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Why Only Christians Go To Heaven ?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by bhakthi, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. dorcas3000

    dorcas3000 Member

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    "Only Christians go to heaven" is a doctrine that is supported biblically if interpreted a certian way. There is plenty of other evidence in scripture that this doctrine may not be true. Given the doubt, it is important that we as Christians hold our doctrines with humility, as they are only futile attempts to grasp the power message of the scriptures. To claim that we have interpreted scriptures correctly and condemn other viewpoints often leads to a great misfortune: false doctrine. We as Christians need to focus on preaching what we all hold as True, not things that might be true, we think are true or want to be true. As it is, something that might be true might also be false.

    No one hear can say "my interpretation is true, and yours is false." In the case of two opposing views, it's likely that neither interpretation is true! I am all for discussing what the truth could possibly be, but the second we assert we have 'figured it out' is the second we are led astray from the purpose of the gospel. This assertion that we are correct despite amibuity in the scriptures is precisely the 'pride' that Mister T is referring to.
     
  2. Mister_T

    Mister_T Forum Relic
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    Hold on a second; I never said the Bible wasn't the divine word of God. I just think your interpretation is flawed. Especially when you compare it to the fundementals of a loving relationship. Like dorcas3000 said, there are scriptures to back that up.

    And even though I bring up a reasonable argument, you still dissmiss it and still imply that you are all knowing of of the scriptures and God. Which is no big suprise. Everytime somebody stumps a Christian with this type of mindset, they always have their default "God said it so I'm right and you're wrong" to fall back on. When in fact, there interpretation doesn't hold up to scrutiny and conflicts with other parts of scripture. No wonder people don't take the religious community seriously.

    Yes dorcas3000. This is exactly what I was reffering to.
     
  3. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    Hello, Dentonz. :)


    I only want to understand here............do you suggest that the Almighty has pride? Is the Almighty a jealous God?




    And if the Almighty does indeed have pride and IS jealous, do you believe that the Almighty is justified in having such mindsets? Why or why not?





    I would also like to post the question to Christians who believe that only Christians go to heaven: What, then, defines a "Christian"?



    In discussing this issue in real life with family members who are afraid of my experience in the afterlife, this issue has not been so easily a cut-and-dry one. The question of what makes for a true "Christian" is a question that needs to be chewed on for a bit before giving an authentic - whilst a biblically supported - answer.






    Peace,
    Mystic
     
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  4. Mister_T

    Mister_T Forum Relic
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    Yes. He even says so himself.

    Ahhh yes.........you touched upon an interesting subject that I brought up earlier. Glad to see I'm not the only one who's thought about this

    EXACTLY WHAT I WAS GETTING AT! FRUBALS!. There's TOO much conflicting material in regards to what Christians define as Christians. I'm researching this very topic as we speak to see if my argument can hold up to scrutiny
     
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  5. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    I wish you much luck on your research. :highfive:





    Peace,
    Mystic
     
  6. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Yes, He did...but He also said that He is the way. Reject him and you reject what he offers.

    He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."
    Matthew 12:30, KJV


    "...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
    John 14:6b, KJV


    "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
    Mark 8:38, KJV


     
  7. dorcas3000

    dorcas3000 Member

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    "Jealous" is another one of those words that isn't exactly the same in English as it is in Biblical language. In terms of God being jealous, the word referrs best to this definition:

    3 : vigilant in guarding a possession <new colonies were jealous of their new independence -- Scott Buchanan> (from m-w.com)

    When God says he's jealous, it means he values us as his posession (not like slave posession) and doesn't want other 'gods' or idols or anything thing else to mess up us or hurt us. So, if that sort of jealousy makes God proud....his pride would be in us, his creation. When God says he's jealous, it means he cares. We are extremely valuable to Him.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    Actually, that is much like how I would define jealousy in English terms. It is a possessive emotion, and therefore only the grammatical use in the example you gave is slightly different from what I understand it.




    Are you suggesting that God's jealousy is more loving? I'm sorry. I am not exactly following your point. :confused:









    I'm sorry, too, for my nit-picking here. I can only assume that human slave-holders find their slaves (possessions) to be extremely valuable to them, too.





    I'm only guessing here, and simplistically, too. Is this reconcilable with the notion that a follower of God might identify oneself as a "servant of God"? Seeing God as the Creator, and humanity is one of God's creations, we are seen as His possessions?




    I'm not trying to be cute. I really do want to understand this position. :)





    Oh, wow..........it's late here in Illinois. *rubs eyes*





    Peace,
    Mystic
     
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  9. dorcas3000

    dorcas3000 Member

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    I'm pointing the difference between being jealous for something that is not yours (as in coveting) and being jealous or something that is already yours. If any negative connotation should arise from this, it would be that God is almost selfish. But that's not really it....I mean, parents get upset when their children are kidnapped, that doesn't make them 'selfish'. Jealous is a protective term. Also, parents have a right to regulate what their child learns and how they learn it. They choose how to discipline their children. The word "jealous" is a powerful word to describe this authoritative, disciplining , protective, yet extremely loving relationship God intends for people.

