Just about everybody wants to go to heaven.
But not everybody knows how to get there.
It can be confusing because every religion has its own road map.
As for me, I am following the one drawn by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom God gave all power and dominion over heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18-20)
In other words, Jesus is in charge of heaven, so we really should take to heart what He says.
Let’s examine Jesus’ road map to heaven.
He says plainly and clearly:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Combine it with Romans 10:9 (“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”), and you’re on the right path.
Pretty simple, right?
Jesus is straightforward.
Let’s take a quick survey of what other religions think about salvation and the way to heaven.
And if you belong to one of these religions, know that I am not here to offend anyone.
I am here to shed light on God’s Word.
Much of the following information is backed up by the reputable Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry website.
7 Major World Religions — Do All Lead to Heaven?
Catholics believe Christ alone is the Savior of the human race, but then they veer off the highway to heaven.
They believe in Purgatory (a way station for souls awaiting temporal punishment for sin, and the cleansing of their sins), and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter.
According to the folks at CARM,“The Protestant Church cites the Bible alone as the source of doctrinal knowledge. The Catholic church, on the other hand, cites the ‘Bible and Tradition.’
Please consider the following:
“… the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.” (Quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.)
Mormons believe that God is a man from another planet.
They believe that human beings get salvation both through the grace of God and their own actions.
Keep in mind God’s word says salvation is a gift from God.
You don’t have to work to at attaining salvation.
Ephesians 2:8 clearly underscores this: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
But there’s a whole lot about Mormonism that is contrary to the Word of God, including the Book of Mormon, which they believe is sacred text.
3. Jehovah’s Witness
They believe Jesus’ spirit, not his body, was resurrected, that God is greater than Jesus, and that the Holy Spirit is not a person.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the Bible as God’s Word like other Christians, but they prefer their own altered New World Translation.
Careful: God said not to add or subtract from His Word.
John Ankerberg, an author and evangelical TV-show host, is a former Jehovah’s Witness.
He says the organization twists and distorts biblical truths.
For example, John 1:1 says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses, who do not believe Jesus is equal to God, have changed John 1:1 to read “In (the) beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (New World Translation).
You can’t argue with the fact that the Hebrew people are the “apple of God’s eye.” (Zechariah 2:7-9)
“One of the fundamental beliefs of Judaism is that life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. This is articulated in the verse in Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God, who gave it.”
Basically, Jews believe that as long as “they keep the Torah” they are righteous.
They believe in “a world to come” (an after-life referred to as Olam Ha-Ba or Garden of Eden).
From the website “My Jewish Learning”:
“It is generally believed that in Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden) the human soul exists in a disembodied state until the time of bodily resurrection in the days of the Messiah.”
As Christians and many Jews have come to realize, the Messiah has already arrived in the form of the God-man Jesus.
Did you know that Jesus is Jewish? (If your mother is Jewish, you are Jewish, states Jewish law).
He came for the Jew first, then the gentile.
I love this beautiful scripture in Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Jesus also told His Jewish brethren:
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
A brief description from the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry:
“Islam is one of the world’s fasted growing religions. But, is it a religion of peace, violence, or a little of both? Muhammad taught that there is one God, no Trinity, Jesus was not crucified, and that good works are needed for salvation.”
Muslims believe that Jesus is a great prophet, second only to Muhammad, and that forgiveness of sins (salvation) is obtained by Allah’s grace without a mediator.
They believe in a heaven that is Paradise, where all the desires of the faithful are met.
As for the “72 virgins” awaiting martyred jihadists in Paradise, Islam scholar Irshad Manji says it’s a “monumental mistranslation” of the Koran.
Manji claims the original word used in the Koran was “raisin,” not virgin.
This religion looks upon salvation as liberation from ignorance and violence in the current world.
Noble, yes, but it won’t get you to heaven.
Buddhism differs from Christianity on individual claims such as who or what is God or what happens to us when we die.
The largest religion in India believes in a reincarnation formed by karma (past lives of good or bad affects the quality and position of your next incarnation).
Hinduism adheres to a caste system.
- Brahman (the priestly class)
- Kshatriya (the rulers and warriors)
- Vaisya (the common agriculturists and artisans)
- Sudra (the low caste)
The True Stairway to Heaven is Jesus Christ
“Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. (John 8:32)
There are other world religions, but you get the idea.
Your eternal salvation is important.
2 Peter 3: 8-9 tells us:
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Maybe we’re just waiting for you.
So, do question the scriptures.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth.
Seek, study, pray, then make up your own mind.
As Jesus said, you will know the truth … and the truth will make you free.