Dear Pastor Andy, all religions…are they true, or are they false? What is the possibility that everyone’s outcome (after death) relies only on their own views. Possibly, there is no right way or wrong way to worship ‘God’ (if you believe in Him) or fear hell (if you believe in it).
A lot of people say: “Well what about murderers”? Well, who’s to say they won’t live peacefully as well? The important thing is not that we’re punished for our mistakes, but rather that we learn from them and progress. Surely God (or whatever’s out there) is willing to forgive them for learning a lesson. Weren’t we all sent here to learn lessons?
Please answer this question with an open mind.
First, you are correct…all religions are false. But now understand that I say this as a Christian, and Christianity is not a religion…it’s actually a RELATIONSHIP with God through Jesus Christ – that’s also what makes Christianity stand out among the world’s religions. So the possibility of all being right is several billions (of religions) to one. And I am saying this with “an open mind”.
Now granted, there is religion in our Christian faith – how we live based on the relationship – but Christianity in itself is not a religion. I once heard somebody say, “Religion tries to change you from the outside-in, but Christianity changes you from the inside-out.” In other words, religions are all about “what I need to do” in order to be “happy”, be at peace, obtain righteousness from God (or a god), to be a “good person”, or to change. But the Bible tells us that righteousness can only be obtained through faith (which is also entering into a relationship with God through Christ), not works. But religions are about works. So when faced with the Truth of God, anything else can only be false.
In terms of punishment, the important thing is not that we are punished for our mistakes, for often times we are punished even in our innocence. What about murderers? We can ask about their salvation, but to say that we are punished for our mistakes is to say that the people he murdered deserved it, and if so, then the murderer should not be punished, for all they did was enact justice, right? But the murderers are punished, right?
We learn and progress, yes, and there IS a God who is willing to forgive them, yes, but they have to repent and accept His forgiveness. Sounds pretty easy, right? Yet so many choose not to and instead follow a religion, which as we’ve already established, doesn’t get you anywhere.
Finally, why were we sent here? I believe we’re created to glorify and live for God. But if you choose not to here in this life, then why would you want to spend all of eternity with Him in the next? Because that’s what Heaven is, the eternal presence of God, with God. Good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, left vs. right, yin vs. yang, yes vs. no, heaven vs. hell. God didn’t create hell for us, but for Satan and his demons. But as a loving God, He has given us the freedom to choose where we wish to go when we die. We could go to be with Him, or not. He would prefer that everybody choose with Him, but out of His love for us, He won’t force us to choose Him. Instead, God has given us the freedom to choose. Where you go is really up to you.