The playing area (tee boxes,fairways, and greens) at a professional golf event is roped off, thereby providing the players space to compete with minimal fan interference. It also provides some semblance of order among the gallery, restricting where people can position themselves to get a good view.
Inside the ropes the players, their caddies, the official scorer, and referee all wander freely along the course. However, there are others––sometimes many others––who are also inside the ropes––family and friends. In other words, a person has to have a personal relationship with the player in order to be on that side of the ropes.
Unfortunately, this same reality applies to eternity in heaven. As much as we might want to gain access or grant access to others by our good deeds or wishes, we can’t. Just saying someone is now “in a better place” doesn’t make it so. Jesus said, very clearly, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
What this means, of course, is that any other claim for eternal life cannot be true. As we learn in our logic classes, contradictory premises cannot exist. Ironically, these other beliefs are willing to give Jesus “good man” or “prophet” status, yet as Christian theologian Josh McDowell states in his book More than a Carpenter, those two options are not viable. Because if Jesus claims to be God and he is not and knows it, then he is a liar. And if He isn’t but believes he is God, then he is a lunatic. However, there is that third option. He is who he claims to be––God and savior.
Once again, I hope and pray that everyone knows why they believe what they believe and that their belief is based on fact, not feeling or wishing. One’s eternity depends on it.