Question: Won’t people from any religion go to heaven after death if they have been sincere in their own beliefs on earth?
Answer: The idea that all people will wind up in heaven when they die regardless of what they believed is called universal salvation. Even though that idea makes up happy that they won’t miss the paradise of heaven, it’s a myth that is opposite of what the Bible reveals. This false hope is popular among so-called religious groups that wrongly teach God is a force of nature that indwells all living things, an idea known as pantheism. Other religions claim that people must work all their lives to earn their way to heaven but still not be assured that they did enough. We can trust what God inspired the apostle Paul to write that is preserved in the Bible:
“If anyone ever had reason to hope that he could save himself (and get to heaven), it would be I. I went through all the Jewish ceremonies…I was a true Jew in every way…I was a member of the Pharisees who demanded the strictest obedience to all Jewish laws and customs. I obeyed every Jewish rule. I was so sincere! But all these things that I once thought worthwhile, I’ve now thrown them all away so I can put my trust and hope in Jesus Christ alone…everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Jesus as my Lord…no longer counting on going to heaven because I was good enough, but by trusting Jesus to save me…God’s way is counting on Christ alone.” Philippians 3:4-9
The Bible explains that everyone will, indeed, live eternally after physical death, in either heaven or hell. Many will not be allowed to enter heaven because they did not accept that Jesus died on the cross for their sins to save them from punishment in hell. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14:
“Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.”
“Jesus told him, ‘I am the Way—yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except by means of me.’ ” John 14:6
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.” Paul in I Timothy 2:5-6
“The Name of Jesus Christ…nor is there salvation in any other, for no other Name has been given among men under heaven by which we must be saved.” Luke in Acts 4:10-12
Passage into heaven is achieved in only one way, and it’s not anything we can work hard to earn. It’s through trusting Jesus to forgive us and lead us through the rest of our lives. He is the gateway, the narrow gate, the one mediator, and the ransom given to save us!
Many religions other than Christianity are not able to promise their followers that they will arrive in heaven after death. They teach that no one can know for sure. But God comforts us that followers of Jesus Christ will be with Him – forever! Remember Jesus’ words on the cross to the thief beside Him who was also being crucified? “I assure you that today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43
What better source could we have than from God Himself?
Do you have that assurance, His promise? If you are not sure, say or pray something like this:
Jesus, I have not believed that it was so important for you to be a part of my life, and I’m sorry I’m coming to you so late. I feel I have wasted many years worrying and striving to solve my own problems, and my life has not turned out the way I had hoped. Will you come into my life now and help me? I understand from your Holy Scriptures in the Bible that you loved us so much that you died on a cross as punishment for the sins of mankind, and I know my many wrongs were included. I am happy to know that you rose from the dead and await me in heaven! I put my full trust in you and ask that you will guide me through my future and help me make the right choices that please you and bring honor to you. Please show me how to have a close relationship with you. Thank you! Amen.
If you just prayed and asked Jesus into your life, it’s crucial to study the Bible, His life guidebook, so you will know all that God wants you to learn about Him. Attend a church and study the Bible with others who are seeking God. Ask questions about anything you read that you don’t understand. Jesus desires for you to know Him and know all about Him!