Do all Churches Lead to Heaven?
Multitudes of sincere religious people believe that the many highways of religion shall eventually lead their travelers to heaven. Have you not heard it said many times that going to heaven is like entering into a large city? "There are many different routes," they say, "but all lead to the same destination."
That is what Satan would have us believe, but it is not what God has clearly declared in His word, the Bible. Please note the word SIN in SINcerity, and the word LIE in beLIEf. One can believe a lie and be wrong, even though sincere (2 Thess. 2:11-12).
It is true that one can reach most cities by more than one road. However, a careful study of any road map will show that all roads do not lead to the same destination. The same is true of heaven. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (Jn. 14:6). A man traveling in unfamiliar territory came to a place where he had to cross some high mountains. Knowing it would be difficult, he looked for a qualified guide. When one man offered his services, the tourist asked, "Have you ever been to the village where I want to go?" "No," he replied, "but I've been part of the way, and have been told how to proceed from there." The traveler answered, "I'm sorry, but you won't do." Another was asked the same question by the traveler and replied, "Yes, I know the way. The village where you are going is my home!" The traveler knew immediately that this was the guide he needed. When Jesus said, "I am the way," we can trust Him to lead us to the eternal city, because that is His home!
Listen to Jesus again as He speaks of the right way to heaven. "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt. 7:13-14). Notice that there are only two roads for men to travel. The road to hell is broad because the majority are traveling this expressway. The road to heaven is narrow, and only a few travel it. Both the broad and narrow ways are one way streets!
How glad all should be for this wonderful simplicity! Confusion can be avoided when one recognizes that there is one and only one way provided by the Lord for forgiveness of sins and heaven. It is not "just being religious," or sincerity alone, but following the road that Christ himself has marked out in the Bible. The "Road" to salvation from past sins for the alien sinner is faith (Heb. 11:6); repentance (Acts 17:30); confession (Rom. 10:9-10); and baptism (Mk. 16:15-16; Rom. 6:3-4). The "Road" to eternal salvation for the Christian is adding to his faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love- (2 Pet. 1:5-11). The road to heaven does not have a sign saying, "Once in grace, always in grace!"
Sadly, far too many are seeking their own way of salvation. Such are like. the woman who traveled the country selling housewares long ago. Whenever she came to a fork in the road, she would throw a straw into the air; and when it dropped to the ground, she would proceed in the direction it indicated. The residents of the area knew of her strange custom, but one day a friend saw her tossing the straw several times before choosing the road she would take. He inquired, "Why did you do that more than once?" "Oh, it kept pointing to the road on the left," she replied, "and I wanted to go the other way because it looks so much smoother." She had continued casting her straw to the wind until it fell in the direction she wanted.
If you are not certain you are traveling the "right road" to heaven, make sure, by stopping where you are and consulting the Divine Road Map, the Bible. Remember that men draw the maps which lead into the various cities of our nation, but God gave us the Map to Heaven, and His map says there is one road.
Truth Magazine XIX: 18, pp. 282-283