Q&A Goes to Heaven

Q&A Goes to Heaven

Do you believe that all people who believe in their own God will go to heaven?

Interesting phrasing of the question. First, I want to be clear that God is the judge and I am not. Saying who is making it into heaven and who isn’t is well beyond my paygrade and anyone else who isn’t God (which isn’t any human you’ll meet).

Jesus talks about the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46. The sheep gave Jesus something to eat, drink, invited him in, clothed him, looked after him when he was sick, and visited him when he was in prison. The goats didn’t. Sheep go to heaven and goats go to hell, according to that parable. The parable says nothing about belief. We have no idea if the sheep and goats were Jewish, agnostic, or whatever as no mention is given to what they believed they were doing. Both seem surprised in the discovery of their status. I think the goats may have thought they believed the right thing and were following God, but here’s God saying otherwise.

Furthermore, I think of Micah 6:8, “God has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” What’s up with the “with your God” part of that verse?

Micah is the prophet who criticized the Israelites for their dishonesty in the marketplace around 737-696 BCE. He was incensed at bribery and corruption within government, and he warned the Israelites and their leaders on behalf of God to change their ways. He was lengthy in the ways that the Israelites had gone wrong, but short on the answer. Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. I think the “your God” is the personal relationship with God. It will look different from person to person. Your image of God might be very different from my image, but our call is the same. Love God and neighbor as ourselves. Work for justice and celebrate mercy.

Maybe your call is to write elected officials on a given topic, while another plants trees and care for creation, while another works to change unjust systems, while another teaches children how to treat their neighbor. Each is doing their own call and following their own walk with God in trying to bring a little more of heaven to earth.

To answer your question… yes and no. Yes I believe people who believe in their own God who work for justice, love mercy, and walk humbly will go to heaven. And those who don’t, won’t. Yet it wouldn’t be humble to say much more than that while also admitting that I’m not God and God will be the ultimate judge of me and you and everyone.

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