Some people stake their eternal destiny on their belief that there is no life beyond this one. They have so much faith in this doctrine that they go through this life with no preparation for the next.
Some people believe that the testimony of Scripture cannot be trusted and that the details of the next life are unknowable. They act on that settled faith.
Some are dogmatic that God will surely let everyone into Heaven, or at least not send anyone to Hell.
Some proclaim that He lets things slide as long as you aren’t too terrible, and they usually set as their goal to not be too terrible most of the time.
Some put great confidence in the idea that if you can convince people around you that you are a pretty good person, that is what matters (a lot of people who profess to be Christians seem to place great store in what others think, too, for some bizarre reason).
Some think that good people get into Heaven, and that they are good enough. They may express some doubts (in their words) as to this, but their refusal to contemplate any other possibility shows it is a settled belief.
Some trust that they can put off worrying about getting ready for the next life until later. Their actions show that they hold firmly to this faith.
Some are self-persuaded that there are many paths to God, many truths, and you choose any you like. Many of these people don’t actually follow any of these paths, and so are really trusting their “many paths” assertion to somehow solve the problem.
Some have a settled faith in the efficacy of ignoring spiritual things in the hope the problem will simply go away somehow. They live by this doctrine fervently.
Some think that it doesn’t matter what they believe now, because they think they will get more information and a second chance after death, so they can take care of it then. And they’ve put all their eggs in that basket, relying on it being the right one — they wouldn’t consider anything else even possible.
Some (amazingly) actually believe joining a church (or some other religion) and giving money to it buys some kind of spiritual “fire insurance” that will keep them out of Hell. They don’t stop to think that if bribing God is the entrance requirement, Heaven might not be such a great place after all.
Some put all their trust in some spiritual adviser and slavishly follow what he says, as if an imperfect man (or woman) could ever be trusted with something as important as your eternal destiny.
Some believe in a formal religion which has as its foundational principle that you have to make yourself good enough to meet some standard to prepare you for what comes after death. They try to bribe God with good deeds rather than with money.
Everyone believes one of these things, or a combination of them, or something very similar to one or more of them. These beliefs all agree on one thing — the Bible doesn’t actually have the answer.
The exception is those who now believe the Bible, who believe that not everyone goes to Heaven. They believe something different — that our only hope is not in making ourselves good enough, but in being made good enough by God with the righteousness which is unto all and upon all that believe in salvation in Christ Jesus, by grace, through faith, not of works.
Everyone has a faith, unprovable but by which they live, as to the existence of a future life and what should be done about it in this life.
Everyone believes something, and lives accordingly. The key question, the one making all the difference for all eternity, is what you believe.
Related: Everyone Has LOTS of Faith
good post…so true.
Thanks, Eric. Funny you should comment, I was just in the process of linking to your latest, it will go up in a few hours. 🙂