eternal life - who gets it?

Q. In the Bible it states that whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life. What happens to the people who follow other religions?

Thousands of religions have been created by man, primarily in attempts to explain life and death. Most center around the "self," thus causing man to become his own god. However, no religion, or act, can bridge the rift between man and God that is created by sin.

God requires us to be sinless before Him. This is impossible because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23, NKJV) Jesus' death on the cross was the atoning sacrifice for sin. We must believe that Jesus died in our place to atone for our sin. Those who are called and believe in Him vicariously become righteous before God the Father. Only then do we receive eternal life with Him after death. Only those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior will reside in Heaven, where we will be forever in the presence of our Lord, praising Him.

Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 NKJV)

Regardless of religious affiliation, anyone who refuses Christ's sacrifice is in the same predicament. If a person does not believe in Christ's sacrifice prior to death, his soul will reside in Hell. Hell is a very real realm of conscious agony outside of the presence of God, and is therefore a place without joy or hope. After the final judgment, both the living who have not received Christ and the souls of the dead who are in Hell will be cast forever into the lake of fire reserved for Satan and his angels. (See Revelation 20:12-15)

We should also keep in mind that, as Creator of the Universe, it is God's prerogative to mete out judgment as He sees fit. In His justice, He was not required to save any of us, yet He chose to die for His people. This is amazing grace.

Christians are commanded to go gently and humbly to others, proclaiming the Gospel so that all who are called by Him will repent and believe in Christ. We do not know who will be called, but remember that God in His mercy can call anyone from any background to Himself until the day they die.

Recommended reading: "The Case For Faith" by investigative reporter Lee Strobel. This book considers eight major objections to Christianity, including the chapter "It's offensive to claim Jesus is the only way to God."

Lee Strobel - The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest ...