All roads lead to heaven
This is a popular quote used primarily to justify one's own beliefs in the face of a God who says there is only one way to him. Jesus states quite clearly, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me." (John 14:6)
But what if all those roads really do eventually lead to God? But each person is stuck somewhere on that path trying to get there. They think they've reached the end, but really they've only found a mirage - an illusion of home. What if all those roads - all those other religions - point directly towards Jesus Christ? And then, through him, you find your way to heaven.
Let me explain. First, some scripture.
But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
By this, we know that God has revealed himself to all people. From our knowledge of scripture, we know that satan is the master deceiver and distorts all truth to lead people astray. I would argue that every world religion has a basic truth found in it, but is heavily distorted and prevents the believer from moving forward. They think they have found the answer and remain in that one place believing it is the end.
Judaism has often been considered a hub of many different religions. Kind of like America, it is very multi-cultural, "borrowing" heavily from world religions that it has come into contact with. From this, Christianity was birthed. It has largely remained consistent since its birth, but the fact is, its roots are in Judaism. Studying world religions will simply verify this fact (it really can not be denied).
There are people who use this fact as a means to prove Christianity as wrong. But what if it simply verifies it? What if all those religions had found a certain truth and their contact with the hebrews was meant as a way for God to reveal something new about him to them? I know this sounds really mystic, but bear with me.
The Egyptians are the first culture that historians have really discovered that believed strongly in life after death. The Hebrews spent several hundred years with these people and still maintained their own monotheistic religion. However, historians think that this is where the concept of life after death originally came from.
Zoroastrianism could possibly become one of my new favorite religions to study because it introduced a concept that no religion had yet come up with. They believed that there would be a world savior. They also believed heavily in an apocalyptic event that would end the world. Zoroastrianism was very popular in the Babylonian and Persian empires. The first apocalyptic writings in the Bible were from Daniel - who was a captive in the Babylonian empire.
These are the two religions that I know of that greatly influenced Judaic thought, but now I want to look at other ancient religious beliefs from cultures no where near the Hebrews. A lot of these coincide with eachother, but I want to focus on the central themes of them.
North American Indians
Truth: Believed strongly in intelligent creation.
Distortion: Creation is too big for one god to do it all, so there must be one main spirit and many demi spirits, each responsible for a different aspect of creation.
South American Natives
Truth: Believed strongly that God required sacrifice to be appeased.
Distortion: The sacrifice could be any human's blood.
Indian Dharmic Religions
Truth: Perfection is necessary to be with God/at peace.
Distortion: Humans can reach perfection. If not in one life, then they are granted multiple lives to continue working towards that perfection.
So, in conclusion, each road contains a truth that points to one supreme God and his son Jesus Christ who was big enough to create the entire universe and loved us enough to give his son as a perfect sacrifice so that none other was required. Through him, all our sins are forgiven and we are covered by his perfect blood so that we may be at peace with God for eternity.
I think it is very important to note that this is not a concession that all people go to heaven no matter what they believe. It is saying that each faith or religion does actually have something right...just not completely right. Stopping there and buying into the distortions doesn't give you a spot in heaven just cuz you got it partially right. THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST and that is a truth that I am not trying to debunk. I believe it 100%. I just don't think everyone else is 100% wrong or that Christianity hasn't discovered some truth from them.