Hi, I really enjoy your page and I like how you thoroughly explain your point of view. I just need some clarification on this one matter. I don't really believe in God, I consider myself a Humanist because it makes the most sense to me. I live a good life, try to help others, give back to the community, and try to leave the world a better place because I was here. So, since I certainly don't believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and my sins, I guess that means I'm doomed to eternity in hell because of what I believe, not because of the life I lead on earth? That makes Christianity out to look somewhat exclusive and greatly egotistical (kind of "We're right and you're not") in my mind. Also what about Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. Approximately 33% of the world's population are Christians. Is a supposedly forgiving God damning 2/3 of the world right from the very start? These other people in other religions have no chance of getting to heaven (or whatever redemption lies in the afterlife of their respective religions) because Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me" John 14:6. Now, as I see it, Christians see themselves as "right" and all other religions as "wrong," so even though these people may be living exemplary lives under the guidelines of their religions but they are doomed to hell because they don't believe the Jesus was the son of God? That just doesn't make any sense to me. I can't see why someone would choose to devote their life to such exclusive thoughts and beliefs. I know I'm probably biting off more than I can chew and I know that once you reply I will have to write again with some clarifications and such. Thanks a lot for your time.
My response is in Green:
I am glad you enjoyed my page. You asked some good questions. These are questions a lot of people have but don't ask. The bottom line is yes, no matter what kind of life you live, if you don't accept Jesus Christ as your savior you will spend eternity in hell. But that is not all the answer, it is technically correct, but there is more. Hell is not the same for everyone. There are a couple of verses I need to quote to show you what I am talking about: (Revelation 20:12 NIV) And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. Notice it says books not book. There is a book a life and the only people's names in it are those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior. But there are other books, which contain all the deeds the person did in their life time, good and bad. If the person's name is not in the book of life, then the that person is judged according to what the person did both good and bad.
God loves you, even if you don't believe in Him, but His holy nature will not allow you to go unpunished for your sins. Yet He is just in His judgments. It would not be right for you to be judged the same as Hitler, etc... If you have lived a good life, that will weigh in your favor, but it won't be good enough to get you to heaven, only Jesus can get you there.
You mentioned all the other religions. Again bottom line is that if they don't accept Jesus Christ as their Savior they won't make it to heaven, period. You made a statement about these people not having a chance to get to heaven. They have the same chance as anyone else, it is up to them what they believe. You also made statements to the effect that you think Christians are arrogant because we believe Jesus is the only way to heaven. Well answer this; can all the religions be right? Of course not, there contradict each other, so they can't all be right. Because they can't all be right, does that mean they are all wrong? Of course not. So it is possible that only one of them is right, isn't that right?
Muslims believe in God, but He is not the God of the Christian Bible, Humanist believe that we are all gods, Christians don't believe that, we believe we were created in the image of God. The differences go on and on, they can't all be right.
You said that approximately 33% of the world's population is Christian. I think you are too high. 33% may claim to be Christian, but I doubt that they really are. You went on to ask how a forgiving God could damn 2/3 of the population right from the start. That is not the question, the question is why won't those people believe? See God gives everyone a chance, but He will not force Himself on anyone. I know you don't believe in God, but can you honestly say that if one day you stand before God you can tell Him you never had the chance to believe?
Look around you. Where did this world come from? Evolution is full of holes, yet people will believe it before they will believe that God created them. Why? Well the answer is simple, they have corrupt hearts and don't want to admit there is a God to whom they will one day give account. They claim the Christians are weak because we need the devil to blame our problems on. The opposite is true. To be a Christian a person has to believe that they are a sinner and that they have sinned against God and that He has pronounced judgment on them. The have to believe that the judgment pronounced on them is just and that there is nothing they can do about it. And that God loved them enough to make a way out of that judgment by sending His only Son to die for them. See we don't blame anyone for our problems, we have to admit we are rightly judged and found guilty. It is the same of every human being, and it is possible for every human being to be forgiven if they will just ask.
God does not want anyone to go to hell. But it is their choice. Every other religion in the world has a way for you to earn your salvation or whatever they call it. You have to live a good life, or do this or that. Christianity on the other hand says no matter what you do it is not enough, you have to come to God and admit that you can't save yourself and then He will save you.
In the end God will show that He is just and merciful, but it will be too late for those who for whatever reason refused to at least check out His claims for themselves.
I hope that helped. If you have more questions feel free to ask.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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