Is it possible, as some suggest, that a Buddhist or a Muslim, if he truly lived his life according to the tenets of his religion, would be welcomed by God into His kingdom?
We live in a pluralistic culture that suggests that truth has many layers: your truth may be different from my truth, but it's all truth. One extrapolation from this idea is the assertion that if a person really does his best, then God will forgive all. But forgiveness for sin is really about God's character, not our effort. According to the Bible, He is the Judge of all the earth. Psalm 89:14 says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne.”
God rules righteously. God would not forgive sins without first dealing with them. There must be righteous ground for any person's forgiveness: “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8). The Word speaks of our righteousness as filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). So doing our best just won't achieve righteousness. We sing, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him we owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
I believe in the exclusivity of the gospel, because it is exactly what the Son of God taught. “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No man comes unto the father except through me” (John 14:6). A person must trust in Christ alone for the salvation of his sins and the way to be in right relationship with God. Just being a good, religious person—no matter what religion—isn't enough to work our way into heaven.
By Michael Kellogg
Moody Radio Host