I was having a conversation with someone the other day and "somehow" the topic of discussion turned towards God. Hmm. Imagine that. Me? Talking to someone about God? It's true! Well, I asked this person, who was a professing Christian, one simple question and, from that point on, the conversation got . . . mmm, shall we say . . . a little ugly.
We found ourselves talking about our beliefs and about who goes to heaven. Who gets in and who does not. The conversation was very calm up to a certain point . . . the point of . . . the question.
"Do you believe that all roads lead to heaven?"
"Yes, I do. I believe that all faiths can get into heaven. They just call their gods something else."
"So, . . . you're not a Christian. You're a universalist?"
"I'm a Christian! How dare you tell me I'm not!"
"But Jesus told us that HE is "the way, the truth and the life" and that "no one comes to the Father except through Him."
"That's just what the Bible says. I believe that EVERY faith can get into heaven."
"But JESUS himself said that we can only get to heaven through Him!"
So what do we Christians believe anyway? Good question. Apparently, our beliefs are all over the map. Do you believe the Christianity of Oprah? She believes all roads lead to heaven and that we are our own gods. She says she is a Christian. Do you believe her? How about Joel Osteen. He thinks that we are all good, beautiful people. He never talks about sin. He believes if we simply declare something God will give us all we ask for. Riches, big homes and gold! DO you believe that? Joel does and he says he's a Christian. Do you believe him? What "we" believe seems to vary from church to church. So many questions! Let's find some answers, shall we?
One of the websites I frequent is called GotQuestions.org. Let's go there to find out what Christians believe.
"The core beliefs of Christianity are summarized in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, was resurrected, and thereby offers salvation to all who will receive Him in faith. Unique among all other faiths, Christianity is more about a relationship than religious practices. Instead of adhering to a list of “do’s and don’ts,” the goal of a Christian is to cultivate a close walk with God. That relationship is made possible because of the work of Jesus Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit."
The following is 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you - unless you believed in vain."
"3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures," - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
You can read the whole text of the GotQuestions.org response to this question here.
There are many different churches, denominations and beliefs. Which one is right? Where could we possibly turn to find out the answer to that question? Mmmm . . . how about the Bible?
When you get done reading that . . . give this a listen . . . and believe. :)
Creed by Third Day (w/ Brandon Heath)