Q. I am a newcomer to your site. I was recommended by a good friend and co-worker of mine. I am a recently practicing Christian with a concern that has not been addressed well. Why is the only way to achieve eternal bliss only through Christ? Does that mean that all people practicing non-Christian religions are automatically doomed to hell? What does that mean for children of indigenous people that will never have access to or any knowledge of Christ’s existence? Why would God put those people on the Earth if they were predestined to hell because of location? I’m a pure romantic and as such, I have a view of God as being forgiving, all-knowing, and having the best intentions of all people of Earth in his heart, and that being said, I just don’t understand. Can you help?
A. In John 14:6 Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but through me. By this He was clarifying something He had said several times through out His ministry. God has made only one provision for mankind’s sins because there’s only one thing that will suffice, and that’s the death of His son. Only by believing that the Lord died and rose again as payment in full for all the sins of our life can we inherit eternity with Him. Any religious system that denies or contradicts that simple truth is a false religion.
You’re correct in saying that God is forgiving and all knowing, and has the best intentions of all people at heart. That’s why He went to such extremes to save us. All we have to do is choose to accept the remedy He provided. And since God is forgiving and all knowing, and yet made only one provision for forgiveness, then it stands to reason that He also gave every human who has ever lived to opportunity to choose to accept His remedy. Otherwise He couldn’t be forgiving and all-knowing, could He?
Jesus said that God so loved the world (that means every body) He gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him (that means anybody) will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). He also said everyone who asks will receive, he who seeks will find, and to him who knocks the door will be opened (Matt. 7:7-8). Paul said Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). The only way these statements can be true is if everyone who ever lived has had has the opportunity to be saved. And they have. The Bible says that when Jesus died on the cross it was for all of time (Hebrews 10:12-14).