REALITY: "For EVERYone has sinned; we ALL fall short of GOD's glorious standard." (Romans 3:23)
DO ALL ROADS REALLY LEAD TO HEAVEN? EVERY major religion claims to be the ONLY way to heaven. Each of these religions has a different kind of God and a vastly different means of reaching Him. Because they're ALL DIFFERENT, they could ALL be WRONG, BUT THEY CAN'T ALL BE RIGHT.
Hal Seed (in "The GOD Questions -- Exploring Life's Great Questions About GOD") presents these religions' basic solutions to the realities of SIN and JUSTICE.
This religion teaches, "Those who love a hundred have a hundred woes. Those who love ten have ten woes. Those who love one have one woe. Those who love none have no woes." Craving is the root cause of suffering. Therefore, eliminate suffering by eliminating craving by following the EIGHT-FOLD PATH.
The ultimate goal is to become a pure spirit by living a life that merits GOOD KARMA. The problem with this solution is that no matter how many chances (REINCARNATIONS) we get, we're still flawed and finite people, so we continue to make mistakes. And because GOD is INFINITE, how does FINITE man gain that INFINITE amount of GOOD KARMA, good enough to gain NIRVANA?
This is by far the most common response to the problem of SIN -- eternal separation from GOD. Almost all world religions have adopted strategies for EARNING their way to GOD -- their plan is to WORK hard enough, long enough to EARN their way to heaven. IF they will faithfully perform these FIVE works, or these TEN -- or these 613...they will gain entrance into heaven. But what IF (or more realistically, WHEN) one day, you FAIL to perfectly perform these works?
GOD is LOVE...but GOD is also HOLY. GOD is JUST...but GOD is also MERCIFUL. A HOLY, JUST, LOVING and MERCIFUL GOD canNOT allow SIN to go unpunished. So GOD enforced JUSTICE by taking a Life (as Substitute blood-PAYMENT for the PENALTY of SIN -- yours and mine), but the Life He took was the life of His Son, CHRIST JESUS. GOD grants FORGIVENESS based ONLY on the PERFECT merits of Another.
This SELF-centered religion believes that this world is all there is. "So I concluded that there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor..." (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13) This "religion" believes there is NO GOD, therefore making him/herSELF god.
WHICH RELIGION IS RIGHT? They're all different. They could ALL be wrong -- BUT THEY CAN'T ALL BE RIGHT. "The way to heaven has many roads" -- does it matter which way we take as long as we are SINCERELY seeking "God"?
IMAGINE a skydiver mistakenly reaching for his BACKPACK instead of his PARACHUTE just before jumping out of a plane. His well-intentioned ERROR won't save him from CERTAIN catastrophe. It is possible to be SINCERE, but SINCERELY WRONG.
Which of the above solutions matches what your CONSCIENCE -- your heart of hearts -- tells you is TRUE? Choosing the FAITH that TRULY saves is this lifetime's MOST important free-will decision.
The true MESSIAH taught that GOD loved us enough to make The Way for us. He taught that GOD forgives EVERYone based on His grace, and that He opens His arms to us NOT because of how good we are or how much we do. It's not about GOD asking us to make the effort -- it's about GOD having already made the effort for us. It's not about reaching up to get to GOD -- it's about GOD reaching down to us to rescue us. It's not about DOing rules and behaviors -- it's about GOD having already DONE ALL that is necessary to end the separation between sinful man and a thrice-Holy GOD. The MESSIAH is the thrice-Holy GOD -- His Name is YESHUA...JESUS. (read John 3)
JESUS, on the Cross -- having perfectly completed His work which GOD has sent Him to accomplish -- said, "It is finished!" JESUS, in Heaven -- seated on the throne at the right hand of GOD -- said, "It is finished! I AM the Alpha and the Omega - the Beginning and the End. To ALL who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life." (John 19:30; Revelation 21:6)
Every person in the world is only a prayer away from heaven. This prayer is a simple request from the sincere heart: "LORD, thank You for what Messiah JESUS did for me on the Cross. Please accept His sin payment on my behalf and be my LORD."