This question is still around today; and in some pulpits, the answer is that there are many ways to heaven besides Jesus.
Once again, starting with Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.”
Genesis 1:26 “Let US make man in OUR image to be like US…” (emphasis is mine).
John 1:1-2, 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God… The Word became flesh and lived among us. We gazed on His glory, the kind of glory that belongs to the Father’s unique Son, who is full of grace and truth.”
John 14:8-9 “Philip said, Lord show us the Father, and we will be content. Jesus replied, Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known Me, Philip? The person who has seen Me has seen the Father! How can you say show us the Father?”
John 20:27-29 “Then He said to Thomas, put your finger here, and examine My hands. Extend your hand and put it into My side. Do not continue in unbelief, but believe. Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and My God!’ Jesus said to him, have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are the people who have not seen, and yet believe.”
In John 10:30, Jesus said, “The Father and I are One.”
There are those today that are totally under Satan’s influence and believe his lie that Jesus does not exist. Or, Yes, He did live, but only as a man and a prophet; He was not really the Son of God. This is the belief of Islam. In fact, in Islam it’s believed Jesus will return to earth in the end, but as a “servant” of Mohammad. False prophets are saying there are many ways to heaven, and it’s not necessary to accept or believe in Jesus. Also, they are saying the Bible is only reference material and not to be taken literally as the Word of God.
There are many so-called deities or gods in the world’s different religions, but none of them are anything like the Lord God Jehovah of the Bible. First of all, Our God is Real. Most of their followers never know when and if they have been good enough or have earned a place in paradise, so they are required to do many prayers and special works to “try” to appease their impersonal god(s).
One thing that confuses many people is the concept of a Trinity: one God with three separate and distinct entities. All are God with qualities that all compliment the One.
Before going further, no one, including myself, is totally qualified to fully explain the Trinity. Once we get Home, we will be enlightened; but for now, we have the faith that the Trinity exists, and all three are mentioned in God’s True Word.
One example: John 14:15-17 “If you love Me, you will obey My commandments. Then I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate (Spirit) to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot accept because it does not see Him, or know Him. But you know Him because He resides with you and will be in you.” Then, John 16:7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”
By the way, the Trinity is not a new concept, as it has always existed. Going back to the first paragraph, Genesis 1:26 starts out “Let US…” which naturally signifies plural, not singular. There are numerous references in the Old Testament that refer to “The Angel of the Lord” or “An Angel of the Lord.” According to Wikipedia, the “Angel of the Lord” or “Messenger of Yahweh” appears 65 times in the Hebrew Bible. Some of these are identified as the Arch Angel Gabriel; however, some are believed to be the preincarnate Jesus. Again, we will find out for sure when we get Home.
One example is when Abraham was told to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. Genesis 22:11-12 says “But the Lord’s Angel called out to him from Heaven; Abraham, Abraham! Here I am he answered. Do not harm the boy, the Angel said. Do not do anything to him, for now I know that you fear (totally respect) God, because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from Me.”
Abraham was allowed to spare his son, and God provided a ram to be sacrificed instead. When the proper time came, God did not spare His Own Son, Jesus, but made Him to be the perfect sacrificial Lamb for all of us. Jesus, the man, suffered and died on that cross. As soon as He did, the God Jesus again took His rightful position as 1/3 of the Godhead. He never actually lost it; however, His short-term “lower than the angels” was over (Hebrews 2:7, 9). By His appearance to Thomas and the showing of His scars, we are led to believe we will also be able to see those scars as a reminder of His total love for us.
I understand there will be some who see this message and will declare it to be a complete fairytale. One thing God will never do is force anyone to accept Him, His Son or the Holy Spirit. Unlike some religions that demand total commitment or be martyred, Our God shows His love by allowing us to have free will to make our own choice.
It’s a pure and total love that was demonstrated in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Also, Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
No other “religion” can make this claim about their god. In fact, Jesus is not impressed with “organized religion,” which was demonstrated by all the problems He had with all the so-called religious leaders during His time here.
Ours is the only true God who desires a relationship with all who will call out to Him. He is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11) and will accept any and all who accepts His Son’s sacrifice on Calvary, asks forgiveness of all their sins, and asks to have Jesus be their Savior. All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13). No other action, ceremony or ritual will save you. Our Salvation is free for the asking, and has been totally paid for by the precious blood of Jesus. For anyone to think we can add to the sacrifice with some other ritual is an insult to the Father.
Your eternity with Jesus begins the instant you accept Him. A perfect example is the thief on the cross next to Him who asked Jesus to be His Savior. When the time comes for Him to take His Church (all true believers) Home in the Rapture, none of us will be left behind. If we have passed away before that event, we will be the first taken up to meet Him in the clouds/air. Then, those who are still alive will be taken (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-53).
For those of the world who are on that broad road leading to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14), they cannot look forward to an eternity of peace and pure joy, unless they accept Jesus before taking their last breath here. To not do so puts them in line at the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15. There are no pardons or reprieves from the Lake of Fire at this event; and it will be each person’s choice that put them there. Last breath = final decision made.
We do not know the day or hour when the trumpet/shofar will sound and the shout from the Arch Angel comes. For the ones who have Jesus in their hearts, it’s not something we worry about. The timing is God’s; He knows the exact second it will happen, and the Rapture will be over in less than a second. For believers, today would not be too soon.
For those who are lost, it’s an impending gloomy event that they cannot stop. It would be much better to “know” you will avoid the wrath than to all of a sudden see that a bunch of people are gone, and the world is under control of a truly evil final antichrist. To accept the world is to reject Jesus and be separated from Him forever.
This is not a fairytale. Very soon you can be in complete glory, or complete doom. Choose this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15). It will either be Satan or Jesus – there is no other choice and no other way. (John 14:6). This will be the most important decision you will ever make!
Come Lord Jesus – Shalom!