What Must I do to Go to Heaven? The pitfalls of Theology.

Am I a “Bad” Christian because I disagree with “Doctrine”.  Will my failure to accept certain religious “teaching” or Bible interpretations (Theology) block me from entering Heaven?

What makes you a Christian, destined to have eternal life in Heaven with our Lord, Jesus Christ?

The answer to this important question is simple and clearly stated in the Holy Bible.
Believe (Trust) that Jesus Christ was and is the “person” of God (Lord) who lived on Earth with man, as a man, and died as a sacrifice for mankind’s rebellion against God…and that he was raised from the dead, ascending into Heaven, to live as the “Savior” of mankind.  Determine to “follow” Jesus, maintain a relationship with him, and submit to him as your Lord.

It is not enough to just “believe” that Jesus was “who he was/is” as even mankind’s enemy, Satan and his demons know who Jesus is.  We must also trust that Jesus’s sacrifice/death provides forgiveness for all past, present and future shortcomings/rebellion and enables all of mankind to live forever in Heaven and later, on a New Earth with Him.  Again, this is not enough, by itself as Satan and his demons also know this to be true. Finally, what is enough is our determination to “follow” Jesus, maintain a relationship with Him, and submit to Him as our Lord—following his two commandments: 1) Love God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) with all your heart,, body, mind, and soul; and 2) Love one another as Jesus loves you.  This is what the Bible speaks as being “born again” and is what makes us a Christian that has “received the Holy Spirit” that lives and dwells in us. The complete “story” of these three things: 1) Who Jesus is; 2) What was accomplished by His sacrifice, and 3) The consequence of our determination to “follow” Him; is what we call the “Christian Gospel”.

The history of man after the death of Jesus is full of men promoting “rules and regulations” of “religion”.   And, sad to say, these “rules and regulations” have been a double edged sword.  No doubt, the zeal that these religious “rules” created in their adherents have given energy to the spreading of the “Christian Gospel”.  They unfortunately have also led to violent conflict with others who have different “views”.  

Today, those that call themselves Christians have separated into many, many different segments with wildly different views on many subjects. Most Christians believe in the importance of the Holy Bible, and most accept that it is the “inspired” Word of God.  But, what the words in the Bible say, in other words, the “interpretation” of them or what is called Religious Theology is the source of much disagreement. Those that believe one way accuse everyone that disagrees to be “lost” or “victims of false teachers”.

A great deal of the early disagreements were “settled” temporarily when the Roman Emperor made Christianity the “official” religion of the Roman Empire.  Around a thousand years later,  the so called “Reformation” began---many new ideas began to be promoted---especially the ability of each man/woman to read and interpret the Holy Bible and maintain a personal relationship with Jesus, without an intermediary.

What I see as the major differences today:

A) Literal Interpretation of the Book of Genesis
B) Baptism
C) Marriage and Divorce
D) Earning or Accepting Salvation
E) Church Leadership and Political Organization


 1)   Was the Earth created in six, 24 hour days?
      2)   Is the Earth only 6000 years old?
3)   Was there a global flood at the time of Noah?
      4)   Does saying “No” to the first three questions mean I think all the Bible is Fantasy? Does saying "No" to the first three questions mean that I must accept evolution as fact?
      5)   Is Baptism by water required for Salvation?
      6)   Is Baptism by water of infants ineffective?
      7)   Does Baptism by water require complete “immersion”?
8)   Does Divorce and Re-Marriage disqualify you for Church Leadership?
9)    Is good behavior required for Salvation or is good behavior the result of it?
10) Do local churches need to be subservient to a central organization?

There are many so called Christians that are absolutely certain that a “no “answer to some or all of the above questions “disqualifies” you from being a Christian or at least taints you as being the “victim of false teachers”.

 A Franciscan Priest named Brennan Manning wrote:

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.

While I believe that most Christians that judge others as “victims of false teachers” are well intentioned, I submit that their “self righteousness” is part of the “lifestyle” that the “unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

We are currently suffering a decline in the number of people in America that call themselves “Christians” and that are true “Followers of Jesus, destined to have eternal life in Heaven.”  I submit, a great deal of that decline is not a failure of the “message” or an indication that the message lacks power. I submit it is not because people fail to answer “yes” to the above questions.

Jesus was not particularly fond of the Pharisees who made "religious" theology and man made laws more important than a love of Almighty God.

Be very careful about being self-righteous. Jesus himself taught about that

Be very care also in regards to judging the salvation and hearts of others. There are those who question the salvation of those who do not "speak in tongues" and there are those who judge "backsliders" as losing their salvation. Jesus says:

John 10:28-30New International Version (NIV)

28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

God created the world. God created mankind, male and female in his image.  God created a man named Adam, formed from "dust", not from a beast. Nine generations later, Adam's descendant, Noah and his family survived a flood sent by God to cleanse the world. These "truths" are clearly and sufficiently revealed, as is the character of God also revealed in the Word of God. 

Accept the Christian Gospel (Jesus died on the Cross to pay the price for our sins and to offer salvation to mankind; He rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven.) and “Follow” Jesus Christ and his two “most important” commandments. Maintain a personal relationship with Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and assist you in your thinking and your actions.  Nothing else is required. Salvation is a Gift by the Grace of God and requires nothing other than accepting the Gift and following Christ with the help of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit. 

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