of salvation, His unimaginable sacrifice of the death of His beloved Son -- Do you really think God would say to you-"It's OK if you don't believe or accept my offer of Heaven through Jesus, you may come into my Heaven anyway you like?"
God would never cheapen the death of His beloved Son, so that an undeserving non-believer could reject His blessed plan of salvation and come into His Heaven on his or her own terms! No reasonable-thinking person would ever believe this could, or should, happen.
And yet, this survey said the following believe they would get into Heaven: Average Americans-54%, Christians-72%, Jews-45%, Buddhists-37%, Muslims-34%, nonreligious people-29%.
My Christian friends, this kind of thinking should make us very sad, because there are so many people on the road to destruction today, so many enslaved by Satan, blinded by his lies and falsehoods, so many living in sin and not even realizing they are going to a horrible place of punishment and sadness.
This is why we must find ways to reach them, to share with them the true love of God and the choice they have to change their eternal destination. I pray many who read this article today will decide to share God's love and salvation plan with all their friends and acquaintances, and even those they don't know, so they will hear of God's love for them and the choice He offers. Amen.