Who gets into Heaven?

Are you a sincere seeker who has questions about Christianity, or a Christian with doubts about your faith? Post them here to receive a thoughtful response.
Ivellious
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Who gets into Heaven?

#1

Post by Ivellious » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:49 am

This is just picking up on another discussion from an unrelated thread.
Great and honest answer, I admire that.

So to the next question - Have you ever told a lie?
Of course I have. Both as a child (where I don't think they really count against you in the grand scheme of things) and as a more conscious adult. There are a number of sins other than lying that I've committed as well, in varying levels of severity. But even so, I don't think that sinning necessarily is an automatic indication of evil or being a bad person. It's human nature to sin. I personally live by the philosophy that one has to accept that he/she will inevitably sin, and the purpose of life should be to do the most good regardless. One can't get hung up on the fact that he/she has sinned or done bad things...it's taking the lessons learned from those experiences and doing your best to be a good person anyway. It's a vague idea, I know, but it's not really easy for me to put it into words nor does it encompass everything regarding good/evil.

I'd also say that, in many cases, a life without sin for a human being would not necessarily be a good thing. Sin and the consequences of it have taught me a great deal about who I am and who I want to be. Without those experiences, it would be challenging if not impossible for me to feel empathy the way I do or help others who are struggling through sin. Just a thought.
I am also very complacent in that I could do a hellova lot more to help others, especially if I'm stacked up against someone like Mother Teresa. I've done bad, various wrongs I really wish I could take back, but no matter how much I wish they remain a permanent in my life history.
Well, I seriously hope that we aren't all judged against Mother Teresa...then there would be lots of open space in heaven I daresay. The point about our mistakes being a permanent part of history is kind of what I meant above. You have to learn to accept your mistakes and move on, and use those experiences to help you do better in the future. As much as I wish I could use my present knowledge and go back in time and redo a few things, I can't. But that just means I need to try extra hard to be a good person in the future and try my hardest not to make those mistakes again.
Just wondering, what about the "God" you conceive of accepting anyone into heaven. How much "bad" in someone should God accept?
I think that's a bit of a loaded question...I don't think that the human concept of your good outweighing your bad, or having less than a certain amount of bad, is really adequate to describe it. First of all, I have no clue what the exact parameters would be, nor do I ever expect to know. Personally, I don't believe in the idea of eternal punishment in Hell, either (but that's a separate topic altogether). I guess the way I see it would be that it's not so much a matter of having a certain number of "points" when you die, or having a certain belief system either.

Again, I don't think that any kind of all-loving God could honestly say that a Buddhist monk who devotes his life to charity and purity and pacifism should not be allowed in heaven just because he didn't accept Jesus as his savior. Likewise, my friend knew a rather outspoken atheist (not in the "I hate all you Christians" way but simply in the "I don't care what people think about me" way). She was probably the most active young person I've seen in terms of charity, volunteerism, activism, and so on. She had great grades and treated everyone fairly and kindly. She died in a car crash. I may not have known her personally, but I'll be damned if she wasn't as good of a person as 99% of Christians out there, and I would be offended if someone told me she was burning in Hell right now because she didn't go to church every sunday and praise Jesus during all of her activities. I know not everyone would say she is going to Hell, but some sects of Christianity do, and I think that such a stance is wrong. In short, I think the whole of who you are and what you have done in your life is far more important than your religious beliefs.

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#2

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:53 pm

Where does it say that good people who are charitable, have integrity and are nice get to Heaven? Which holy book says this? I'm just curious.

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If they had a social gospel in the days of the prodigal son, somebody would have given him a bed and a sandwich and he never would have gone home.

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Ivellious
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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#3

Post by Ivellious » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:11 pm

Where does it say that good people who are charitable, have integrity and are nice get to Heaven? Which holy book says this? I'm just curious.
Good question, because as far as I know there is none. It's part of the reason why I abstain from participating in organized religion. I think it's messed up to think that a God would create a nice little exclusive country club for people born into following him (and a select few who follow him later in life), while screwing half the world and damning them to eternal torment for, in most cases, being born into the wrong family. It's like the caste system of Hinduism when you believe in that.

