It is Christmas time! Christmas is cool. I’m not in love with it, but it is a wonderful time of the year. This is probably the 2nd highest grossing season for church go-ers, right behind Easter. Most people know it is Jesus’ birthday and many gather on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings to acknowledge the birth of a Savior. If you haven’t read my previous post on the Anti-Gospel, I urge you to do that here. In that post I discuss how Christianity is solely about following Jesus and anything else misses the point. But this creates the question, “Is Jesus the only way?”
Specifically, I will be answering “Is Jesus the only way to heaven?”, but hopefully you find more answers than just that question. Some popular responses to this question might look like “Yes, Jesus died for our sins and He is our only hope for Heaven,” or “I don’t think so. If there is in fact a loving God, He wouldn’t send certain people to Hell just because they don’t know/believe in this guy named Jesus.” The more we think about this, the more questions we have. Do good people go to hell? You know, those people who don’t go to church, but they are nice, treat others like they would like to be treated, and just live an overall good, moral life. What about Jews, those who believe in God but don’t acknowledge Jesus as their Savior?
I answer this question “Only perfect people go to Heaven.” Yep, I said it. Good people don’t go to heaven. Christians, Jews, and Muslims don’t go to Heaven. Politicians definitely won’t make it, and you probably won’t see to many car salesman either. I know, I know, I’m a false prophet. I’m the wolf dressed as the sheep. The Bible was talking about me when it talks about false teachers. Save your emails and your nasty comments and please keep reading. Only perfect people go to Heaven. Not good Christians, perfect people. Not the self-righteous saint who gives for everyone to see; only perfect people.
If you think about it, this isn’t really a new revelation. From the beginning, in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, after the Fall of Man, mankind was no longer perfect. And so what does God do? “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” -Genesis 3:21. Now, I am sure my theologian friends can give me a deep, valuable meaning of what this means in the Hebrew and what God was thinking when He did this, but ultimately God was covering up their shame. Adam and Eve realized they were naked in the Garden and God covered up their sin. Why? God created the Heavens perfect, He created the Earth perfect, and then He created man perfect. Then man (well, woman first 😉 ) messed things up, rendering themselves not perfect. And so God had to cover up their shame by giving them clothes. Clothes are made out of skin/hide, which comes from the sacrificing of animals. This bloodshed washed away the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden, because only perfect people get into Heaven.
Fast-forward. Men and women suck and keep messing up. Surprise surprise. Scripture says “there can be no forgiveness of sins, no perfection acquired, without the sacrificing a blood.” Then this means someone or something has to suffer for every time I mess up. Why? Because only perfect people get into heaven, and the only way people become perfect (sinless) is by the sacrifice of blood. Real romantic, I know. They would sacrifice goats, lambs, small children, you name it. Well, maybe not the last one, but you get my point. But then something really horrible starts happening. People start becoming more and more like me. People are sinning more and more, to the point that their sacrifices weren’t covering their sin. There are not enough sheep on the planet to cover my sins-let alone everyone on the planet, and God knew this. Then we get the promises in the Old Testament about how a Savior is coming to rescue God’s people and He will serve as the once and for all sacrifice. That sounds pretty good to me.
That of course, is Jesus. Jesus shows up, does His thing, people crucify Him, the blood was shed, and now those who follow Jesus have an atonement for their sins. Through blood and sacrifice, Jesus makes people perfect in the eyes of God. This is not because of what Christians, politicians, or 8 year old girls do, but because of what Jesus did, this is called grace.
So when we get this question, “Do good people go to heaven, or do people who don’t know Jesus but lived an honest life go to heaven,” we now know the answer is no, because only perfect people go to heaven and people are made perfect through Jesus. That’s how we get into to heaven. That is why its important to know Jesus. That’s why its important to tell those we know about Jesus. That’s why we send missionaries all over the world so that more people could hear about Jesus.
Regardless of what you think of me or what you think of this idea, I encourage you to think about why you live the way you do. Because honestly, for me, it’s not about Heaven. The older I get, the more I begin to understand that there is more to being a Christian than just getting into Heaven. On your tombstone, it will state the year you were brought into the world, a dash, and the day your soul left the earth (1900-1989). Though I know my end result will be Heaven, I choose to focus more on what will take place during the “dash” aka the duration of my life. There is more to Jesus than making me sinless and perfect. Yes, I thank Him and I praise Him for those very things everyday, but He isn’t just a Savior. Jesus is a redeemer, a healer, a marriage counselor, an exorciser of unclean spirits, a resurrector of the dead, a teacher, and friend. I encourage you this holiday season to really meditate on what Jesus did for you and also how He impacted the lives around Him. Not only does Jesus want to do similar things for you, He commands you to do them as well.