    IMHO, the term "Father" in the Bible is really used to describe the relationship between God and humans, not such much some doctrine dealing with the trinity. Ancient Hebrew literature is filled with metaphors, it was their way of thinking.

    yes - love being joined with several other actions and emotions. Perhaps think of it like a bird guards her eggs for the sake of the little chickies inside.

    Except slaveholders usually value their slaves only for their own personal gain, as in money. Slaves have value because of societal implications. We have value to God because he chooses to give us value. Again, think of a parent-child relationship. While children do have some tax benefits, the value parents give their children is predominately out of love.


    Funny, because the term 'bond servant' is actually used in the NT, referring to a slave that is given the opportunity for freedom, but has so much devotion to his master that he vows to be a servant forever. This type of servanthood is completely willed by the servant. This opportunity for "freedom" is free will, and Christians are those who deny their own wants to serve God, their Lord. In fact, the term "Lord" also refers to the connotation of master/servant.

    To further clarify, God is not jealous for everybody. This idea is predominately an OT theme, used with the nation of Israel. God is jealous for Israelites because He has already established a covenant with them, and through this covenant, God sort of very loosely I suppose "possesses" the nation of Israel. The exact nature of the covenant is a lot to explain here, though.

    Even later here in Indiana. :)
     
  10. joeboonda

    joeboonda Well-Known Member

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    Okay, quickly, we will be judged according to the light given us. We have all been given 2 things according to Romans, a conscience, God's word written in our heart, and the creation showing us we have a creator. If one has never heard of Christ but was very wicked and unrepentent, I don't think they will be in Heaven. If one has never heard of Christ but was sorry for things he did wrong, and asked forgiveness or mercy from whatever he knew to be 'god', he will probably go to Heaven. God is just and loving and fair, He will judge each of us individualy and mercifuly. But if one has heard the gospel of Christ and rejected it, one will be judged for rejecting God's free gift of payment for our sin and will not be in Heaven. If one has ever once trusted Christ that he paid for their sins and gave us HIS righteousness, then you have assurance that you WILL go to Heaven, but your reward may not be the same as one who has been more faithful and grown up in Christ and served and loved God and others. Now, unlike the Mormons, I believe we will be judged for our actions, or our rejection of Christ, what we do in THIS life NOW. Hebrews says it is appointed once for man to die and after this the judgement. Jesus said the rich man died and in Hell...(in the story of the rich man and Lazarus). The Bible says there will be a separation of the sheep and the goats, good and bad, and some will go to life everlasting and some to eternal punishment. Those of us who have Christ's blood covering our sins are secure in salvation, but may not have a great reward, it won't be the same for everyone, but Heaven is better than Hell, and I believe there will be varying degrees of both. I am still learning but this is my answer for now. Peace!

    Oh, and let me urge folks, trust in Christ, He already paid for all our sins, and by simply believing in Him we HAVE eternal life NOW, and will not come back into condemnation but ARE passed from death to life, the moment we believe according to John 5:24, and oops I probably just proseletythed or whatever, sry. ignore if you must, just dont give me those ugly warning points or whatever, lol. Peace!
    Mike
     
  11. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    As a mother of four children, two who aren't by birth, I can understand this protective feeling. This makes sense to me.








    I can understand this, too. I can appreciate and celebrate parables and metaphors. Sometimes we Buddhists can be so boring and plain-tongued. ;)




    The Abrahamic religions express their theology so poetically. It's like beautiful music. So, again, I can appreciate that.








    The parent-child relationship is emphasized here again. From a child's perspective toward his or her parent, this parent is all-knowing, all-seeing, and awe-inspiring. The child at time wishes to think that he or she is as mature and as omniscient as his or her parent - however a child normally does not encompass the life experience and perspective that the parent has. The parent loves the child, sees the impenetrable bond between the two, and knows exactly what is best for the child's well-being.





    Does this expound on the relationship between God and His creation somewhat, from an outside perspective? :)









    That's OK. I get the gist of what you are saying. Thank you.






    And, we're neighbors? Yee-HAW! Wassup? *gives hi-five and wishes well for upcoming tornado season*






    Peace,
    Mystic
     
  12. dorcas3000

    dorcas3000 Member

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    It most certianly does! :bounce



    LOL! woot for the midwest!
     
  13. Dentonz

    Dentonz Member

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    I must have missed it. Please show a scripture that says you don't have to follow Jesus to go to heaven. I would like to discuss this Biblically if you believe the Bible says it. You stated there is 'plenty of other evidence', I just want to see one.
    Thanks.
     
  14. dorcas3000

    dorcas3000 Member

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    Just a quick response, scripture does say:

    If you follow Jesus, you will go to heaven
    If you don't follow Jesus, you will be judged based on what you have been "given."
    The wages of sin is "death", whatever that may mean
    God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy

    Scripture does not say:
    If you don't believe in Jesus, you will automatically be sent straight to hell.

    In short, there is room for interpretation. We should focus on "if you follow Jesus you will get into heaven," not so much what happens when you don't. The only thing we can say with confidence is that it is in some way better to follow Jesus.
     