As far as I'm concerned, I want no part of that. The loving higher being that I believe in doesn't care if you're white, black, Buddhist, Christian (or dare I say the right kind of Christian), or anything else. What's the point in a reward of heaven if you exclude any incentive for half the world to be good?

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#4

Post by Ivellious » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:18 pm

Oh, and for the record, I'm not accusing all religions or all Christians of having the exclusive heaven view...

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#5

Post by domokunrox » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:30 pm

Ivellious wrote:I think it's messed up to think that a God would create a nice little exclusive country club for people born into following him (and a select few who follow him later in life), while screwing half the world and damning them to eternal torment for, in most cases, being born into the wrong family. It's like the caste system of Hinduism when you believe in that.

As far as I'm concerned, I want no part of that. The loving higher being that I believe in doesn't care if you're white, black, Buddhist, Christian (or dare I say the right kind of Christian), or anything else. What's the point in a reward of heaven if you exclude any incentive for half the world to be good?
You're committing the Genetic fallacy.

How a belief originates does not invalidate the truth of the belief.

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#6

Post by Ivellious » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:35 pm

Could you explain that to me? Are you saying that, indeed, your birth can determine your fate as far as heaven/hell are concerned?

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#7

Post by Echoside » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:48 pm

Ivellious wrote: while screwing half the world and damning them to eternal torment for, in most cases, being born into the wrong family. It's like the caste system of Hinduism when you believe in that.

As far as I'm concerned, I want no part of that. The loving higher being that I believe in doesn't care if you're white, black, Buddhist, Christian (or dare I say the right kind of Christian), or anything else. What's the point in a reward of heaven if you exclude any incentive for half the world to be good?
Romans 2:14-2:16

No, I do not believe those who are "born into the wrong family" are destined for hell. There is a lot written on the subject. However, do I believe that someone who knows of Jesus, has all available resources to find him, but abstains from it because "organized religion is dumb" is under the same grace? I don't believe so, no matter how many good things they try to do to justify the unbelief.

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#8

Post by Ivellious » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:02 pm

I abstain not because "organized religion is dumb," but rather because I see Christianity as an organization being horribly bastardized in every sense of the word. Religion is fine. The institution is dangerous and ultimately does not stand for its religion's beliefs. Throughout history, nearly every major religion's base of operations has used the influence of that religion to grab power and hurt others, without exception. Much like large government, religion as an institution breeds corruption and, frankly, breeds everything people like Jesus opposed. That is why I abstain from aligning myself with any particular faction...

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#9

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:11 pm

Ivellious wrote:I abstain not because "organized religion is dumb," but rather because I see Christianity as an organization being horribly bastardized in every sense of the word. Religion is fine. The institution is dangerous and ultimately does not stand for its religion's beliefs. Throughout history, nearly every major religion's base of operations has used the influence of that religion to grab power and hurt others, without exception. Much like large government, religion as an institution breeds corruption and, frankly, breeds everything people like Jesus opposed. That is why I abstain from aligning myself with any particular faction...
And that is why I do not align myself with any particular denomination, I attend church and I am active in the community but first and foremost I am a follower of Christ.
*edit* The Bible is the inspired word of God and Jesus is the fulfillment, and that is all we really need.
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1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#10

Post by Ivellious » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:15 pm

And that's a fine policy by me...I just don't align myself with a particular group because I'm not interested in the politics of it all. My relationship with God is personal, and I don't need one group asking me to take their side in the never ending debates within the religion.

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#11

Post by Echoside » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:58 pm

Ivellious wrote:I abstain not because "organized religion is dumb," but rather because I see Christianity as an organization being horribly bastardized in every sense of the word. Religion is fine. The institution is dangerous and ultimately does not stand for its religion's beliefs. Throughout history, nearly every major religion's base of operations has used the influence of that religion to grab power and hurt others, without exception. Much like large government, religion as an institution breeds corruption and, frankly, breeds everything people like Jesus opposed. That is why I abstain from aligning myself with any particular faction...
The statement doesn't have to apply to you, was just an example of things I hear repeated.

What you've said here basically means you dislike the church because it's followers are sometimes hypocritical, I'm sure you wouldn't say everything that comes from it is evil.

