Can Non-Christians go to Heaven???


The short answer is “YES, they may“. Now that you have the answer, you might want to go back to what ever you were doing.

This is probably the “One Question” raised by Atheist’s that literally stumps the average Christian. The other being “How can a benevolent GOD, create suffering that kills innocent children? or Why does GOD allow evil?” There is a great explanation about this given by Ravi Zacharias on YouTube.

Back to the question at hand.

Will God prevent a good and morally upright atheist from going to heaven; while allowing a reformed child molester to go to heaven?

I think the Christian knows the answer to that – Yes He Will (Prevent the atheist from going to heaven).

Jesus Christ dogmatically stated: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Exclusivity is the hallmark of Christianity. Even Islam is more inclusive than Christianity.

But the Bible declares that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4, see also 2 Peter 3:9). The Bible’s most famous verse declares that “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life ” (John 3:16).

Could a loving God sentence people to an eternity of torment for not having had a chance to hear about Jesus?

Let’s see how Jesus reflects on the subject.

When Jesus had to confront the Pharisees of his time who were demanding a sign from him. Jesus says

“The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:41-42).

Let’s just assume that Jesus is using figures of speech here, that He didn’t actually mean what He said; because He is literally saying that the Queen of Sheba, Assyrians from Nineveh and the Jews are all going to be judged at the same time. You have to be alive to be judged!!!

Why do we have to be judged?

On this planet, we have to pay a price every time we break a law. Be it as trivial as jay walking or a serious crime like murder. The law is absolute and we have to face the consequences.

Jesus is simply saying, that he will bear our punishment so that we can be set free from the law. All we have to do is put our faith in him. [ I can’t imagine of a simpler agreement or term to avoid the consequence that is due to us]. Christian or not, we are all fallible, even the best among us have shame written on our back side. Therefore judgement is unavoidable.

Obviously, a non christian, may have never heard about Jesus. Even if one did hear about Jesus, very few are willing to step outside the comfort of the religion that they were born in. [Because they simply can’t believe such a ludicrous claim]

If God is love, isn’t it unfair for Him to destroy the people who have never heard of Jesus Christ? Is it fair for Him to punish people in hell for being born in the wrong place at the wrong time? How about those millions of babies who didn’t even have the chance to even understand what the Bible says? How about those people who lived and died in places where Christianity is forbidden or during the times when it would be difficult for them to know Christ? Will they all be thrown into the lake of fire even if it wasn’t their fault?

This would mean that God is a complete failure! He could not even save the majority of mankind from the evil works of the Devil!

Before you write him off, consider this

II Peter 3:9 tells us:

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, NOT willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Ezekiel 33:11 adds:

“Tell them that as surely as I, the Sovereign LORD, am the living God, I DO NOT ENJOY SEEING SINNERS DIE. I would rather see them stop sinning and live. Israel, stop the evil you are doing. Why do you want to die?”

These are just a few verses showing God’s infinite mercy, love, and compassion toward us. He does not want anyone to perish. In fact, He wants to save as many people as possible.

So, what is the fate of those nonbelievers and non-Christians? Will they also be saved or be eternally tormented in hell-fire?

Forget everything that you have been told by secular media. The real truth about Death & Resurrection is that everyone gets a second chance.

The answers can be found in the two Biblical books devoted to prophecy: Revelation and Ezekiel.

Revelation 20 talks about the first resurrection, when Satan will be bound for a thousand years immediately after Christ’s return (verses 1-3) and of the resurrection of the saints—Christ’s faithful servants throughout the ages (verses 4-6). Christ and His saints will rule for 1,000 years (commonly called the Millennium). Then, after the Millennium, another group will be resurrected to life. This group is called “the rest of the dead” (verse 5).

Who are the rest of the dead? Verse 12 reads: “I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God.” This will include the vast majority of those who have lived and died through the thousands of years of human history—all resurrected at the same time. The prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of this coming resurrection (Ezekiel 37:5-6), and he saw how God will give physical life back to what will turn out to be billions of people. Make sure you read his description and try to imagine what this will be like when human bodies will be reassembled and then resuscitated.

