I often hear the claim that people of all religions will go to heaven. That sounds so reassuring and peaceful that I would like to believe that myself. However, I do not want to live out my life only to discover that I was incorrect in my belief. Moreover, I do not want to be incorrect due to what someone else told me incorrectly.
The claim that people of all religions will go to heaven cannot be correct because Jesus stated that He is the only way to the Father. Jesus says that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Either Jesus is wrong or every other religion is wrong; either way, they cannot both be correct. That assures me that I must determine for myself what I am going to believe. My parents raised me as a Christian and it lays a great foundation, but that in itself does not make me a strong believer.
When I read the Bible, there are people that knew what they believed and were willing to live or die in that belief. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were great examples of people who truly believed what they believed.
A frustrated Nebuchadnezzar asked them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” (Daniel 3:14-15, NASB)
They responded, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”(Daniel 3:16-18, NASB)
There is a confidence that the three Hebrew boys have that is not from merely being raised in this belief. This confidence is from not only being raised to believe in the one true God, but also because they have experienced God for themselves. Today, we can also have an experience or an encounter with God. We can have a relationship with Him so that we know He is real and He is the one true God. It took a great confidence to speak back to someone like Nebuchadnezzar about their faith, but they did it.
This is why it is so important that we read the Bible, pray, and allow God to lead our lives. This builds a relationship that we can be assured is genuine and a confidence that is unmovable. People may claim that whatever your religion you are going to heaven, but that is not the case. Only the people that believe in Jesus Christ will have that privilege; don’t take my word for it - take the word of Jesus Himself.
The Apostles realized that Jesus was the true Messiah and continued to preach the Gospel of Jesus even after His death and resurrection. Many people claim that the disciples made up the story of Jesus’ resurrection just to keep the religion alive. That would almost make sense except they continued to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ even though they were being persecuted, beaten, thrown in jail and murdered. After a few of the disciples were murdered, if the story was a man-made story, it would have persuaded them to stop telling the Gospel of Jesus. That was not the case; they continued to preach the message even though their lives were at stake. Why would they risk their lives and the lives of their friends and families if they had fabricated the story of Jesus? I am assured through their testimony that they were certain that Jesus was God and they witnessed His resurrection.
When we read the Bible and God reveals the answers to our prayers through His Word and we experience His power within our own lives then we can have the confidence that is required to stand up against opposition and trials knowing that we serve the risen Savior.