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  15. Ody

    Ody Well-Known Member

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    What about those who reject the trinity but accept G-d? Are you saying those people
    do not want salvation? Are you telling me that those who don't accept christ do believe, but just don't want salvation? :confused:
     
  16. dorcas3000

    dorcas3000 Member

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    No, I am saying that such people would be very uncomfortable to find themselves in a 'heaven' that is completely different from what they assumed was true. First, they would have to admit that they were wrong, which is tough to swallow for some people. It is likely that some would become angry and bitter. Now, would that be a very 'heavenly' experience?

    In short, people who don't see Jesus as Lord want a different kind of heaven, and a different kind of salvation, if that makes sense.
     
  17. Dentonz

    Dentonz Member

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    If you can't even tell another Christian why you believe, what you believe; how can you possibly teach the unlearned and those seeking a relationship with Christ?
    The Bible does say in John 3:36 "...he that believeth not, shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him" and Galations 1:8, Paul says "but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel than that which we have preached, let him be accursed."
    There is not one that I can find that says anything other than; Jesus is the only way to God. And Jesus said if you were to follow him you have to deny yourself and take up your cross daily. He also said if you love him you will follow his commandments. He also said that many will come to him on the last day and say Lord, Lord and he will say depart from me, I never knew you.
     
  18. Mister_T

    Mister_T Forum Relic
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    This is irrelivent to the topic.

    I could see how this would work for your argument. But you should post the whole thing becausethere is a discrepancy "36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." First of all there are 2 distictions of life in this passage. Life and eternal life. "Life" could be refering to this lifetime. The scripture does not say "whoever rejects the son will not see eternal life" It just says life. Jesus was a thing of beauty. People who don't accept him are dissapointing God because they are denying themselves the truth about God and missing the whole point of life through Jesus and his teachings. The wrath of God doesn't necessarly mean eternal damnnation because Christians have also felt the wrath of God for their disobedience (David is a good example)

    This passage was directed at the Judaizers who where perverting Christs message (Galatians 2:12). They were perverting it by preaching that one must be circumsized to be saved (2:3. 3:2-5. 5:11-12, 6:13-15) Acts(15:1) Included in this perverted gospel was an obligation to keep the whole law perfectly. Galtaians (3:10, 5:2-3) Paul treats this gospel as cursed because no one is justified before God by law. Galatians (3:11)

    When Jesus said "No one can come to the father except through me" How do we know that he wasn't describing his act of sacrifice the only way for us to have our relationship restored with God? After all we will all be "coming to the father" when we die to be judged. No one bypasses this. Jesus would defininatley want to discourage people from not believing in him. But no where does he say believe in me or go to hell. Seeing as how Jesus spoke more about hell than anybody, I'm sure he would have used those exact words. Jesus' 2 greatest commands where to love God and love everyone as you love yourself. People can still love God without believing that Jesus was the son of man. They aren't breaking that 1st command.
     
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  19. dorcas3000

    dorcas3000 Member

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    Heavens, I was in a hurry. Besides, I'm trying to limit my time online due to my thesis. I'm sorry you're offended by my incomplete answer.

    I mostly agree with Mister T, so i won't repeat anything there. Though I must say that if anyone is unable to understand a particlar verse in context, they should not be teaching it to the unlearned. Stick to what you know, not to what you're guessing.

    The gospel preaches a restored relationship with God. Jesus is the way to that truest relationship. I think we can agree on that. Now, if someone worships God but doesn't recognize Jesus, they are still worshiping God - but it is incomplete. Yes? Also, these people will undergo a different 'judgement' than true believers. Here's the thing, though: wrath doesn't necessarily equal "go straight to hell." Judgement doesn't necessarily mean "go straight to hell." I'm not saying what you believe is NOT true, I'm just saying it's possible that it isn't, therefore we shouldn't go around preaching that it definitely IS true. Make sense?

    Yes, but I thought we were talking about people who don't follow Jesus, for one reason or another.

    Funny you bring up this verse, because when Jesus says this he is referring to false prophets. ie, people who teach heresy and false doctrines... Jesus says "I never knew you" although these people are very 'christian' on the outside.
    What does this tell me? It's the relationship, not the 'perfect' doctine you preach that matters. If you preach a doctine that isn't true, simply because you didn't bother to sit down in prayer and actually learn the gospel from God himself ...(please see verses 7and 8 of the same chapter) , Jesus won't really care how wonderful of a speaker you are, how many miracles you performed or demons you drove out. You corrupted his church!

    In the gospels, Jesus continuously condemns the Pharisees for corrupting God's message by telling people they weren't good enough for God. Jesus spoke to unbelievers only with love and compassion. Therefore, our gospel to those who don't believe should NEVER be one of hell-fire, it should be of grace and love. That's what God intended, that's what Jesus did. Jesus commanded us to make disciples, not turn people into hypocritical churchgoers who fear hell.
     
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  20. Mister_T

    Mister_T Forum Relic
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    This is what I was trying to say. This pretty much sums it up for me as well

    I wish I could frubal twice in a row.
     
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