What will happen to the unbelievers? After they are given life, they will be given an opportunity to learn about God’s Word. We read, “And books were opened” (Revelation 20:12). The books (Greek biblion) refer to the books of the Bible. Those who were blinded to God’s truth before (Mark 4:11-12; Revelation 12:9) will then have the Bible opened to them—so they can truly understand it!
Revelation 20:12 then goes on to say, “Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.” This represents the opportunity for eternal life being opened to all these people. This will be accomplished by God offering His Holy Spirit to billions of people (Ezekiel 37:14).

All of these people, the billions upon billions of them, will finally be able to understand the Bible, know and believe and obey Jesus Christ and have the opportunity to live forever.

This is the hope for all the people Christ mentioned—people like the queen of Sheba and the inhabitants of Sodom—and all the other people who have ever lived and not known the true God and His truth.

resurrection of unbelievers

resurrection of unbelievers

PS: I wrote this article as a reminder to myself. I hope someone finds this useful. Of course the working assumption is that the reader believes in GOD.

When the likes of Sam Harris questions the authenticity and relevance of the God of the Bible, this is what you tell them.

Advertisements

The Vision of Dry Bones


So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.
Ezekiel 37:7

Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry Bones is a dramatic picture of the restoration of the nation of Israel, and it’s one of the most important prophetic chapters in the Bible. But behind the prophecy is a biblical reality. God can resurrect the body—perfectly, completely, and supernaturally.

In this vision, Ezekiel was carried to a great valley littered with dry bones, baked white by the sun. As he watched, the bones began to reassemble themselves into complete skeletons, and then bodies appeared around them with sinews and flesh and skin. Breath entered them, and they stood up, alive, a mighty living army.

Though the application of the vision involves the restoration of the nation of Israel, there’s reality behind the image. The omniscient God knows the location of every bone, every fragment, every molecule, and every grain of dust of all the saints of the ages. One day He will supernaturally bring our human bodies together, breathe into us His Spirit, and equip us physically for eternal life. Because of the resurrection of Christ, the process of death will one day be reversed, and death will be swallowed up in victory.

Our old history ends with the cross; our new history beings with the resurrection.
Watchman Nee

Is There Evidence for the Resurrection?


Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing.
FREDERICK BUECHNER

I have struggled with doubt for years. I’m part of the Thomas Tribe (literally, my name is Thomas). I don’t like it, but my mind just works that way. And at times, it’s been horrifying, lonely, and even deeply depressing. I’m an obsessive analyzer. I don’t know how to turn my mind off. I fixate and sometimes sink into the quicksand of doubt.

But here’s what else I can tell you. When I struggle with doubt, I go back to the resurrection. And here’s why—I can’t get around the evidence. I’ve tried. Not because I want to get around the evidence but to see if I can, to test the strength of the resurrection.

I’m thankful that the resurrection of Jesus Christ comes fully furnished with solid evidence. It’s critical that it does, because our faith hangs on this crucial event in history. Remember the apostle Paul’s shocking statement that I cited in the previous article (Resurrection: Fact or Fiction) ?  “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). That’s jaw dropping. Paul is basically saying, “Hey Christians, our faith rises and falls on the resurrection.”

I hate to say it, but if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, we are deceived Christians. We’ve been duped. We’ve bought a lie and we’re anesthetizing ourselves on a mere fairy-tale. So if our faith isn’t fiction, what evidence is there for the resurrection? In short, here are five lines of evidence.

First, women were the first to discover the empty tomb. Why is this critical? It is well known and unfortunate that the testimony of women in the ancient world wasn’t highly regarded. If the authors of the Gospels were making up this story, they wouldn’t have fabricated women as the first witnesses of the resurrection. Rather, they would’ve had bona fide witnesses as the first discoverers of the empty tomb.

Second, the empty tomb is evidence for the resurrection. Even after the disciples were claiming that Jesus rose from the dead, no one was able to call their bluff. And that’s because they weren’t bluffing. As we discussed in the previous article, if the disciples stole the body of Jesus, do you think they would have died for a lie? And if some nonbelievers stole Jesus’s body, they most assuredly would’ve brought it out into the open once the rumor began spreading that Jesus rose from the dead.

Third, post-resurrection appearances provide further evidence for Jesus’s resurrection. As I said in the previous chapter, Jesus appeared to His followers on several different occasions, and He even appeared to more than five hundred at one time. By doing so, Jesus was establishing visible evidence for His eyewitnesses that He had defeated the grave.