Even if I grant you that, The issue is still whether or not God as described by Christianity exists, and if Christ is the way to salvation. Setting aside everything else this is the problem at hand. I believe I addressed your objection, if not by all means ask more questions.

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#12

Post by B. W. » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:23 pm

So let's begin again...
Ivellious wrote:BW: That's tough to say. I certainly can admit to making my fair share of mistakes and moral missteps in my life. I think I've learned a great deal about myself from them and I'm doing my best to put those lessons to use as I move forward. I also feel like I've done a great deal of good in the world too, mostly through volunteer work and the relationships I've had with people along the way. I'm trying my best to do the most with what I have by going to college to put myself in a position to give more back later in life. Though, I'm still very young and the sample size of my "adult" life is extremely small. If I had to make a self-assessment right now, I'd say overall I've had a positive effect on the people and the world around me more often than I've had a negative effect, but again, I'm biased and not penalizing myself too hard for the mistakes I made a few years ago in high school.
Great and honest answer, I admire that.

So to the next question - Have you ever told a lie?
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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#13

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:17 am

B. W. wrote:So let's begin again...
Ivellious wrote:BW: That's tough to say. I certainly can admit to making my fair share of mistakes and moral missteps in my life. I think I've learned a great deal about myself from them and I'm doing my best to put those lessons to use as I move forward. I also feel like I've done a great deal of good in the world too, mostly through volunteer work and the relationships I've had with people along the way. I'm trying my best to do the most with what I have by going to college to put myself in a position to give more back later in life. Though, I'm still very young and the sample size of my "adult" life is extremely small. If I had to make a self-assessment right now, I'd say overall I've had a positive effect on the people and the world around me more often than I've had a negative effect, but again, I'm biased and not penalizing myself too hard for the mistakes I made a few years ago in high school.
Great and honest answer, I admire that.

So to the next question - Have you ever told a lie?
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Not to respond on Ivellious' behalf, but incase it was missed, I believe this was responded to in the affirmative above ...

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#14

Post by Silvertusk » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:36 am

Ivellious - you have mentioned some great points that I am sure most of us have considered in detail many times.

Here is my take on it all.

It comes down to what you think God should be.

Do you want God to be perfect? Holy and Just? A God that has a standard you can rely on and trust - that will not waver - where no promises will be broken? Where are sins are punished?

If Yes then God cannot allow sin into heaven. It must be punished.

How often do you fail to meet your own standards in life? Me personally every day. How then can you meet the standards of God? It is impossible. Therefore at the end of life you are not good enough for heaven.

Now God is willing to take on all the sins on himself so you can get into Heaven. He wants you there - he loves you that much. All you have to do is accept this free gift. God doesn't force you - he gives you exactly what you want. If you don't want to accept his gift then he lets you go to a place seperated from him - Hell. Every decision made is your own.

No other religion gives you a assured way of salvation. In Islam - even if you follow the five pillars of faith you are still no guaranteed a place in paradise - it is down to the whims of Allah and what mood he is in.

So it is not about how good you are - it is about Grace! And this is the thing a lot of people cannot understand. A lot of people are so scared of it and believe they don't deserve it - well that is the beauty of it - You don't deserve it - but God is going offer it to you any way. What is wrong with that? Why are so many people reluctant to receive something so wonderful?

It boggles my mind.

Silvertusk.

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Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#15

Post by domokunrox » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:51 am

Ivellious wrote:Could you explain that to me? Are you saying that, indeed, your birth can determine your fate as far as heaven/hell are concerned?
Of course I can.

Your birth does not determine your fate as far as if you go to heaven or hell. Again, that is the genetic fallacy. Where you live and when you were born does not invalidate truth. 2+2= 4 in china, US, on the moon, Mars, outer space, in my kitchen, and so forth. Its true everywhere. It is narrow, exclusive, and absolute.

Our fate is determined by general revelation along with our response to the Gospel.
You should be worried about your response to the Gospel because now that you heard it, you need to have a response. Don't worry about anyone else. They make their choices, so you let God sort that out. God's judgement is perfect and just.

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