Christianity does not teach that only Christians deserve to go to heaven. Rather, it teaches that no one deserves to go to heaven, because we have all done wrong during our lives (Rom 3:23). We can gain admittance to heaven by repenting of our wrongs, accepting Jesus Christ’s death as payment for our wrongs and deciding to follow and worship him as Lord.
The principle is that Jesus is the only way to God, not any particular church or denomination (Jn 6:40). Thus, salvation is accessible to everyone and is intended by God for everyone:
Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! (Is 45:22)
I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people…This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all…(1 Tim 2:1, 3-6; see also Is 49:6, 52:10, Rev 5:9)
Indeed, there are people “from every nation, tribe, people and language” who will be saved (Rev 7:9). Thus, far from being exclusive, Christianity is inclusive. Anyone who chooses to accept Christ as Lord and Savior is a Christian and has equal standing with all other Christians before God.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:26-28)
Something that has been weighing heavily on my heart lately is the spiritual state of “Christians” in American churches.
If it were possible for you to get up right now and go ask everyone in your town if they were a Christian, the vast majority (I’d be willing to bet 75-80 percent or more) of them would say they were. Yet most of those people openly condone sin, don’t believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, don’t go to church regularly, don’t care about holiness, don’t love their neighbors, don’t care about service, and don’t seek after God continuously, if ever. And most, even those who regularly attend church, are virtually indistinguishable from the world in every regard.
Charles Spurgeon once used an illustration about a hog to show what true Christian conversion looks like, it went like this.
If you put a plate of the finest food in town and a bucket of slop on the ground and released a pig, what do you think the pig would do?
The pig, of course, would head straight for the slop, stick his head in the bucket, and start eating. Why? Because that’s what pigs do, they don’t know any better, they’re pigs. And if the pig happened to look up at you, he would be unashamed. Now if a person watching had the power to wave a magic wand and turn the pig into a man, the man would instantly be repulsed and start gagging on what he formerly enjoyed. And, if he looked up at you, he would be ashamed.
Why? Because he is no longer a pig but a new creature with new tastes and new desires.
I don’t think I need to tell you that the slop in the bucket was a metaphor for sin, worldly desires of the flesh, liberal theology that is straight from the pit of Hell… and it should make a converted man wretch. Do I?
In Matthew 7:13–14 Christ tells His followers the road that leads to eternal life is narrow and that “only a few find it.” The broad road with the wide gate, on the other hand, is the one that leads to destruction, and we see that “many” will take this path. And many who claim to be converted Christians will never leave the broad road with its worldly allurements.
Why? Because if worldly allurements don’t repulse them as much as a bucket of slop would then they ARE NOT, despite what they may say, new creatures.