Fourth, fulfilled prophecy served as another line of evidence for Jesus’s resurrection. His resurrection was prophesied in the Old Testament (Psalm 16:9-10) and Jesus Himself prophesied His own resurrection in the New Testament (Matthew 12:40; Mark 14:58; John 2:18-22).

Finally, you can’t explain the early church and the radical life change of Jesus’s disciples apart from the resurrection. The disciples saw something. These once fearful disciples, who could hardly follow Jesus during His earthly ministry, would now willingly lay down their lives for Him. That’s because they saw a living Jesus and experienced a radical life change. His resurrection turned doubting Thomas into a great missionary, denying Peter into a bold preacher, and adversary Paul into a tireless advocate of the gospel.

The case for the resurrection is so robust that many skeptics through the ages have become sincere followers of Jesus Christ in light of all the evidence. Now that’s exciting.

Thought to Ponder: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the exclamation point to the truthfulness of Christianity.

Memory Verse: If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:14).

One-Minute Apologist Video: Bobby Conway, “Proofs of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ?”

Resurrection: Fact or Fiction?


If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.
TIMOTHY KELLER

Following the first Easter Sunday, it didn’t take long for people to come up with fictitious claims to debunk the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They knew that if they could cast doubt on the resurrection, Christianity would crumble. In fact, Paul writes, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).

Here are a few theories that critics of the resurrection sought to advance:

Jesus’s body was stolen. This was the first theory proposed. But if Jesus’s body had really been stolen, don’t you think the thieves would have produced the body once the disciples claimed “He has risen”? They would have called the disciples’ bluff. Guaranteed. And if the disciples stole the body—the story the Jewish leaders came up with (Matthew 28:11-15)—do you think they would have died martyrs’ deaths for a hoax? Of course not. As it’s been said before, “Many will die for what they think to be true, but no one will die for what they know to be false.”

The people were hallucinating. Scoffers said that the witnesses who claimed to have seen Jesus after His death must have been hallucinating. However, Jesus appeared to a number of people on several different occasions following His resurrection, and on one occasion, He appeared to more than five hundred people at once (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). Now in my pre-Jesus party days, I understood hallucination, and I can tell you that five hundred people don’t hallucinate like that. They saw something. They saw Him. Alive.

Jesus passed out. This is known as the “swoon theory.” Popularized in the eighteenth century, it suggests that Jesus didn’t actually die on the cross but merely passed out. Then once inside the tomb, He regained consciousness and rolled the stone away Himself. But ponder this. Jesus had been so severely scourged that He had to have the help of Simon of Cyrene to carry His cross (see Luke 23:26). His head had multiple puncture wounds from the crown of thorns, His wrists and ankles had been nailed to the cross, and He had been stabbed in the side. After He was taken down from the cross, His body was wrapped in seventy-five pounds of linen. Do you think Jesus could have regained consciousness, unwrapped Himself, and moved a two-ton stone out of the way?

The fact is… Jesus is alive. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe the facts than create fiction. So go ahead; stick your head in the tomb. You see, it’s empty and the living Jesus is ready to change your life. Today.

Thought to Ponder
The tomb became empty so our lives could become full.

Memory Verse
He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay (Matthew 28:6).

One-Minute Apologist Video: Gary Habermas, “The Resurrection,”

Faith and Hope


[He] was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
1 Peter 1:20b-21

When counselors encourage their clients to “have faith and hope,” a reasonable response might be, “Faith in what? Hope in what?” For sure, encouraging a discouraged person to have a positive attitude and a bright outlook can be helpful. But in truth, faith and hope are only as good as their object. Which would be wiser when faced with walking across a frozen pond: great faith in a very thin sheet of ice or weak faith in a very thick sheet of ice? If the object of faith is most important, weak faith in a thick sheet of ice would be better and safer.

Peter says that God demonstrated, through Christ’s resurrection and glorification, that our faith and hope should be in God. The Resurrection is history’s greatest demonstration that life eternal awaits all who put their faith and hope in God. And if we have that certainty for the end of life on earth, we can depend on it to keep faith and hope alive until we get there.

Develop your faith and hope in God by renewing your mind with His “exceedingly great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4).

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.
George Muller