Re: your printing of Henry Kantrowitz’s letter, in your reader’s opinion section titled “Muslims seem a bit more liberal on who gets to go to Heaven.”
Mr. Kantrowitz is concerned about Hell and Heaven and how different religions address the subject. He also offered a synopsis of various religious beliefs.
Mr. Kantrowitz evidently believes that all religions offer a different type of “fire insurance policy” to allow one to escape Hell and they all are equally good.
Mr Kantrowitz misses the point of why Hell exits: “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS’ (Matthew 25:41). God never intended for one single person to end up in Hell. It is NOT God’s will that anyone should perish in their sins and go to Hell. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering towards us, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, but that ALL should come to REPENTANCE” (2nd Peter 3:9). It is NOT God’s fault if men and women are stubborn and unwilling to REPENT of their unbelief. Hell was NOT created for human beings but rather for Satan and his horde of demons.
We are ALL without excuse for the wrong decisions we make in life. We cannot blame God. Perhaps other humans influenced us to make some wrong decisions, but that’s not God’s fault. I often tell people, “Don’t give up on God because men fail you.” Let Job be our example, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). What a statement!” this is by David J. Stewart in his “Purpose for Hell”
Mr Kantrowitz states “I have been told time and again, by Christian friends and other Christians the only way to heaven is to accept Jesus Christ as my savior.” That statement is only partially true:
1. You have to acknowledge (confess) your sin to God. One has no need of a savior unless he is aware that what he has been doing is wrong and there are consequences.
2. Repent (which means go in the opposite direction). Stop doing that which is wrong in God’s eyes.
3. Ask Jesus to forgive your sins and to help you to keep from sinning.
4. Recognize the sovereignty of Jesus by making him Lord in your life.
There are basically 2 religions in the world.
1. You have to start doing something or stop doing something in order to be saved (go to Heaven).
2. The other is to accept the fact that Jesus has paid the price of the sin penalty for us “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23), and acknowledge that fact with your mouth and deeds.
I was having a difficult time trying to figure out what Mr Kantrowitz’s point of the letter was. Evidently he has become quite fascinated with Heaven and he realizes he falls short of the standard in any religion. That is the first step in finding the one true God. I pray that Mr. Kantrowitz realizes that none of us deserves to go to Heaven and that the unpardonable sin that is mentioned in the Bible is refusal to acknowledge God in the form of Jesus Christ when he is introduced to you. The choice is yours. The thing to consider is what if you’re wrong!